Blinded by Science

Hi! Peter here, a design associate at AC+A.

Did you catch the action on Reddit’s “Ask Science” sub this week? It was a cool debate on evolutionary advantages of games and why humans find enjoyment in playing them.

One redditor theorized that satisfaction comes from a brief period of “lack of satisfaction,” ergo that frustration of a difficult puzzle causes a feeling of happiness when the puzzle is completed.

Another redditor surmised that humans favor surreal experiences that are outside the realm of what they normally experience. Escapism, if you will.

Whatever the theory, games is an industry that transcends the platforms of the day. From chess to VR, there’s always a market for new games based on human behavior. We’re all game players… it’s in our DNA.

Until next time,
Peter

Compulsion Loop
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Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens

Why Play? One of the most funded Kickstarters of all time is now a mobile multiplayer game! Exploding Kittens is an extremely simple card game where your goal is to not draw a kitten who explodes. You’ll use misdirection, turn skipping and card stealing to avoid these combustible furballs while playing locally or online. You can pay a few extra bucks for an additional deck of cards but overall it’s a pretty simple game that warrants the $2 premium pricing.

App Store
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Miitomo

Nintendo

Why Play? Nintendo’s first foray into mobile is an avatar based social app. You’ll create your Mii and find friends from social networks to add and interact with. The main focus of Miitomo is in answering questions which allows for your friends to heart and comment on them. You can visit your friends Mii’s and read their answers.  The addictive property is in friend acquisition as one popular friend can mean hundreds of invites overnight. So who will you add first?

Google Play App Store
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Dungeon Boss

Big Fish Games

Why Play? Heroes & loot are the name of the game in this fast-paced dungeon crawler from Big Fish Games and developer Boss Fight. The game is just deep enough for a mobile midcore, and it also offers the increasingly popular automatic play mode for casual players.

Google Play App Store
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Crazy Cake Swap

Zynga

Why Play? Zynga’s latest is, well you guessed it, a match-3 game. It’s worth checking out for the social feature that integrates your friend’s profile pictures on the game board, along with the unique level challenges, yet the heavy time/money gating by chapter feels burdensome and tired.

Google Play App Store
Compulsion Loop

CompulsionLoop is AC+A’s (adriancrook.com) weekly pursuit of providing a Featured List for those in the games industry. A look at the latest must-play apps, along with short, useful takeaways from our team of game design and product experts. If you have a game that you think your industry colleagues should try, we’d love to hear about it at games@compulsionloop.com. Don’t forget to tell us why industry insiders should be compelled to try out the game (see what we did there?).

Know a game that you think others should play? Let us know and tell us why we should play it.

Thank you for reading and we look forward to helping you discover more games that you can glean learnings from. Feel free to reply to this email or contact games@compulsionloop.com — we’re always happy to hear from you.

Have a great week!

- Adrian Crook www.adriancrook.com