Moving beyond “wage slaves”

By now you’ve probably already read the infamous Alex St John article about “wage slaves” and entitlement in the games industry.

I was disappointed when I read this, because I’d hoped years of IGDA quality of life efforts and general awareness of work/life balance had prevailed over these attitudes. It’s precisely this level of disconnect between effort and reward that drove me out of the core games industry almost ten years ago.

This morning for the first time I put my kids on a city bus alone to school, after months spent training them. Seeing them achieve this milestone was really huge for me, and likely not something I’d have been able to experience the same way if I’d been as single-minded as Alex St John suggests I should be.

I’m fine with that. It’s why I and many of my peers started our companies: to spend more time with family and control our schedules. The hours are still long, but they’re truly worth it.


Compulsion Loop
Compulsion Loop #24 banner

Tap Tap Trillionaire


Why Play? What would happen if Kairosoft got a hold of AdVenture Capitalist? Well, this game. You’re the executive in charge and you’ll have to tap your way to making millions. The big difference here compared to standard idle games is that sim management is required and you’ll need to make actual executive decisions alongside the repetitive tapping that’s required to strike it rich.

App Store
Compulsion Loop #24 banner

Cards and Castles

Bit Mass LLC

Why Play? While there’s plenty of turn-based tactiles on mobile devices already there aren’t a lot that utilize the addictiveness of CCGs. Cards & Castles goes directly for those who love Hearthstone and Hero Academy by delivering both live and asynchronous multiplayer along with plenty of single player content. C&C has been out awhile but with consistent content added and lots of depth in the cards and units you deploy during games this one has a deep hole to fall into.

Google Play App Store
Compulsion Loop #24 banner


10tons Ltd.

Why Play? Spellspire is a charming mashup of a spelling strategy game mixed with just enoughaction RPG to feel fresh and unique. The longer the words you make, the quicker you’ll kill increasingly powerful monsters and work your way up the tower. Spellspire is grindy and sometimes overbearing with early monetization requests, but its fun gameplay is worth a peek.

App Store
Compulsion Loop #24 banner

Fear the Walking Dead: Dead Run

Versus Evil

Why Play? While this game’s obvious primary purpose is to promote the Fear the Walking Dead television show, it’s definitely a fun, easy to pick up & put down endless runner. It features two game modes: Endless and Episodes. At launch, there’s a few episodes to play through with only the first being free.

App Store
Compulsion Loop

CompulsionLoop is AC+A’s ( 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 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 — we’re always happy to hear from you.

Have a great week!

- Adrian Crook