Learning by Observing

Who knows what tomorrow’s hits will be?

This Buzzfeed piece about how teens use Snapchat was a particularly stark reminder about how important it is to understand generational differences in technology use.

Years ago, I designed Princess and the Frog for the Wii, based on the Disney movie. It was one of the first games AC+A consulted on and required me to play about 100 so-called “girl games” to better understand the competition.

These days we use sites like UserTesting.com or actual focus groups to observe users playing our clients’ products. What we learn in these sessions, combined with decades of design and product management wisdom, helps create tomorrow’s hits.

But despite all our experience, how teens use Snapchat is a (mind blowing) reminder of just how much we can still learn about player behavior, simply by observing.

AND… Teardown Club is still going strong in our second week. There’s still a couple weeks left in our launch offer, so enter code ACAFRIEND25 to get 25% off the first three months of your subscription.


Compulsion Loop
Compulsion Loop #14: Marvel Avengers Academy, Freemium QA, and the Power of Observation banner

Juggernaut Wars

Why Play? It seems like every week brings us another action RPG title targeting mid-core players who crave deep stats systems and the opportunity to maximize their heroes abilities. It takes a lot these days to stand out amongst the crowd. Juggernaut Wars answers the call in a big way with a stunning AAA presentation complete with all the features expected of a modern free-to-play RPG.

App Store
Compulsion Loop #14: Marvel Avengers Academy, Freemium QA, and the Power of Observation banner

Viva Vegas Slots

Why Play? Viva Vegas Slots is a new entrant into the top grossing charts, and for good reason. Rocket Games shows they have been paying attention to the market leaders, and this is one of the best mobile Vegas experiences out there. Pay attention to the retention features – such as hourly bonuses and timed challenges – these plus the VIP players club are great for retaining users and keeping them playing your slots game, as opposed to the competition.

App Store
Compulsion Loop #14: Marvel Avengers Academy, Freemium QA, and the Power of Observation banner

Flick Rugby 16

Why Play? Full Fat’s “Flick” genre has been popular and they have produced one for most major sports. Each has been featured in Apple’s “Best New Games” category, and for good reason – they sport great graphics coupled with a simple gameplay that is reminiscent of the “paper football” games we played as kids. Flick Rugby is challenging, and with multiple game modes, players will find a good amount of content. The games are ad-supported, so some players may enjoy not having to pay for all the modes via IAP.

App Store
Compulsion Loop #14: Marvel Avengers Academy, Freemium QA, and the Power of Observation banner

Marvel Avengers Academy

Why Play? TinyCo’s newest branded title is one to watch, especially in the design department. This freemium, energy-gated & task driven story game walks players through a comic-inspired world where the younger Avengers learn their sweet skills. It also features celebrity voice talent, a drop dead gorgeous art style, and TinyCo’s freemium expertise.

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