Originality in mobile games

image by <a href="https://unsplash.com/michaelhirsch" target="_blank">Michael Hirsch</a>
image by Michael Hirsch

You hear everyone saying that you have to make an original game in order to be successful.

But what does that even mean? All games are in a way or another a modified idea of some other game. Many of them even have the exact same mechanics, but only a few elements are different: it can be either the overall theme, story line, graphic style, mood and so on. Some games come up with new mechanics, but are still heavily based on everything else that’s on the market already.

What I’m trying to say here is that it’s very difficult (and rare) to come up with a totally new genre altogether. Think about it like this: even game studios that have released a game that is very original and different from everything else, still release other titles that are not that original.

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“Running Circles” Case Study – how it became a #1 game on GooglePlay

Note: As of now, Running Circles is #1 in Top New Games in Google Play in UK, Germany, etc and top 5 in most other countries. It’s a game by Boombit, and you can play it here:

get Running Circles on Google Play

Rank History of
Rank History of “Running Circles” in Google Play by country, data from AppAnnie

We’ve seen games like this before: since the beginning of the Flappy Bird era, a lot of new developers started to build small, original, casual games. Some were more successful than others. The question is: what makes a game reach #1 while others only manage to get to Top 10 or Top 25?

Now let’s break down all the elements of a game to see which are the ones that contribute mostly to the success.

Is it the graphics? Well, it could be a contributing factor, but it’s definitely not the major one. Yes, some games that reach #1 do have some original graphics or a new style: think about Crossy Road: we’ve never seen blocky characters done in that way before. Well, you might say that Minecraft has some similarities, but characters in Crossy Road definitely are different: there is a dominant color in each character, plus it makes use of half and quarter size blocks.

Let’s see if the game design is the element that makes a game be #1.

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I am Manuel Boca and I have a clear goal for my purpose in life: I want to shape a better future for everyone. We all know that the world has huge issues: poverty is everywhere, pollution is rising, climate is changing. Overall, the globalization process does not look to be sustainable at all. Many of us would like to change all this, and make the future a better place to live in, so that’s why some of as are members of NGOs or take action ourselves.

However, I believe that it’s not enough. NGOs alone do not have the power to change this world for the better, at least not on all levels and all areas of life. That being said, I do appreciate some of them because they strive to do great things, and some of them have achieved huge goals: take a look at what Greenpeace and charity:water did.

But I think we can do more. Let me say that again: YES, WE CAN DO MORE!

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