Om Tandon assesses the evolution of storytelling in casual mobile games, analyzes the factors driving its rapid adoption, and interviews a game storytelling expert

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Editor’s note: This article is written in collaboration with Om Tandon of UXreviewer and Lisa Brunette, founder & owner of Brunette Games, a narrative design and storytelling powerhouse working with development teams at publishers and studios such as Jam City, Redemption Games, and Uken Games, on blockbuster top-100 grossing casual games like Sweet Escapes, Lily’s Garden, Matchington Mansion, & many others.

So, what’s the story?

In the past few articles we looked at how seemingly simple casual puzzle games, which relied heavily on just a simple core loop, have now matured due to deepening game design and maturing causal player preferences.

Genre analysis shows the following pillars appearing to be crucial for the success of any newly launched casual puzzle game…


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Deconstructing the evolution of the industry’s biggest Match-3 titles

Editor’s note: This is the second instalment of UX expert Om Tandon’s analysis of the evolution of the Match-3 category of casual games. For part one, click here.

The Match-3 category has arrived at a crossroads. This multi-part analysis unpacks the maturing player behaviour and deepening game design that has changed the Match-3 landscape, and divided it between classic and meta-focused games, ruled by the Kings and Playrix’s of the world. In this part, I take a deep dive into the features of Candy Crush Saga and Property Brothers, and analyze how they’re evolving their strategies.

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What is happening in the classic Match-3 ringside?

King is hard at work defending its legacy and turf, rejuvenating & re-inventing its long reigning and hugely popular classic Match-3 franchise, Candy Crush Saga. …


UX expert Om Tandon explains the evolution of Meta features in Match 3 games, and analyzes the key design shifts and trends in 2020

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Finding success in mobile games in 2020 is way more science than art. It is no longer about where the ball is right now, but rather where the ball is going.

Since the early days of app store gaming, Match 3 games have been consistently one of the most popular top grossing casual games categories (Candy Crush Saga, launched in 2012, being a classic example of the genre’s long reign). There are several reasons that can explain this genre’s mass popularity:

  1. Simplified core loop with low barrier to entry for new players and first time gamers
  2. Game mechanics that leverage mobile-first, intuitive touch gestures on smart…


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430* Million + Lifetime Revenue; 80* Million + Lifetime downloads

*Source: https://sensortower.com/blog/8-ball-pool-revenue

Launched way back in 2010 on mobile, 8 Ball pool has been a consistent performer on top grossing charts in US and UK app stores. Whilst it did show signs of ageing and slowing down, losing ground to newly sprung sporting rivals like Golf Clash a year back, the relatively recent addition of new features has uplifted the core and meta loops of this iron horse. 8 Ball pool has made up for the age gap and continues to be a dominant force in the sports arcade category.

Game design and UX wise, 8 Ball Pool is a game of excesses — a melting pot of skill and chance based gratification that is apparent in every aspect of the game.. a layered buffet treat approach that monetises well. …


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Image Source: https://www.insidehook.com/article/advice/best-dog-walking-service-nyc

Co-authored with Pavitra S. Tandon

Disclaimer: This post is NOT a deep dive into psychology of pressing issues like “toilet paper hoarding” or “sanitiser fixation”. I will leave that to the experts :). What we will focus on are behavioural modifications and onset of “short term mass effects” that #COVID-19 has had on businesses, economy and people so far, and if we can speculate some “long term trends” emergent in #postCOVID era.

Before we dive deep, let us first dip our feet briefly into what factors cause “mass behavioural changes” and how a catalytic events affects those factors

There are many theories of behavioural change in psychology for the times we’re facing today. One of the most prominent theories amongst them is Albert Bandura’s (Fourth most frequently cited psychologist of all…


UX expert Om Tandon shares 5 examples of mobile game developers using behavioral economics principles to drive monetization in their games

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Editor’s note: Om has been in the games industry for over 14 years building teams, processes & pipelines. He’s created massively entertaining & monetizing experiences for some of the world’s best known IP’s & brands, including Disney, 20th Century Fox, Hasbro, Blue Sky, CBS and many more. Om currently runs a part time games consultancy through his blogsite uxreviewer.com.

Over the years, I have been testing and reviewing numerous mobile games and apps in different genres. …


Co-authored with Pavitra S Tandon

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Kudos to Netflix for trying to break the mould & possibly change the future of how people might watch television.

Netflix’s Bandersnatch is an attempt at a new kind of Viewer Experience (VX) which attempts at gamifying and refreshing the decades’ old cinema watching experience. The reason we want to write this article are:

  1. Many people in the industry (including me) were speculating this would happen. In fact, we have speculated about this in one of my articles on Neflix last year here.
  2. Interactive fiction in mobile has gained tremendous traction especially with teens and millennials with top grossing mobile games like “Episodes” and “Choices” ruling app stores. I had written about this genre and future applications extensively as well last year here. …


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Co-Authored with Pavitra S. Tandon

We are UX researchers & designers in the IT & Games industry, avid bloggers who like breaking down the user experience of digital products and technology. We recently flew from New Zealand to Asia, and back with #Air New Zealand.

Air NZ is trying to break the traditional mould — revamping its in-flight offline to online customer engagement model.

Air travel like other hospitality industries has to keep up with times but the industry as a whole is plagued by cost cutting, cut throat competition, rising fuel prices, cheaper alternatives and other such bumps on the road. …

Om Tandon

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