Side note: School of Dragons has always grown at an alarming rate. As such, the talented developers have caught this issue and seem to have adjusted it since. The items now are much more useful to most players, but they still have the issue of not always being useful to all players. This is because the game is so large. It is impossible to predict what everyone would want. The only things useful across the board are gems and gold. But they cannot give out too many of those or they risk breaking the economy. I use School of Dragons only as an example of a different style of daily rewards, the building style. In a smaller game, like Two Dots, this style would be easier to balance and give out rewards everyone would use.
Two Dots gives the player a random power up. Whether that’s extra lives or a boost, the daily reward is always immediately useful. This almost always pushes me to use it. Also I’m more liberal in my use of boosts because I know there is a good chance I will be getting more. So what’s hurting Angry Birds and School of Dragons? The saving up. While logically this seems like it would continue to engage players over a longer period of time because they are saving for something, we live in a world where no one (aside from the wise or elderly) saves. Especially in mobile games. Everything is about instant gratification. (And less than 10-minute play sessions) So while players need to learn to save, they will enjoy the game more if they get that instant usable reward.
Power Up Upsell:
Last week we talked about Angry Birds 2 and the issue players are having with upsells, the primary issue being with the gameplay itself. Two Dots does an excellent job of upselling power ups to players but doesn’t change a whole lot from Angry Bird’s upsell system. The one big difference is where the upsell with a video ad appears. In Angry Birds 2, these video upsells appeared only after the player lost or in the daily reward for a double reward. In Two Dots, it still has the daily reward video ad upsell, but they moved the location of the second video ad upsell. They have it attached to the pre-game screen. When a player watches it, they get a free boost power up. And you know what? I watch it every chance I get. I actually look forward to them. I think why I look forward to it so much (where as I just skip the Angry Birds post failure upsell ad videos) is because I know it will help. I know I will start off stronger and have a better chance to win because of it. Where as in Angry Birds 2, (Since it only pays out one random bird, unfortunately, after I’ve lost) it only feels helpful in very specific situations. And even then it has to give the the bird I need. (Due to the randomness, it doesn’t usually happen)
Side note: So how can Angry Birds 2 learn from this? Add a video upsell for the power ups in the beginning, then they can pay out the player a random power up to use in the level they are about to play. I guarantee this will have almost everyone watching their upsell video ads every chance they get.
The Challenge & Charm:
Two Dots holds the challenge of a basic match 3 game, where players will have to see how removing specific dots will effect the rest of the board. Due to removing the timer, the player has a much more zen experience. This allows players to have the time to really look around and try to figure out the best move.
Let’s take a look at how these puzzles work: