Jul 09

I predict fish and pyramids in future games

Tag: Business,Casual Games,Game ReviewsMaciek @ 3:08 pm

FishdomDon’t worry, this won’t be another rant about Big Fish games. Rather than that I would like to tell you about a some nice match-3 games that should be very interesting for both players and developers.

Match-3 games have a tough job breaking into the top-tens these days. Fortunately there are still match-3 games that manage to do it even on hidden object oriented portals. Our own game Saqqarah is just making its way to the top-tens and Fishdom is also an excellent example of a modern match-3 game that has the potential to outsell even big hidden object  productions. But why is that? Let’s see what makes up a good modern match-3 game.

SaqqarahSuperb production values

The quality bar is rising very fast and nowadays match-3 games in order to compete with other, hotter genres have to give more right from the start. Several years ago it was possible to make a matching game in several months but now you need lots of high quality graphics, superb sound and smooth animations all over the game. Fishdom, Pastry Passion, Saqqarah and Puzzle Hero are just some examples of recent match-3 games that move the quality of match-3 games to the next step.

Puzzle HeroMore features

When it comes to game mechanics, having the same old Bejeweled style game is not enough. You’d better have many modes of play and hundreds of hand crafted levels like in Saqqarah, or structure your match-3 mechanics around a meta-game which makes for a whole new experience. I think we’ll be seeing more of the latter approach much more as time goes by. Fishdom lets the player spend money earned during normal gameplay to build an aquarium and populate it with sea dwelling fishes. Puzzle Hero is basically a super casual version of Puzzle Quest and gives you a way to combat enemies by playing a match-3 game.

Good Selection of Theme

FishdomOf course modern match-3 games still need to follow the golden rules of casual game development. The themes don’t have to be very fancy and original. In fact it’s safer to stick with what already was proven to work. Fish theme is an excellent example as it has already worked great for many, many games – Fish Tycoon, Big Kahuna Reef, Insaniquarium, Feeding Frenzy and the new Fishdom to name just a few. Actually with Saqqarah we were aiming for a original theme, as when we started developing Saqqarah there were no match-3 games set it ancient Egypt. Fortunately the fact that about 5 ancient Egypt match-3 games made it to the market before us did not hurt us. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more fish and pyramids in the upcoming successful games.

Anyway, the examples of games mentioned in the text show that match-3  genre is far from being dead and that there are still many ideas that will breathe life into the vast sea of Bejeweled clones. I really wonder what games we will see in the coming months. They all prove that making a successful match-3 game is still possible, but it requires skill, resources, time and good ideas – and not everybody can afford it. I only hope that similar changes will affect the hidden object and time management genres soon.

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2 Responses to “I predict fish and pyramids in future games”

  1. Simek says:

    Partially true, but Puzzle Quest own all of those games and their concepts together…

  2. Marita says:

    For years I have loved the Magic Match and Saqqarah games more than any other. I have thought of myself as a Codeminion groupie! I am very disappointed that you have now also started doing Hidden Object games as they seem to be overwhelmingly present on every site. I am so tired of them! I want more good Puzzle and Match 3 Games, especially chain action. I will give your new game a go, but please, please don’t let this be your only direction in future.

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