Monday, July 31, 2017

4 Mobile Games That Show Good Gameplay Can Beat Bad Graphics

Graphics or gameplay? Go ask in a forum which of the two is more important in gaming and you’ll likely end up with mixed results so inconclusive you’ll wonder why you even bothered to pose the question. It’s one of those debates that probably still won’t have a clear winner 10 years from now. “Why not both?” you might ask. Well, it’s not that simple, especially if you’re an indie mobile game developer barely above the water in terms of resources.
Though it’s still important to produce eye-catching graphics even when you’re short on resources, sometimes circumstances simply prevent you doing so (read: you’re broke). This leaves you with the gameplay to put your heart and soul into. But will it be enough to catch people’s attention? What if no one’s willing to look past your game’s prehistoric or overly simple graphics? Don’t worry; several mobile games have already proven that success can also be found even without the aid of shiny graphics.
What’s great about the mobile gaming scene is that your game won’t be the only one with outdated or crappy graphics. Many games feature simple, anime-like 2D graphics or 8-bit era pixel graphics. Unlike in console and PC gaming, graphics in mobile gaming aren’t judged too harshly. Simply because Android and iOS devices don’t come with the same hardware power as traditional gaming systems. So rest assured your game won’t be alone in the Bad Graphics Department. Here are 4 mobile games with simple or crappy graphics but have excellent gameplays. You can look to them for inspiration.

Papers, Please: A Dystopian Document Thriller

Papers, Please is a puzzle game developed and published by 3909, which is owned by indie developer Lucas Pope. In the game, you’re placed in the shoes of a simple family man working as an immigration officer for a fictional country called Arstotzka, set in 1982. Most of the time, you’ll be staring at countless documents from individuals trying to get into the country. Frankly speaking, the documents aren’t pretty to look at, thanks to the graphics that make the game look like it really belongs in 1982. The people that you’ll be investigating look more like zombies than, well, humans.
So what makes Papers, Please stand out amongst games in the puzzle genre? In the game, you’ll be regularly presented with moral choices. Will you allow an individual begging you to let them inside the country despite severely lacking the necessary documents? Will you accept huge sums of money as bribe from suspicious individuals? Will you grant access to assassins hired to take down corrupt officials? These are just a few of the dilemmas you’ll encounter in the game.
Your ultimate goal as an immigration official is to earn money to be able to sustain your fictional in-game family. You earn money by correctly processing immigrants. But you also get penalized for violating rules. Sure, you can get yourself a big payday by accepting every bribe that comes your way. However, you’ll risk having your pockets checked by the government. Papers, Please has a story mode which features multiple endings. If you want a real time-burner, you can dive into an endless play mode where you process as many immigrants as you want.

FTL: Faster Than Light

FTL: Faster Than Light is a 2012 roguelike game developed and published by Subset Games. It’s presented in a top-down perspective with 2D graphics. Though the game is set in outer space, it doesn’t really feel like it. Planets, moons, asteroids, and other stuff you can find in space are in the background, with no option to explore them at your leisure similar to other space adventure games. Throughout the game, you’ll spend most of your time simply looking at the interior of your spaceship, where the gameplay centers on. Even on a big-screened smartphone, the things inside your spaceship are tiny. The graphics of FTL aren’t exactly downright ugly or bad, though; they’re just too plain.
Subset Games
FTL makes up for its lack of grandeur by offering an incredibly addicting gameplay that’s both enjoyable and frustrating. Roguelikes are known for featuring randomly generated dungeons, unforgiving difficulty, and permanent death. FTL checks all the boxes. In the game, your job is to make sure your spaceship (chosen at the start) successfully goes through randomly generated space sectors, which are littered with hostile spaceships keen on preventing you from reaching your goal. Combat revolves around carefully managing your crew, like in a strategy game. FTL isn’t a game that you can just casually play through. If your spaceship gets blown into pieces, you’ll be forced to start over from scratch. As in from the title screen. You can’t simply resume from your last save point.

Minecraft: Pocket Edition

This game needs little introduction, really. We all know about Minecraft’s crappy graphics, which is made up of LEGO-like blocks. Don’t be fooled by those texture packs and filters that make the game gorgeous to look at. You would need a high-powered PC (translation: a very expensive PC) to run all those pretty mods. Graphics has never really been Minecraft’s strong suit. Its gameplay is another story.
Minecraft: Pocket Edition doesn’t contain all the features found in the PC version. Because that would have been too much for your mobile device, no matter how powerful it is. It focuses on the creative mode and survival mode of the PC version. In creative mode, you can create whatever structure you want right off the bat. No need to collect resources. You’re basically a painter in this mode, with the game as your blank canvas to work on. If you love playing with LEGO bricks, you’ll feel right at home in creative mode.
It’s the opposite in survival mode, where you start off from scratch and work your way toward acquiring resources and weapons. But that’s not all. Aside from hunting resources, you’ll have the unenviable task of fending off hostile monsters from beating your ass to the ground. Minecraft: Pocket Edition centers on giving you a lot of freedom on how you want to play your game. There are no definitive goals or linear paths to follow.


Last but not the least is Retsnom, a quirky little platformer developed by Somi and published by Magic Cube. It features a pixelated art style, which pretty much sums up its graphics. But unlike most other platformers, Retsnom is neither vibrant nor alive. This is right in line with its gloomy and dark premise, which centers on a man whose mission is to cure his daughter suffering from a zombie virus. The catch is, the cure is not yet ready in the present and only exists in the future. And so off you go to the future, in the name of retrieving said cure for your ailing daughter. That premise alone sets it apart from typical platformers.
Somi / Magic Cube
The gameplay of Retsnom is mostly similar to other platformers where you run around on a 2D plane, jumping and avoiding enemies along the way. However, it features a cool gimmick that allows you to morph the level itself to open new paths and cross pits that would otherwise block you from advancing. As the game puts it, you’ll be mirroring parts of the level. For example, you find yourself staring at an endless pit. How do you cross to the other side? Simple: Flip the part of the platform you’re currently on to its opposite side (left or right), which would allow you to cross the now non-existent pit in front of you. Pretty neat, eh?

5 Reasons Why Developers Should Utilize Airtime To Receive Payments From Their Apps/Games

A smartphone is your best mate. But only if it is loaded with apps and games. A smartphone is not smartwithout apps; instead, it’s just a phone. Most of the apps are available for free, but the outstanding ones are not. You have to buy the app from the developers. Most of the app developers utilize digital modes to receive their payments. But now, developers are moving towards airtime payments.
Airtime, better known as Carrier Billing, is a mode of payment in which the users can shop through online sale/ purchase through their mobile credit. Users don’t have to pay through credit cards or digital wallets. In fact, airtime utilizes the cell phone carrier company services to transfer the payments. Carrier billing is further classified into several modes like SMS-based payments, Mobile web payments, and Direct Operator Billing. The one widely used is the Direct Operator Billing.
Developers should utilize airtime to provide ease and convenience to their user. Here are a few reasons, highlighting the importance of using carrier billings to receive payments for apps.

1. Ease Of Access

Airtime or direct carrier billing provides you a convenient mode to receive the payments for your apps. It is the best payment solution in countries where the use of credit cards has not prevailed yet. It has been observed that people are more willing to pay via airtime as compared to credit cards. A simple SMS or codeis enough to process the payment. The users don’t need to go through the lengthy and tiresome procedures that are required for credit card payments.
Users want swift solutions, avoiding the search for the credit cards in their pockets. Some people are also allergic to bank accounts because they hate visiting ATMs and signing checks. So, a convenient payment mode like airtime can provide access to a greater number of users. In a struggle to go cashless, airtime can contribute effectively to meet the goals.
App developers should move to airtime as most of the people bear mobile phones as compared to the credit cards or bank accounts. According to some sources, the world pollution is almost 7.14 billion of which 6.8 billion population possesses a cell phone; only 3.5 billion people have bank accounts and 2.15 billion utilize credit cards.

2. Security

Direct Carrier Billing provides a secure channel to process the payments. Many payment gateway solutions have entered the race, and it has raised concerns of public regarding security. Users are not sure whether to compromise on the reliability of a channel or not. This keeps most of the users from buying apps.
In contrast, airtime negates these concerns as the user has already been utilizing the services of the company. So you can receive the payments directly from the mobile phone company that deducts minute transaction charges. You don’t need to worry whether you will receive the payments or not. The carrier provider takes headache at your part to enhance your app/game purchases.
Users also trust carrier billing as the carrier provider already has the necessary info regarding the user. So there is no chance of leakage or misuse of one’s personal info. This trust makes them move towards airtime payment solution.

3. 1-Step Solution

Yes! It is a one-step solution to your app sale/ purchase. The credit cards utilize long and annoying steps to process the payments. With airtime, one code or an SMS does it all. The user just provides his mobile number and PIN, and the payment is processed. The developer, on the other hand, receives a text verifying the success of money transfer.
The transfer takes even less than 10 seconds. So you don’t need to have an account at PayPal or Payza that need days for processing the transfer. You don’t need to log in to your accounts or provide details for your sales. All you need is to provide your phone or account number and have your money. It’s a very fast and tension-free mode to receive your payments.
Following the model of airtime for rapid payments, some other companies have jumped in. These companies provide apps for payment solutions. It is an integration of direct carrier billing and digital wallets.

4. Enhanced Conversion Rate

Direct carrier billing offers better conversion rates (conversion rate is the proportion of the number of visitors to the success of goal) in contrast to credit cards or e-wallets. According to an analysis conducted by Analysys Mason, airtime provides a 5 fold increase in the conversion rate for the app developers. Some people also report ten times higher conversion rates.
Carrier billing is less prone to ambiguities. It ensures that every payment is made successfully. As the buying process gets simpler, more potential buyers are created. So providing a convenient and swift payment solution would enhance the sale of your apps and games.

5. Minimized Taxes

E-wallets and credit cards impose heavy transaction charges on the payee and the receiver. At first, the users have to pay for the app at the app store, followed by the money transfer fees. Moreover, some transaction amount is also deducted, and the receiver has merely something in hand. These charges have created a sense of dissatisfaction among the consumers. Most of the users find themselves comfortable paying through cash.
Providing users a flexible payment mode with minimized taxes will motivate them to use online payment channels. In return, it will enhance the apps’ purchase.

A World Where Companies Are Moving Towards Carrier Billing.

Vodafone has recently introduced Charge to Bill service. It enables the users to pay for the apps at the Google Play Store through their mobile phone bills. One doesn’t need to worry about his pocket. The entire purchases are recorded, and the users can pay for them at the end of the month. Content up to worth £30can be bought this way. In this regard, David James, Head of Commercial Marketing Vodafone, said that airtime is a better, rapid and reliable method to pay for the digital content through mobile phones.

This Is How Asia Is Building A Cashless Society

Google supports direct carrier billing in almost 40 countries. Google Play accepts payments through airtime in the US, Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic and Canada. Google claims that it has maximized its sales up to 300% after incorporating airtime channel. Now, even Skype users can put their services fee on the mobile phone bills.
Microsoft had signed a deal with Boku to provide airtime payment solution for the purchase of items like tablets, PCs, etc. from Windows Store. In Indonesia, airtime contributes for 83% of the purchases made from Windows Phone Store. Apple has also entered the race and is providing its services in Germany and Russia. Some stats released in 2013 revealed that in Europe, the utilization for carrier billing was almost 27% and in Asia, it was 30%.

Airtime has been bridging the distances between the users and the app developers. Smooth and swift payment solution is increasing the number of potential buyers. Integration of carrier billing with other online payment modes will contribute towards a better economy.
Do comment about the reason you think is the most important to enhance the sale and purchase of apps.  Also, let us know that how airtime has been helping you to increase your growth.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

6 Types Of Ads Commonly Used In Mobile Games

There are two types of mobile games in general: paid games and free-to-play games. Generating revenue from paid games is much more straightforward. The more users who buy and install the game, the more money developers make. It’s as simple as that. Some paid games offer only one-time transactions. Meaning, they don’t have in-app purchases.
Free-to-play games, on the other hand, need alternate avenues to earn money. The most common are in-app purchases, which are basically add-ons or optional content that enhance the gameplay in one way or another. They are usually designed to make the game easier and give paying users overpowered advantages over non-paying users, hence the term “pay-to-win.”
Another popular way developers make money off their games is through advertisements. Ads are often frowned upon by users because they are simply annoying to look at. Some ads also break the flow of the game content. But when done right, ads are an excellent and reliable avenue for developers to make money. In this article, we’ll list down the six types of ads often seen in mobile games.

Banner Ads

Banner ads can be seen all over the internet, not just in mobile games. They are exactly what their names say: ads that “hang” at the top or bottom of the screen. Their purpose is to be attractive enough to get users to click on them. Banner ads are typically small in size. They are large enough to be seen by users but small enough to be unobtrusive during gameplay.
However, due to the small space allocated for them, banner ads rely more on images and less on texts. This gives more established names an advantage over lesser-known ones – brand recognition, in other words. Only a few words can be included in banner ads without appearing too cluttered or messy. So advertisers need to be direct and on-point when creating banner ad texts.
Banner ads are inexpensive and easy to produce. After all, they’re just small boxes containing a handful of words and a few images to draw the user’s attention. The thing about banner ads is that nobody really clicks on them. According to research by Marketing Insider Group, the average click-through rate of banner ads is 0.06 percent. And that’s for banner ads on the internet. Imagine the CTR of mobile game banner ads.

Rich Media Ads

Rich media ads are interactive ads containing a combination of texts, images, audio, and video. The goal of rich media ads is to engage users and hopefully pique their interest. Unlike banner ads, rich media ads can feature multiple images or screenshots (for a mobile game ad). This gives interested users a better look at the product.
There are also rich media ads that use a smartphone’s gyroscope and camera. Like that War Dragons ad, which allows you to check out the cool dragons by moving your smartphone around. These type of ads are highly creative and go beyond simple texts and images. The downside is that they’re heavier, size-wise, due to the media involved.

Interstitial Ads

Interstitial ads can be one of the most annoying types of ads. Unlike banner ads, interstitial ads are full-screen ads that cover the entire game screen. They typically appear during transition screens, which happen in-between game levels. Basically, they’re glorified loading screens.
Interstitial ads usually stay on-screen for a few seconds, before giving users the option to close the ad via a hard-to-find “X” button somewhere on the ad. This is what makes them annoying to deal with. Admit it, you probably had a few experiences where you had to spend a few seconds looking for that damned tiny close button. Because of this, interstitial ads are often seen as momentum breakers, especially in a particularly action-packed mobile game. There are two types of interstitial ads: static text-and-image ads similar to banner ads but way bigger and video ads, which we’ll discuss next.

Video Ads

As mentioned, video ads are interstitial ads, which play in-between levels or during loading screens. They are livelier and are more successful at getting the attention of users. They usually run 15-30 seconds because users have short attention spans. Now, there four types of video ads: forced, unforced, rewarding, and non-rewarding.
Forced – These are video ads that automatically play without waiting for you to hit the play button, therefore forcing you to interact with them. But you don’t really need to watch the full content of the ad because, after a few seconds, an option to close the ad usually appears.
Unforced – Obviously, unforced video ads are the opposite of forced video ads (duh). These video ads don’t automatically play without your consent. You have the option to play them before returning to your game, in case you’re interested, or completely discard them immediately. Unforced video ads are less annoying compared to forced video ads, for obvious reasons.
Rewarding – Rewarding or incentivized video ads are video ads that give players rewards or bonuses when played, hence the term. They usually appear after finishing a level and offer players the chance to boost their level rewards. For example, in an endless runner game where players collect coins, watching these video ads will double the collected coins from the just-ended level. Because of the incentives they offer, rewarding video ads have a much lower chance of being ignored by users.
Non-rewarding – The opposite of rewarding video ads, obviously. Like forced video ads, non-rewarding ads typically get shown the door as soon as the close button makes an appearance on-screen. They offer no incentive when viewed all the way, so there’s really no reason to sit through them. Unless you’re interested in what the video ad is selling, of course.

Notification Ads

Notification ads are infinitely more annoying than interstitial ads. These are ads that go straight to your smartphone’s notification tab. You can think of them as sort of mini banner ads – except you can’t completely ignore them like regular banner ads. Notification ads force you to delete them manually unless you set your smartphone to automatically block them. If you’re a developer, it would be best to stay away from these type of ads because they are totally not cool.

Pop-Up Ads

Lastly, we have pop-up ads. These ads are a bit similar to interstitial ads in that they usually appear during transition screens or when the game is paused. They are pretty harmless and very easy to shove aside. Unlike pop-up ads on the internet, pop-up ads in mobile games are less annoying to deal with because they don’t come in batches. You can think of them as smaller, low-budget interstitial ads.

Recommended Ad Type?

Obviously, you can’t deploy all six types of ads in your mobile game, unless you want users to label your product as a shameless cash-cow. And if you’re an indie developer short on budget, you probably can’t afford all of them anyway. So which type of ad should you go for?
We recommend going for video ads that reward users with in-game goodies in exchange for viewing ads all the way to the end. It gives ads the chance to get the message across in full. Using this type of ad is a win-win scenario for everyone involved, really. Users get extra game content and bonuses, while ads get a higher chance of being viewed, which translates to commissions for the game developers.

The Best Sports Mobile Games To Check Out This Year

The 2017 NBA and NHL Playoffs are now underway. March Madness just concluded last month, and two months prior to that, Super Bowl 51 pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in American football history. The Premier League is set to conclude on May 21, with the 2017 French Open set to begin the day after on May 22.
If you’re a huge sports fan, things can’t get any better than the first six months of every year. Sadly, all good things must (temporarily) come to an end when off-seasons and in-between tournament breaks inevitably arrive. But thankfully, you have sports games on iOS and Android to keep you entertained as you wait for the next season or tournament to kick off.
Don’t know which ones to play? Here are our picks for the best sports mobile games to play this 2017.

NBA 2K17

2K, Inc.
Still bummed out that Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder got bounced from the 2017 NBA Playoffs too soon? We feel you, bro. But instead of sulking in the corner, why not re-create the entire Houston-OKC series in NBA 2K17? With Quick Game mode, you can instantly play a game using your favorite teams! However, if you want the feel the grind of the 82-game NBA season, you can jump into either Season mode or MyCareer mode. Unlike the console version, NBA 2K17 on mobile has simplified controls, allowing you to easily play on-the-go.


Electronic Arts
If the awesome graphics and realistic gameplay in NBA 2K17 aren’t really your thing, then check out the over-the-top and totally unrealistic gameplay in NBA Jam instead. This mobile port of the classic arcade game brings all the goodies that made the original endlessly fun. Take part in two-on-two matches, as opposed to five-on-five, and throw physics out the window with gravity-defying dunks and improbable shots! But unlike the arcade version, you can now play against real-life friends via local or online multiplayer. With its bobble head players and crazy on-court stunts, NBA Jam definitely beats out NBA 2K17 in the entertainment category.

Football Manager Mobile 2017

Managing a football club is one of the most taxing jobs in sports. Don’t believe us? Try Football Manager Mobile 2017 just for a day or two and you’ll see there’s more to managers than screaming instructions from the sidelines. Experience all the things that happen behind-the-scenes and make strategic decisions on-the-fly! The scouting system is better than ever, making tough decisions on player hiring a bit easier. Transfers, team lineups, game tactics, and even disciplinary action on players – all of these are in your hands as the manager of a football club.

Virtua Tennis Challenge

Sega really knows their stuff when it comes to sports games. Virtua Tennis Challenge is another example of that. Featuring a whopping 50 unique players and 18 tennis stadiums, Virtua Tennis Challenge is definitely a must-play for tennis fans. To give you more options when dishing out the trickiest and most powerful shots, the game offers multiple control schemes, which includes touch and gamepad support. This is more crucial when you consider the environment effects in each stadium. You will need to adjust your shots depending on the court type. If you’re already feeling confident about your skill just five games in, you can challenge your friends to a match via Bluetooth multiplayer.

Table Tennis Touch

Table Tennis Touch is hands down the best table tennis mobile game on Android and iOS. The indoor environments in the game are surprisingly well-detailed and realistic-looking, which helps in setting you in the right mood to smash those ping pongs. There are multiple ways to enjoy Table Tennis Touch. You can play career mode and see how you match up with the game’s AI. You can challenge your real-life friends via multiplayer (local or online). And if you want to take a break from the competition, you can play the mini-games. To add even more replay value, the game also offers collectibles in the form of customized bats.

Skiing Yeti Mountain

Featherweight Games
Sometimes, the best mobile games come with bad graphics. This is one of those games. Featuring pixelated graphics, Skiing Yeti Mountain offers a simple premise but fairly difficult gameplay. Your goal is to reach the finish line at the bottom of the screen as fast as possible. But to maximize your points, you must follow the signs scattered on each level. Basically, you will be zigzagging down the icy mountain. There are more than 800 levels to go through. Yep, not a typo – 800 levels. But you’ll barely notice your progress in-game, thanks to the interesting and humorous characters you meet along the way.

Real Boxing 2: Rocky

Vivid Games S.A.
Most boxing games on mobile have simplified controls and a shallow gameplay where you simply engage in endless matches against random enemies and not much else. You can cross off Real Boxing 2: Rocky from that list. The game places you in the legendary shoes of the titular character, Rocky Balboa, as you slug it out against familiar Rocky characters like Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago. You can also create your own fully customized boxer, complete with custom stat spreads, abilities, and unique gear. The gameplay is more than just swiping to launch punches. You need to be creative in your strategy to efficiently score knockouts every time you step into the ring.

EA Sports UFC

Electronic Arts
Boxing still too tame for you? If you want more than just throwing punches and dancing in the ring, then EA Sports UFC should sate your need for even more action. The game features more than 70 fighters to choose from, with each of them arriving with special skill sets and fighting styles for you to master. The action is practically non-stop in the game – the more you fight and take down enemies, the more new enemies you can go up against. The touch controls can get a little tricky at first, but with practice, you’ll get the hang of it in no time. There’s one catch to EA Sports UFC, though: it requires a persistent internet connection. Bummer.

Skateboard Party 3 Lite Greg

Ratrod Studio Inc.
Skateboard Party 3 Lite Greg is the free version of the third installment in the Skateboard Party series. Though with its features, you might think it’s a paid app. The game is seriously packed with goodies. It features popular pro skateboarder Greg Lutzka, along with more than a dozen other skaters to choose from. Using numerous items, you can customize your chosen skater’s gear according to you fashion taste. The game features eight uniquely designed locations containing more than 70 objectives to complete. With over 40 tricks to execute to perfection, you will never run out of trick combinations. And like with skateboarding games on consoles, Skateboard Party 3 Lite Greg has a great soundtrack.

Madden NFL Mobile

Electronic Arts
Last but not the least we have Madden NFL Mobile. It’s the flashier American football version of Football Manager Mobile 2017 above. However, it lacks the extremely in-depth team management system. But in return, you actually get to play the games like in NBA 2K17. You can build your own dream team using current NFL stars and retired legends. Understanding the controls and gameplay is easy enough, even for newbies who are more accustomed to the “real” football. If you want to simulate a full NFL season, you can dive into Seasons mode and make your team the stuff of legends 16 games at a time. Like the console version, Madden NFL Mobile is a treat for American football lovers.