Hypercasual games development

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Hypercasual games have the most downloads among mobile games according to Statista: 46% of smartphones owners play hypercasuals. Some developers like Voodoo make only hypercasual games and earn millions by doing that.

Game art

We will tell you what is a hypercasual game, what makes a game profitable and how to properly monetize mobile game with casual gameplay.

The hypercasual games genre

So there are so called hardcore games with complex mechanics and high player requirements. Player must spend hours only to learn how to play and play for a few days to master the game and start enjoying it. Hardcore games are good for consoles because players expect to play 3-4 hours without breaks. But mobile users don’t like this.

Casual and hypercasual games offer fast and simple gameplay. The player can spend in a hypercasual game 5-30 minutes a day and still enjoy it. Even more: player can enjoy the game right from the start without hours of learning and reading manuals.

Unique art style of hypercasual game

A perfect example of hypercasual game is Flappy Bird. It got 50 millions installs in a year and become most popular free game of 2014.

Hypercasual games design

Simple control

CEO of Rovio described hypercasual games with one sentence: “Good game can be explained with one screenshot”. And the main feature of hypercasual games is simple gameplay. You can literally play with one finger.

Simple goal

Hypercasual game goal must be easy to understand: get more points, break the previous record or pass the level. It is desirable that player could reach the goal in one try.

How to make addictive gameplay

To be sure that the player does not lose interest developers may involve additional goals and challenges. Do not forget to add rewards for completing additional tasks.

Minimalistic and abstract art style

Hypercasual game must have memorable and recognizable art style. If the game doesn’t have one then other developers will clone the mechanics with beter artstyle and get all the money.

Example — Crossy Road. The core gameplay is clone of Frogger from 1981, but the cubic art style is incredible. And that’s why it is so popular.

Crossy Road style

As a bonus, good art design will cause the player to have duckling syndrome. He will thought that other similar game are unattractive and even ugly and will return to your game again and again.

Straight to action

According to UI specialists research, average player needs only 7 seconds to decide if the game worth his time or not. Because of this the developer must throw the player into actio without opening credits and complex tutorial. The best way to do it is to throw out the main menu and push player into the gameplay with “Tap to start”.

Good example of this is the game called Stack. There is no menus and tutorials, only a button to stack slabs in tower.

If you still need a tutorial make it less boring. Draw a comics or show short animation to explain what to do.

Infinite gameplay

Good way to detain the player in game is to make the gameplay infinite. For example, there is no running games with “Victory” screen or final boss. The player can collect coins or try to break the previous record while the game gets harder and harder.

The table of records in hypercasual games

How to do this:

  • make the algorithmic level generation from assets;
  • gradually increase the speed of the game and change the decorations every x points.

Upgrades and powerups

To make the player interested you must give him a challenge. Then give to the player two ways to overcome such challenges: to get better or to get stronger.

If your game is based on reaction time and precision movement then player will learn on his mistakes and improve his play. But at some point the player will face natural limits of human body and get bored.

To avoid this you may use upgrades and unlocks which make the player stronger. For example, if the player can’t jump over the high obstacle or beat the boss, the game will prompt: “Hey! You have some coins, just buy this upgrade!”

Upgrades and unlocks

In Super Toss The Turtle the player can buy various guns and explosives to shoot poor turtle in midair and make it fly further. The more you play the interesting it becomes, because now you can launch the turtle in space and want to see how far the turtle can go in next try.

Visual encouraging

Be sure that the player feels happy when he finally beat his record. Launch some fireworks, play the happy music and give him a small reward. After seeing this the player will continue to play just to feel these emotions for one more time.

How to promote hypercasual games

The developers of Clash of Clans and similar games spends millions on CGI videos with no gameplay. Do not try to be like them, because hypercasual games are only about gameplay. If you want to attract new players with video ads — show them the gameplay.

How to monetize mobile games

The monetization system depends of what kind of gameplay is in the game. If your game is simple time killer you need to make it free and use the ads to earn money. If you game is a liitle more complex you can sell your game for buck or two. 90% of mobile casual games are free and they still make money on built in ads.

casual mobile game

There are few types of ads:

  • little banner in the corner of screen. It is good for games with relatively slow gameplay so the player wont tap on banner by accident and won’t blame the developer;
  • fullscreen banner with video or static image. You can show it after every failed try;
  • rewarded video — the player needs to click the button and watch video till the end. In exchange he will get a ingame reward.

You can also use ingame purchases like “Remove all ads” or “Buy 100 crystals”. But the game must be well balanced, otherwise you are risking to lose your playerbase.

Ingame purchases in hypercasual games

According to Statista, ads earn as much money as the ingame purchases do. Use both ways of monetization if you can.

Full cycle hypercasual games development

Hypercasual games are the most profitable and popular genre on smartphones. But they are also the most crowded genre. To earn money you need to have great game mechanics, unique art style and balanced gameplay.

Luckly, we have people capable of creating a profitable hypercasual game. We like to experiment with mechanics, drow funny and memorable characters and build prototypes. If you want to invest in games — contact us and share your idea.

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