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Elimination + IP is the mainstream: Who are the 5 casual games that won the Google Annual Awards?

Fri Dec 04 2020

In the field of mobile games, especially in the European and American mobile game markets, casual games have always been the largest game category. Whether it is match-3 or ultra-casual, it can always have a huge impact on the list. As one of the earliest mobile game categories, casual games have evolved from a single gameplay to a stage of integration of multiple gameplays, and there have been many best-selling list "breakers" such as Playrix and Magic Tavern.

From the perspective of going overseas, casual games have always been the "soft underbelly" of most domestic CPs. Although there are attempts, there are not many successful ones. Recently, in the 2020 Google Play Games list released by Google, 5 "casual games of the year" are specifically listed. For domestic developers, what are the characteristics of the "lucky ones" that the platform sees? What is the trend of casual games? We might as well take a look at the origins of these 5 mobile games:

2020 the best casual games list of Google Play:

Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells by Zynga

"DreamWorks Trolls Pop: Bubble Shooter & Collectio" by Huuuge Games (10W+)

"SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off" by Tilting Point

"Disney Frozen Adventure" by Jam City

"EverMerge" by Big Fish Games

    "Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells": Match three, IP worldview

If you are a match-3 gamer, this mobile game by Zynga may give you a familiar feeling. However, in addition to the familiar operation, just like the name of the game, "Harry Potter: Puzzle and Magic" integrates the magic elements unique to the puzzle and IP.

The game maintains the operation of the traditional match-3 gameplay. Drag three candies of the same color together to eliminate them. Four or more candies of the same color can form different elimination props. After clicking, the entire row, entire column or area blasting effect can be produced. There are also props that can eliminate candy blocks of the same color on the screen.

Unlike many match-3 mobile games, this game adapted from Harry Potter IP allows players to choose one from the four colleges of Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw. , And choose a favorite wand (pure appearance difference). Subsequently, the player needs to solve the puzzle to open the box presented by Rubeus Hagrid.

In addition to the Harry Potter worldview, a light plot is added to the game. Each puzzle level is introduced through a "Daily Plan" newspaper, but no detailed story is added.

Character customization has been added to the game. From face shape, hairstyle, to glasses, eyebrows and other parts can be personalized according to player preferences. The magic in the game can bring different gains in puzzle solving, and it depends on the choice of the college. , The magic that each player first obtains is different.

The game is divided into two props: love and gold coins. Every time you complete a puzzle, you need love, and every failure consumes a heart. You can refresh by waiting time, gift from friends or pay for purchase, and gold coins can be used to purchase props. This is the only way to monetize the game.

In terms of the game itself, the core of "Harry Potter: Puzzle and Magic" is closer to the traditional match-3. Thanks to the IP bonus, the game will be available on Google Play for more than half a year after it went live in March this year. Obtained more than 5 million downloads.

    "DreamWorks Trolls Pop": Bubble shooter + IP character

"DreamWorks Trolls Pop" is an elimination game adapted from the DreamWorks animation "Trolls". The core gameplay is the more traditional bubble shooter elimination. The most obvious difference is that the game adds animated characters (different elves) .

In the game, players use the form of launching bubbles of the same color at the bottom to eliminate bubbles of the same color at the top of the screen. If there are other colors blocking, the launch angle must be adjusted to achieve the elimination goal. In order to obtain Samsung rewards, players also need to plan in advance the colors to be eliminated, so as to complete the level with the least number of steps.

From the perspective of core gameplay, the biggest difference in "DreamWorks Trolls Pop" is that there are two bubbles launched by the player, and they can be switched. After each launch, the color of one of the launched balls will be changed. This approach gives the player More choices, reduce the difficulty of understanding puzzles.

Similar to many casual games, the product's monetization system is also a more traditional form of love + gold coins. Players can unlock gift boxes when they complete puzzles, and can unlock different magic elves after completing fixed levels. They can also be turned on when they reach a certain level. Tangled fairy gift box.

Judging from the results, although it was released in March, the current download of the game on Google Play is only 100,000+.

    《SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off》:IP level + restaurant simulation

This mobile game adapted from SpongeBob’s IP is the only product among the five award-winning games that does not eliminate the gameplay. The same as the animation background, the player plays the role of the chef of the Crab King Restaurant in the game, and completes the order given by the game through different recipes.

Similar to the restaurant simulation game, "SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off" requires players to reasonably consume the game currency they have obtained, use the most efficient way to upgrade the level, unlock more tableware, recipes, and arrange the processing order of different foods. Improve customer satisfaction, unlock different props can also increase the cooking speed, with the least number of steps can also get higher scores.

However, unlike traditional restaurant simulation games, this game adds level design and step restrictions to eliminate the game. In different levels, you can pass the level by collecting a fixed amount of customer satisfaction. The level of satisfaction depends on the speed and quantity of the player's food orders (some levels require a certain number of customer likes, which is more difficult).

The currency in the game is divided into Crab dollar and diamonds, which are used to purchase different items. At the same time, the game also sets level restrictions on different items, but if you want to get the maximum benefit, save money to buy promotions Gift packs are the fastest way to promote the progress of the game.

In terms of performance, since its release in October 2019, "SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off" has been downloaded more than 10 million times.

    《Disney Frozen Adventure》:Match 3, decoration + IP plot

Disney may be one of the favorite IP licensors of overseas casual game publishers. For example, "Disney Tsum Tsum" released by Japan LINE has achieved a double harvest of revenue and downloads.

"Disney Frozen Adventure" is a match-3 game adapted from the animation of "Frozen". It adopts the traditional match-3 gameplay. The crystals of the same color can be connected together to achieve elimination. All goals can be cleared within a certain number of steps.

What’s more special is that the game also adds decorative gameplay. After completing the level, you can get decorations, which can be used to adapt the appearance of the scene in the game story. However, the gameplay is closely related to the game’s story. Only when a certain progress is reached, there will be appearance customization options. , And the decoration effect is only the background of the character dialogue (follow up or unlock more).

Similar to many match-3 games, different numbers of crystals of the same color can get special items, and after completing specific levels, you can open ice and snow treasure chests and get different bonus items.

Since its release in August 2019, "Disney Frozen Adventure" has accumulated more than 10 million downloads on Google Play.

    《EverMerge》:Combine elimination + recipe synthesis

This is the only game with combined gameplay among the five annual casual games on Google Play, and it is also the only game without IP.

From the perspective of gameplay, readers of GameLook may be familiar with the merged gameplay. Players can merge the three props into one more advanced prop, and complete the level after achieving the level goal. Game levels are presented in the form of plots. After completing the levels, you can obtain items to unlock more plots.

However, unlike many merging and eliminating gameplays, "EverMerge" also adds a prop synthesis gameplay, and different props require different production time. Synthesis props are mainly used to complete orders in the level. As the game progresses, players need to complete orders to unlock the blocked items, and then obtain mission props through merging.

Compared with the above games, the in-game economic system and gameplay of "EverMerge" are more complicated. The game has five different in-game currencies, and the difficulty of order completion will increase with the progress of the game.

Since its release in May 2019, "EverMerge" has accumulated more than 1 million downloads on Google Play.


Judging from the five best-of-the-year products, Google Play prefers casual games with IP. For example, the four games are adapted from well-known animation or movie IP. From the game itself, the completion of the five products is relatively high, the actual experience is relatively smooth, but for more demanding players, the familiar core gameplay is difficult to bring freshness.

Of course, in terms of the results of the five games, match-3+X is still the most popular combination for players. Even if the bubble shooter has an IP bonus, it is still difficult to perform very well.

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