We all know the App Store (or Play) is filled with crap. For every “good” game there are no less than 6 pointless games, 3 of which are probably clones. The games I find usually come from articles I read on The Verge or Recode or some other site that has written a proper article. But recently an article about the game Make It Rain struck me enough to try it out, and I was surprised.
The article states that the developers of Make It Rain is making $50,000 per day through in-app purchases and advertising. I needed to find out what type of game brings in that type of cash (that isn’t Flappy Bird) and I was surprised to find another pointless games…even less of a game than Flappy Bird.
Make It Rain
The goal in Make it Rain is to make money, either by flicking dollars bills or buying power-ups that increase your dollars-per-minute ability. That’s it. No tricks. No levels. No bosses. Occasionally the “government” steps in to serve you a Monopoly-style penalty but even that doesn’t spice things up much. In the end, Make it Rain doesn’t entertain or challenge me, nor doesn’t make me a better gamer.
Sure, your retort is simply, “then don’t play the game,” and I agree with you (and I don’t play), but that doesn’t remove the puzzlement that lays waste in my brain when I see getting rich off of people’s lack of demand for engaging games (and yes, even if that getting rich stuff is only for a limited time). I’m a Candy Crush hater too but at least that game disguises its lack of fun within a shiny game wrapper and mechanics.
Here’s another one that I saw on the top of App Store popularity list, 100 Balls. Thankfully it was free so I gave it a go. I watched cups go around in a circle while I tried to dump balls into them. If I missed, I lost that cup…the end goal being to just keep recycling balls in cups until you can’t keep up.
I don’t know how much the developer of 100 Balls is making. The download is free and there doesn’t appear to be any IAP or ads, so maybe he just put this game out for fun and learning…which is great. More power to you…but that doesn’t explain what about the game is so captivating to so many people that it warrants attention, reviews or playing. I’ll play any game once but unless it meets some standards, I’m not going to continue playing. (And those standards a pretty low, if you ask me.)
Worst game name ever. Blek is a paid app (albeit only a dollar) that has at least an interesting concept behind it. The goal is to touch all the dots on the board with a line that you draw. You swipe a line and the line keeps moving in the same pattern, bouncing off the walls and hitting the dots. You have to avoid the dreaded black dots which adds some challenge but Blek suffers from one major problem…you can’t maintain control.
You use your finger to draw a line and it moves…neat, huh? So you miss your dots and you try again but now the line moves differently. You thought you had drawn the line one way and the game interprets it another way…and this happens almost every time. I played Blek for a bit thinking it would get better but it didn’t.
I kept swiping and drawing trying to understand the controls so I could get good at the game but it was a futile exercise. The experience of playing ends up being random so often that there’s no fun to keep going. Every level I just kept swiping until I happened to win. At no point did I feel like I had control over what was happening and at that point I might as well watch a movie. The point of a game is to overcome a challenge through quickly learned skills and patterns and Blek offers little of either.
Giving up on mobile games?
I’m not going to give up on mobile gaming but titles like these don’t help the situation. I think it’s time to step away for a while. With Xbox dropping their Xbox Gold requirements next month, I’ll be switching my (old) Xbox 360 back on and can hopefully pick up some more engaging arcade games or something that will actually challenge my brain and entertain.