It's been three months since the first game submission for review. 28 games were submitted through the form and many other were submitted through email. I've asked everyone to answer these two questions:
- What makes your game special?
- Why should people play it?
I look at the answers and if something gets my attention, I download and play the game. But more often then not, the answers are dull and not interesting at all. Especially those answers that can fit both questions. Few examples:
- It's fun and interesting.
- Challenging and unique gameplay.
- Fun and challenging.
FunMost of the submitted games are fun at least a little bit. But I have limited time I only review games that are more than a bit fun :) So you can say, that most of the authors used this word correctly.
Note: Do not use word the funny when you mean fun. Unless your game is funny. Which is usually not the case. Funny game will make you laugh. Fun game will make you enjoy the gameplay.
ChallengingCouple of games I have reviewed are challenging in a good way. Dirt Rider Mayhem, Kana Karate, Defense Line. Some of them are challenging in a bad way and those were not reviewed. In general this word is overused in the submissions.
Game doesn't have to be challenging to be enjoyable. Some people like challenge, some people like to relax when playing. Anyway, if you use this word, make sure your game is actually challenging. Because if it's not, you will deter both players who like the challenge after their find out your game is not challening and potential players who don't like to be challenged and would enjoy the game otherwise.
QualityIt's hard to get constructive critique these days, isn't it? But start with yourself. Look at your game and ask yourself, is this really a quality game? Because more than half of the submissions are buggy, not polished and definitely not quality games. It's nice that you are publishing your first game ever, but there's like a million of other games in the store that have more quality. So please be honest with yourself. I don't want to discourage you from trying, just put a bit more effort in the games.
There were some high quality games I've had a chance to review. One of them would be Construction City. You can tell how much work has been put in to both gameplay and visuals.
AddictiveThis is very subjective, and again, cliché. Use this word only if somebody else said it about your game. And then use it in a testimonial. Also only a few games from the list were addictive for me. Games I was playing the longest are Defense Line and right now I feel quite fond of Kana Karate, because I find it cool to learn Hiragana (which also makes this game special).
Notice that the big games like Angry Birds do not state they are addictive. It's the people who play these games who say it.
UniqueThis one is the worst. Some of the games are really good, but not unique. Actually it's very hard to make a unique game and sometimes it's not for the benefit of the players... I am very skeptical when I see the word unique.
NiceThis just tells me that your game is boring. Everyone will say it about their game. It should be nice as a start. Why would anyone play a game that is not nice?
ConclusionI am asking these questions for two reasons. First, it helps me to select the games for reviews. Second, it makes you think a little bit about your game. I usually give a lot of weight to the first impression, because that's what people who browse the store do, too. I do check the store for every submitted game, but the first impression is usually right. And the descriptions in the store are often as dull as the submissions.
Do yourself a favor - think really hard what makes your game special and why should people play it! It will help you to get more downloads. Because every game nowadays is fun, challenging, quality, addictive, unique and nice.
It's important to stand out!