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The peak number of Steam online players exceeded 34 million, and Simplified Chinese became the most commonly used language on the platform After “Phantom Parlu”, the second unexpected hit in 2024 is coming


Game-Time report/In the domestic market, it is difficult to see casual puzzle games at the top of the list. After all, most domestic peers are better at medium-to-heavy games such as RPG and SLG. However, in the past two years, there have been more and more hot hits in casual mobile games, such as the previous merged subcategories and the recently very popular 3D elimination track. Major manufacturers have begun to enter the game, and domestic peers are also testing the waters in overseas markets. .

Gamelook found that in the past two months, two casual games with “stick and rope” gameplay have grown very fast in overseas markets. One is “Twisted Tangle” released by Rollic Games, a major hyper-casual game manufacturer, and the other is “Wood Nuts & Bolts Puzzle” by Vietnamese publisher AppVillage Global. Next, let’s take a look at why these two games are worth paying attention to:

Remove board screws: “Wood Nuts” monthly downloads exceed 16 million

“Wood Nuts” only provides the most simple and easy-to-understand core gameplay. It only takes a few seconds to learn how to play, and it allows players to constantly pass levels. Moreover, the art style of the game is extremely simple, with only boards of different colors, wood blocks of different shapes, and screws nailed to the boards, which is a very typical hyper-casual game style.

According to data from three parties in the industry, the two versions of “Wood Nuts” were downloaded more than 16 million times in January, and the monthly in-app purchase revenue reached tens of millions.Considering the hyper-casual nature of the game itself, its advertising monetization revenue is likely to be twice or even three or four times that of in-app purchases.

However, there are two things that make this game unique: one is the addition of physical effects, and the other is the more balanced level difficulty design.

On a wooden desktop, each level has multiple wooden boards fixed with different numbers of screws. Each level will leave a different number of screw holes. Players need to put the screws on the wooden board into the free screw holes to unlock the wooden board. The restraints allow it to slip. When all the boards are untied, the level is successfully cleared. In addition, the game will also record the player’s clearance time each time.

Due to the addition of physical effects, players need to consider the direction in which the board will fall when solving puzzles. If there is a row of screws blocking the bottom, it will be difficult for the board to fall even if all are unlocked. If it encounters a special shape, it may get stuck. Between the screws below, it will increase the time to break through the level or even fail.

Another feature is the difficulty curve of the game. In “Wood Nuts”, players will unlock a difficult level after completing the normal level. The difficulty level before and after is quite different. The high-difficulty level tests the user’s observation and intelligence.

In terms of game monetization, the game can unlock new screw holes by watching advertisements, and you can also pay to remove advertisements. Although there are also payment options such as tickets, gift packages, and VIP at different prices, overall, it still favors traditional super games. Casual gameplay.

“Twisted Tangle” with knotted gameplay: monthly in-app purchase revenue has exceeded 12 million yuan

“Twisted Tangle” adopts a more traditional knotting method. On the game table, depending on the difficulty of the level, there will be different numbers of ropes tangled together. Each rope has both ends nailed into the holes on the table. Players need to untie the knots in order to successfully pass the level.

According to data from three parties in the industry, “Twisted Tangle” has been downloaded more than 5 million times in the past 30 days, and its monthly in-app purchase revenue exceeds 12 million yuan. Taking into account the advertising monetization revenue, the actual revenue of this game is likely to be twice or even twice the in-app purchase revenue. More than three times.

Although the game rules and operations are very simple, it is not easy to successfully pass the level, because each level requires the player to complete it within a specific number of steps. When the number of steps is exhausted, you need to start over, and each failure will consume Number of lives (Heart). After reaching certain levels, players can unlock difficult levels, and then meet certain conditions to unlock epic levels, with the level difficulty also increasing accordingly.

In addition, the game also sets up a more difficult Boss level, which requires you to untie all the knots within a specific time beyond the limit of steps.

Slightly different from traditional hyper-casual games, players can “regret” after using the wrong number of moves, which increases the error tolerance rate. Moreover, “Twisted Tangle” will also reward players with gold coins after they pass the level, which can be doubled or multiplied by watching advertisements.

Judging from the game interface, the game also includes Slots gameplay, and the gold coins obtained from clearing levels are likely to be used in this gameplay. In terms of game monetization, “Twisted Tangle” is still a relatively typical hyper-casual game design. In addition to removing advertisements, players can also purchase gold coins, unlimited lives, and gift packages of different amounts.

Are planks and knots the new template for casual games?Integrate medium to severe meta or release new hot products

Judging from the in-app purchase revenue and monetization of the two games, the board-breaking and knot-breaking gameplay is undoubtedly loved by a large number of hyper-casual and casual users. However, both games are very simple in terms of in-app purchase system, and the art style is also very simple, which reminds Gamelook of the beginning of the 3D elimination track.

Before “Triple Match 3D” released by Tencent’s overseas subsidiary Miniclip became a hit, many companies in the industry tried this gameplay. For example, “Match 3D” developed by Loop Games and published by Lion Studios achieved good download performance after its launch in May 2020. However, due to the relatively simple design of the game’s monetization system, its in-app purchase revenue did not achieve particularly impressive results.

“Find 3D-Match 3D Items”

Subsequently, “Block Jam 3D” released by Voodoo, the king of small games, successfully achieved a monthly sales of over 10 million, and “Zen Match” released by Moon Active even reached a monthly sales record of 70 million. Finally, Miniclip, which specializes in in-app purchase casual games, entered the game and also tested the waters of “Find 3D-Match 3D Items” in advance. This game has already taken the shape of a subsequent hit, and the subsequent release of “Triple Match 3D” was a success It has created a record of monthly turnover of over 100 million and has maintained this income level for a long time.

Whether it is “Wood Nuts” with the wooden board gameplay, or “Twisted Tangle” with the knot gameplay, its game style, production level and monetization system are all in a relatively rough state. The design and monetization system of its core levels can be deeply explored. .

For overseas colleagues who want to explore new tracks, there is a lot of room for imagination, whether it is to deeply polish the quality of game levels, or to try to integrate with medium-to-heavy gameplay such as plot gameplay, simulation gameplay, or even RPG. For example, you can change the background or items of game levels, or incorporate longer-term meta progress to further increase the ARPU value of the game.

Even if you don’t want to make a casual game, you can consider adding these mechanisms that are popular among users as secondary gameplay into purchase ideas, which may also be helpful in reducing purchase costs.

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