There’s some months when it just all happens and May was certainly one of those months. All the best hyper casual games along with a ton of new trends and news items.
Table of Contents
What’s New this month
It’s been a crazy month in terms of news and hyper casual games and trends. SuperSonic and Zynga hit the headlines for all the right reasons and our beloved Buildbox get’s punched in the face.
LiveGames is essentially their publisher dashboard and offers hyper casual games developers access to overall game management with full visibility and transparency into in-game metrics. This is very neat indeed and certainly sounds very comprehensive.
LiveGames will provide data for:
– Daily, monthly and annual profit for each of the published games.
– Advanced analytics including retention, playtime, LTV and ad engagement for each geography and user acquisition channel.
– Rewarded video and interstitial ad analysis.
– Advanced analytics from A/B tests for test comparison.
Supersonic join Voodoo, the first major publisher to release a true self serve dashboard. Others include:
With so much money sloshing around I think it goes to show that there’s opportunity a plenty in Mobile gaming!
Buildbox – Game Maker
Engine Software Drama
This month also saw a ton of drama unfold in the world of Buildbox. They unveiled a completely new pricing structure that caused quite the storm, and for good reason.
As many of you may already know, we were customers even before Buildbox was actually launched with what were the precursor softwares, Project Zero and Project Mayhem.
Whilst we didn’t buy in to Mayhem, it was about $10k at the time if I recall, we did release a ton of “games” with Project Zero and they did very well for us financially.
When Buildbox 1.0 was first released, it was definitely expensive.
In fact, I looked it up and it came in at tidy $2,675.00, but, and to be fair, it was a very different world back then. Programmers were hard to come by and expensive. Everything in terms of game development was a 1000 times harder.
It’s quite hard to imagine that the barrier to entry was completely unrecognisable to what it is today. Needless to say however, their pricing has always been, well, interesting.
Anyways, from the 13 games we built, all were featured by Apple. So, it’s safe to say Buildbox holds a special place in our hearts and Buildbox 2x is still probably the best 2D game engine there is.
So why am I telling you this?
It’s because it’s with this in mind that we really want Buildbox to be great.
Our goal mid-term was to check out Buildbox 3 and see if we could do something with Kwalee, who are really the only high tier publishers happy to work with Buildbox customers.
It’s relatively difficult to spell out exactly what’s happened, so this Video really explains it way better than I could do here.
Zynga Inc. Buys Chartboost for $250 Million
Zynga is a Bulldog! They completed the acquisition of Chartboost for $250 million in cash!
Chartboost is an ad platform network that has been around since 2011 and was always our goto, first choice, for interstitials and later their direct deal network. We earned 10’s of thousands $ with them and they were always super solid.
They now boast a reach of more than 700 million monthly users and 90 billion monthly advertising auctions. It seems quite interesting that this comes just after iOS14.5 is rolled out and all the IDFA stuff is now the new normal.
As we predicted, the hyper casual games publishers might move to create a wider internal X-Promo network to control who see’s ads for their games.
Whilst we weren’t really expecting anything quite like this, it does seem timely and a power move for sure. In 2021 alone, Zynga acquired two game studios based in Istanbul — Peak Games for $1.8 billion and of course Rollic for $180 million.
With an annual forecast in revenue of $2.6 billion for 2021, yes, $2.6 billion! CEO Frank Gibeau said Zynga was fundraising to build up a “war chest” for more acquisitions, quoting…
“We’re in a great position, because we would prefer to do acquisitions in 2021, but we don’t have to do any deals.”
Pretty crazy stuff.
Applovin = Lion Studios
Ironsource = SUPERSONIC STUDIOS
Chartboost = Zynga
Who will be next for this winning formula? Voodoo acquiring…
Hyper Casual Game Trends
We’re seeing a wave of big enemy boss themed games in titles such as Titans 3D from Voodoo and Attack on Giants by HOMA GAMES.
This makes a ton of sense to take these typically “AAA” staple events and hyper casual them up, something we talk alot about in Hyper Casual Elite.
With this in mind, for our first game we take a look at Titan Slayers by AI Games FZ. For me, they stuck to a more familiar Hyper Casual control system ( joystick ) and have the making of a great little game.
Crowd Battle 3D from TapNation is a super hybrid mix of all sorts of game systems wrapped inside an auto runner. This is well worth checking out just for the end of level gamification which was our favourite part.
Academy favourites SayGames released Helicopter Escape 3D. This is a game that Jilly covered on this weeks Monday Motivation Video which if you haven’t checked those before, you most definitely should!
Helicopter Escape 3D has certainly been re-hashed from Hellcopter, a game we really enjoyed and covered back in Academy Live 159. This it seems has not gone unnoticed by the players reviews on the store either, but hey, it’s SayGames so we’ll let them off.
No doubt encouraged from the hit game Z Escape from HOMA GAMES, who themselves have taken inspiration from the epic blockbuster film “World War Z“. This is another polished enjoyable experience from them.
Whilst there’s been a new game released from a Top Hyper Casual Publisher every single day for the last 2 weeks alone, it’s really starting to feel like everyone is out of ideas and they’re practically just cloning each other.
It’s just a little flat.
We’re seeing the continuation of traditional “girly” or “feminine” themed games being pumped out, notably with Supersonic just releasing another in the form of Cheerleader Run 3D. There’s also a sprinkle of food thrown in for some spice in what is becoming the year of the “Auto-Walker” genre.
It’s also worth mentioning that the cloning and growing game mechanic is also very much on trend, so if you have any ideas to combine any of these strike now while the iron is hot!
Hmmm, “Speed Iron Race 3D” anyone?
Now of course, whilst these are in no doubt popular and the appetite for these is unwavering, as lovers of games, it’s been quite challenging to get that excited and find anything that lights us up and pumped to check out.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that we’ve never played more games than we have this month to find the gems to show.
That said, a smile came in the form of our favourite Buildbox team, Tapmen Games.
The Romania-based TapMen Games is a two-man studio founded by twin brothers, Radu and Vlad Popa and have always impressed us with their attention to detail and quality, they’ve also had many Apple Features.
Here’s the full list of top hyper casual games this month.
Top Hyper Casual Games List for May 2021
Using simple joystick controls gather your combat squad and take on a growing army of enemies. Recruit new specialist squad members along the way and protect yourself with armed drones. Head to the helicopter pick up point and don’t leave any of your men behind.
It’s a hyper casual match connect game and it’s your job to clear the streets of unruly hooligans! Simply swipe and connect doughnuts, cans, pizza slices and hotdogs to charge up your punching power and see off the bad guys. Travel through 10 different locations in another beautiful looking release from SayGames.
Hoards of enemies marauding your way can only mean one thing, you need to grow your tiny band of men and fast! Fire them from the cannon towards the barriers and watch them multiply and become an unstoppable army and even spawn a few huge dudes to help win the fight.
These were the best Hyper Casual games to hit the store this month and we hope you find some inspiration and new game ideas!
Don’t forget, you can watch all these games deconstructed in full along with dozens more inside the Academy.
Academy Membership also includes Academy StoreSpy, Hyper Casual Elite, Academy Live, all our workshops, tools and courses covering every aspect of powerful, effective and creative hyper casual game design techniques.
We love it, our Academy Members love it and we think you’ll love it too.