Flappy Dunk : Game-play Analysis and What could be the missing piece ?

September 20, 2017

 

Flappy Dunk from Voodoo games,is an endless basketball shot-making game where every time the challenge is to beat your own high score. This is a pretty simple yet engaging game, a potential time killer during wait times in long queues.

 

Tap it and Hop it – The only control the player has on the screen and this would give the ball a little boost upwards.

 

Don’t touch the floor or ceiling – Touching the boundaries is not a good thing to do in this, stay away from them and do everything to keep the balls avoid them, else its game over.

 

Score some baskets – Pass through every basket on your way, if you miss one , Oops ! You just did the wrong thing right and its game over.

 

 

Game Mechanics – What worked well?

 

The game mechanics are quite simple and straightforward. The player action is as simple as to tap to interact with the ball and the height to which the ball fly is been connected to the number of taps and the frequency between each tap, which drives the ball towards the hoops in the right direction.

 

The challenge has been added with changing the inclination of the hoops and the boundaries of top and bottom wall not to be touched. The boundary value seems to be a simple loosing condition yet, it becomes very difficult to beat as you keep flapping through a longer distance in the game. The secondary mechanic of performing different actions to pass through the hoop, for example like rotate 1800 degrees between two hoops (which can be achieved by spinning five times), increases the engaging quotient of the game.

 

Reward System – How satisfactory are they ?

 

Though there isn’t much rewards system design, we have score multiples for performing a specific type of action on a row, special score pushes for a loop of swish shots. The player is also rewarded with a new skin for every streak actions of getting the ball into the hoops. There is also a mystery skin to be unlocked with a unique way which the game does not tell the player explicitly, on reaching this level in the game the player would have been trained enough to unveil the mystery and triumph the mystery skin.

 

What could be the missing piece to make the game more engaging?

 

The game mechanics of getting the ball through the hoops and cover maximum possible distance, the connection between different movement techniques and the rewards, the rewards seem to work to an extent but on a longer run the player gets used to these and there isn’t anything more to surprise the user. Having said that, there is a potential opportunity of expansion of the current version of the game as a successful F2P monetization model in future.

 

Below are some of my ideas, that sprouted out from playing this game:

 

 

New skills with every skin – In the current design, the color of the ball keeps changing for every unlocked skin but there is no additional ability/skill that the ball acquires on adorning a new skin. If we could make the design such a way that every skin is connected to a special ability which leads to winning some reward, which couldn’t be got otherwise would be a great game changer and would provide the Adrenalin push to unlock new skins.

 

Reduction of Ads – Although its quite an strategy to use ads in F2P games, I felt the frequency of Ads and the placement of Ads after every failure in the game is too much and could be an easy push for the player to exit the game instantly. There is not much rewards provided for watching Ads, which is another down pull that can be redesigned.

 

Introducing more obstacles – The hoop inclination seems to work fine for providing challenge, but introducing of other hanging objects that he ball has to avoid contact with would be good design improvement too.

 

These are instant player responses that I experienced during  gameplay. I believe  implementing such improvements would definitely improve the quality of the game in future versions.

 

Flappy Dunk is available on Android and iOS, an addictive time killer with potential expansion of game mechanics. Happy Flapping !

 

 

 

 

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