How to create an addictive puzzle game? part 2

Hello and welcome to the second part of an article. Here is the link to the first part, in case you haven’t read it 😉

Today I will talk about moves, bonuses and more. We will cover some essential parts of a puzzle game which are absolutely must have 🙂 Let’s start then!

On the screenshot below you can see a popup of a Daily Bonus. The one I just unlocked gives me 2 Extra Moves. Basically, each day I get a bonus and they are mostly repeating, but from time to time there’s something special, as well as unknown, marked with ?. Not only a player receives something for free, he also has an insight into other bonuses, with the most valuable one at the end. All of this makes a little intrigue and creates a stronger bound between a player and a game.

Digger Saga bonus

After you receive a Daily Bonus, it is automatically selected in the next-played level. I have mixed up feeling about it, because on one hand it’s nice to have more moves, but on the other – I want a booster to be selected after I lose a few times, not right away. Not sure what to do about it though and how other players react.

Since I mentioned moves, I should say more about it 🙂 First of all, you should never underestimate something as simple as moves system. In Diamond Digger Saga they know it very well and make use of it. For example, almost every level is broke down into a few maps with exits, which are blocked and you should dig your way out in order to go to the next map. After each such transition you get 2 extra moves. This is a small, but a very pleasant and useful reward, and players like to be rewarded, even for small things. Who knows, maybe those moves will allow you to finish a level, where otherwise you would fail. The developer shouldn’t bother about profit as well, because if a level is too difficult for a player, two moves will not make a big difference, and if they do – it means the player would have won this level in a second or a third play.

Digger Saga out of moves

But what happens if we lose? Nobody like to be out of moves, especially in the middle of having fun. Although, for a developer this is a great opportunity to make money. In Diamond Digger Saga immediately after you lose, a window pops up with a Play button. As you can see, you can continue with 5 extra moves and an activated rocket booster. So, if you decide to pay 12 golden bars, it’s like you never lost in the first place! In order to make an offer even more attractive, a Pay & Play button is situated in the most convenient place, where you used to press Play and Try Again buttons, without paying anything. This is the first ever place a player would normally press just to proceed. It is right in the middle (or a bit lower) and you can reach it with your thumb. Moreover, in order to close a popup, you must hit much smaller X in the right corner, which doesn’t come naturally and requires some efforts. It almost hurt me not to press a big green pulsing button – this is how genius a purchase design is.

After (and if) you finally press the X button, you get a Failed popup. Look at the graphics – it is pretty sad. And where there’s sadness, there is a good moment for cheer up 😉 Notice a Get 10 Gold Bars text. Not very visible, but still noticeable for those who think about pressing a Connect button. We will not spam your wall is always appreciated, as people often refuse the adding of new groups with publishing rights.

Best Fiends stuck

And the last thing about moves, that I wanted to cover, is something worse than running out of them. What can be worse, you say? Well, for example, losing a game while still having moves available. I personally hate being stuck. Just look at the screenshots above. They brings despair… On the first one I have destroyed the strawberries at the bottom, but couldn’t do anything else, because the elements on top were either objects or covered with slime. On the second one I failed to get a totem because everything on top got blocked. There was really nothing I could do (and if I could, please don’t tell me that :).

Yes, there is shuffling when there’s no combinations, you have boosters, bonuses and extra moves. But, sometimes there are moments which are not covered and where there is no window popping up, no shuffling, nothing. What happens next is you get a Failed text. Try to avoid such moments of despair in your game, because they bring a lot of frustration and helplessness, and it is not what a player is looking for.


This is the end of the second part. I really hope you have enjoyed it and stay tuned for more! 😉

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Tonia Tkachuk

I’m an Android Developer, writing code for living and for fun. Love beautiful apps with a clean code inside. Enjoy travelling and reading.