Read this month’s Headline Release, Market Watch, Breakout App, and Soft-Launch App

Playrix Doubles Down on Using Deep Mini-Games to Increase Retention

Ranch Adventures adds deep simulation and merge mechanics to Homescapes’ Expeditions mini-game. Similar to Expeditions, Ranch Adventures has players explore a map and collect resources—but it also introduces the ability to build structures that allow players to merge resources or generate energy for resource collection. The mini-game builds multiple sinks into these new mechanics by letting players spend currency to speed up building, merging, and resource collection.

Shortly after launching Ranch Adventures, Homescapes also released its most elaborate merge mini-game to date, Pharaoh’s Treasure (see this month’s Market Watch for a teardown). These two releases continue Playrix’s strategy of using mini-games from various genres to increase retention. They also suggest that Playrix is using Homescapes to test more sophisticated mechanics for these mini-games, which they could adopt in their other apps if successful.

Mini-game events continue to dominate the casual market with the highest median and average revenue WoW. Mini-game events perform very well in all casual subgenres besides simulation and casino. They’re particularly strong and reliable in puzzle, which has an impressive median revenue impact of 7.1%, releases the most mini-games of any genre, and has one of the lowest standard deviations.

Read this month’s Headline Release for our full analysis of Ranch Adventures, which also examines how the mini-game helps players adapt to its more complex mechanics. 

Breakout & Soft-Launch Apps

Merge Topia-Colouring Squares broke into the top 50 casual apps in January 2024. The app’s base gameplay and features draw heavily on top merge-3 apps such as EverMerge, but it distinguishes itself by integrating a progression of mini-games into its core loop. These mini-games, which are emphasized in the app’s promotional campaigns and have contributed significantly to its success, offer unique puzzles in which players create patterns on a grid by coloring in tiles.  

Arena Legends closely resembles PvP match-3 app Match Masters, which has been a top-50 puzzle app since March 2021. Arena Legends introduces a few notable changes, including a star mechanic that rewards players based on their victory margin over opponents, and an increased frequency of reward events.

Read our complete teardowns of each app in this month’s Breakout App and Soft-Launch App sections.

Market Watch: A New Web Store and Two Win Streak Challenges  

In June’s Journey’s Online Shop, players access a web store to buy currency and ad skips, with each offer including bonus resources. Players must use the device on which they play June’s Journey to make web store purchases. 

In Matchington Mansion’s Potion Prowess, beating a base game level fills a potion bottle, and losing a level empties all potion bottles. Filling three potion bottles awards a prize and fills a reward meter.

In Toon Blast’s Dragon’s Treasure, players are placed in a group of 100 players and have 24 hours to beat seven consecutive base game levels. If players fail a level, their streak restarts. All players in the group who complete the challenge split a prize.

Read our full teardowns of all notable releases in this month’s Market Watch.


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