Using Mini-Games to Drive Base Game Engagement

Read this month’s Headline Release and Market Watch

Headline Release

Royal Match’s Hidden Temple mini-game helped increase revenue 25% 3Do3D by driving engagement in the base game and offering strong short-, medium-, and long-term goals. 

During this event, each base game level awards one token that players spend to clear tiles and reveal gems on a game board. Gems fill slots on a gate, and filling all slots advances players to the next stage.

This structure creates three tiers of goals, which ensures that players are always close to achieving something: a short-term goal of clearing multiple tiles for each gem, a medium-term goal of filling all the gate’s slots, and a long-term goal of completing all five stages.

Interestingly, Royal Match does not allow players to buy tokens or otherwise spend directly on the event. This keeps players focused on core match-3 gameplay, which aligns with the app’s overall strategy of using lite events and features to supplement rather than distract from its puzzles.

Release Trends

Mini-game events perform exceptionally well in the casual market but are released relatively infrequently. They have the highest median and second highest average revenue impact, although they also have a large standard deviation. Among genres in the casual market, mini-game events perform the best in the puzzle genre by far. 

Read our full analysis of Hidden Temple in this month’s Headline Release.

Revenue by event type is calculated using Liquid & Grit’s Lift Tool. For more information on the Lift Tool, email Brett Nowak.

Market Watch

Breakout and Soft-Launch Apps

Dreamdale combines classic sim gameplay with lite RPG mechanics that include raiding dungeons, looting enemies, and riding mounts. The app’s revenue growth is driven by its widespread use of W2E ads throughout every feature, as well as its premium currency that lets players skip ads. 

Tetris Story turns Tetris into a casual puzzle app by tweaking the game’s core mechanics and introducing boosts, hazards, and streak bonuses. PlayStudios’ other Tetris app, which launched worldwide in 2020, offers more standard Tetris gameplay and hovers in the 200 top-grossing puzzle apps. 

Read our complete teardowns of these apps in this month’s Market Watch.

Feature and Event Releases

The month’s noteworthy releases include a trio of challenge events and features:

In Angry Birds 2’s Golden Pig Challenge, players aim to complete 10 consecutive levels using a specific bird. Scoring above a certain threshold grants additional attempts, while failing a level requires players to restart from the beginning or spend premium currency to continue.

In June’s Journey’s Wildlife Week, players participate in three events that each award an exclusive decoration themed around Himalayan wildlife. If players collectively earn 500,000 decorations, the studio donates money to the Snow Leopard Trust nonprofit organization. 

In Royal Match’s Super Light Ball, players complete levels to earn an upgrade for a boost. Players can use the upgraded boost in all levels until they fail a level.

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

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