When it comes to mobile games, it really is a buyer's market right now. Countless studios are falling over themselves to provide high-quality experiences for little or no money. You're like the prettiest girl at the prom, and everybody is trying to get you teen-pregnant (which let's agree here, is the WORST kind of pregnant). With so many options, gamers' standards have gone up exponentially. So call me "entitled" or "nit-picky" but if you have a game that's guilty of any of the following sins, seriously consider an update, and soon.
Your game could be the most dramatic and revolutionary experience ever crafted. Hours of dynamic and engaging gameplay coupled with truly masterful storytelling. All of this conveyed through fully immersive HD graphics, a celebrity VO cast, and appealing art direction. Unfortunately, it's 1.2 Gigs and papa needs that space for self-indulgent comedian interview podcasts. DELETED.
Let me tell you the story of a little game I used to play. It was a breezy casual title that made the crowded morning commute just a little more pleasant. I recommended it to friends and even threw some money its way in appreciation for all the enjoyment I had gotten from it (which you should try to do for free games that you truly enjoy, I don't care how broke/11 years old you are). Then, after one update it required the phone to be "online" to play. What was once a guilty pleasure now became a useless husk when I needed it on the subway, and a siphon on my data plan everywhere else. That's bad. Don't do that. DELETED.
This won't affect you if you're a proud member of the iOS herd (they make all those cumbersome "decisions" for us!), but on Android, you have to give apps permission to use certain features and information from your phone. So I can only imagine the blaring scream of someone's bullshit detector when they download a Flappy Bird clone and get this prompt:
Listen here and listen good. Your game could be an immersive audio only virtual reality simulator in which the player is a blind Iraq veteran saving his family from werewolves, and I'll STILL demand that I listen to my own shit in the background. This isn't the premiere of Citizen Kane, it's my phone and I'll make as much noise as I damn well please. DELETED.
You're right, I COULD go into my settings and turn off notifications if they're annoying, but it's still infuriating when I download a phone game that assumes that it can go ahead and interrupt my actual human life. Do they really need to cram my notifications with such important updates like "Our forgettable mascot is lonely, won't you play with him?". There is nothing more existentially embarrassing than discovering that the buzzing in my pocket was not a text from a loved one or an important email, but instead a Despicable Me Minion scolding me because I haven't been playing a free endless runner enough. They've fixed the automatic notifications in recent OS updates, but most games still have the GALL to even ask if they can still do it. DELETED.
Nothing breaks the fragile mobile-gaming flow state like a loading screen. It hits you like a flaming uppercut of self-consciousness when the game is interrupted for a solid minute and you're stuck with the realization that you're out in public, literally playing with yourself. We've been spoiled by our old school Game Boys and Nokia bricks, always ready for a stolen moment of fun on the go. If a mobile game is so complicated that it needs a progress bar, I start to get the feeling that the developers really wanted to make a console game instead. DELETED.
I'm sorry, is this PC game from the mid 90's? Because nobody's impressed with the miracle of FMV technology anymore. An intro cinematic is a great way to get the player hyped and into the experience, once. After that it's just a loud thing that requires annoyed tapping to skip through every time I open the game. This gets even worse if I'm trying to poop in a public restroom and it starts blaring at full volume. None of this would have happened if you just stuck with a splash screen! Now everyone knows that I'm a gross phone-pooper! DELETED.
Really? They had to make this its own thing? If your game has contributed to the fact that there is now a special section for games made without any microtransactions, energy systems, or DLC add-ons, I'm putting you on blast. If you've added to the sun-blotting piles of "Puzzle Gem Candy Dragon War of Clans" clones, knock it off, because the concept of paying money for an actual game and not an addictive series of micropayments is now the exception. If I wanted to be trapped in the psychological prison of a Skinner box repeating the same arbitrary task for pointless rewards, I would have stuck with playing Pokemon on my 3DS thank you very much. DELETED.