Puzzle games have emerged as a powerhouse in the mobile gaming world, with over three billion downloads and ranking as the fifth largest genre in the industry, growing at an impressive rate of 15% each year, according to data.ai’s 2023 report. The allure of puzzle games lies in their simplicity, making them appealing to a wide range of gamers.
With short challenges that test players' problem-solving skills, such as solitaire, sudoku, and hex puzzles, these games offer an enjoyable and engaging experience.
Puzzle games are so straightforward that they tend to have a single currency, which is generally a soft currency like coins. So, if a player wants to purchase anything in the game, they need a way to get a lot of soft currency. That’s why ad placements, such as rewarded videos offering extra currency, are so valuable.
To optimise the placement strategy for puzzle games, Anna Popereko, Game Design Consultant at Unity, shares insights into the most effective rewarded video placements.
1. Reward Multipliers
Among the most popular rewarded video placements in puzzle games are reward multipliers. After players receive a reward, like completing a level, they can multiply that reward by watching a rewarded video. The multiplier amount can vary, ranging from 2x to 20x the initial reward. This placement allows players to increase their currency exponentially and creates a sense of urgency, as they have only one opportunity to engage with the multiplier.
For instance, Playsimple effectively implemented this approach in Word Trip, presenting users with the chance to multiply their rewards by watching a rewarded video.
2. Extra Currency
Another strategic placement is the provision of extra currency, which serves a similar purpose as reward multipliers - increasing currency. Unlike reward multipliers, these placements are typically found on the home page or in the shop, accessible even when players are not actively playing the game. These placements are usually paced and capped to one or two impressions daily, with a countdown clock informing players when they can access the next reward.
Lihuhu incorporated this placement into Match Triple 3D, allowing players to watch a rewarded video and receive ten coins when exploring currency bundles in the shop.
Given that puzzle games often feature long levels, revival placements play a crucial role. When players fail in the middle of a level, they can watch a rewarded video and resume the game from where they left off. Revival placements are particularly effective since they offer players a lifeline and save them from losing their progress and the time they invested in the level. The longer the level, the more players will likely engage with this placement.
Lihuhu expertly utilises this placement in Match Triple 3D, allowing players to spend currency or watch a rewarded video to continue playing when they run out of lives, adding additional motivation to engage with the ad to avoid spending currency.
Puzzle games appeal to players who enjoy mental challenges and problem-solving. Booster placements cater to this user motivation by providing assistance when players get stuck at any point in the level. By watching a rewarded video, players receive the necessary help or tips to overcome the current challenge without completely solving the puzzle for them.
Pixel by Number, developed by Wido Games, implements this placement ingeniously, allowing players to watch a rewarded video to have a certain area coloured in for them, ensuring they stay engaged and motivated to complete the puzzle.
5. Extra Life and Mystery Rewards
Two other valuable placements are extra life and mystery rewards. For games with a life-based system, players can watch a rewarded video to gain an extra life, preventing them from waiting for a refill. The extra life placement is perfect for players who are burning through multiple lives in one game. And what’s more, extra life placements help increase session length.
Mystery reward placements offer an exciting alternative to extra currency placements. When players engage with the mystery placement, they get the chance to spin a wheel for a mystery prize, such as currency, lives and power-ups. Like extra currency placements, these are time-limited with a countdown clock.
For instance, in Word Trip by Playsimple, players can watch a rewarded video to spin for their mystery reward, but they are limited to a certain number of spins per day.
As puzzle games continue to thrive, implementing these strategic rewarded video ad placements can significantly enhance player experience, driving engagement and boosting revenue. By understanding players' motivations and goals and leveraging ad placements to enrich and extend their playtime, puzzle game developers can ensure their games remain a dominant force in the industry.
Edited by Paige Cook