Great games aren't created in a vacuum.
Being successful in the games industry requires a strong understanding of the medium and the market, and playing lots of games is inevitably a part of this.
Given how crucial this can be for insight and inspiration and just how passionate this industry is, it's about time more people started openly talking about the games they play.
So PocketGamer.biz will be regularly reaching out to key figures in the mobile games industry to ask them what game (other than their own) is currently keeping them busy after hours. You can view all entries here.
This time, it's Wooga CEO Jens Begemann with his playing habits in the spotlight.
PocketGamer.biz: What mobile game (other than your own) are you currently playing the most?
Jens Begemann: For the past few months I’ve been playing Gardenscapes - New Acres, which is a match-3 game developed by Playrix.
How long have you been playing it, and do you see yourself continuing?
I started playing in July, when the game was still in soft launch.
Since then I’ve been playing relatively frequently for the past few months but I will probably stop soon as progress has become slow and grindy.
What do you enjoy most about it?
The match-3 levels are very well made and unlike other games where you simply unlock the next level, there is a really strong visualisation of progress in rebuilding and decorating your garden.
What does this game do that makes it especially unique and innovative?
I think it’s the combination of a very strong match-3 mechanic and a really well thought out metagame.
The player has the feeling of freedom with the level of customisation options, but it also limits this in a smart way so if you’re not particularly motivated to decorate it’s okay as it’s very low effort and always looks very good.
You need to grind a lot of levels to make the story progress.Jens Begemann
It’s also worth mentioning the way the story has been implemented into the game, which is very well done and provides a lot of motivation for the player.
If you could change one thing about the game, what would it be?
The balancing is very tough. You need to grind a lot of levels to make the story progress.
Have you learned anything from this game that could impact your own work?
Story and the metagame have become really crucial elements in the development of our games and I think the way Playrix implemented them in Gardenscapes sets a great standard.