Monetizer: Cavemania

Putting a spin on Candy Crush Saga

Monetizer: Cavemania

Reviews are a key element of consumer game sites. But they don't make much sense for a business-focused site like, which is why we've come up with Monetizer.

It's our version of a review, which provides objective analysis of new free-to-play mobile games, specifically in terms of ranking their monetisation.

You can see previous columns here, and we're highlighting different techniques daily on our Tumblr page.

You can also read my handy explanation about how we calculate the numbers here.

Match me if you can

Developed by BonusXP - veterans from Age of Empires studio Ensemble - Cavemania brings a tactical twist to the match-3 gaming made popular by the likes of Bejeweled and Candy Crush Saga.

It's published by Yodo1, which previously was releasing western-developed games into China. Cavemania is its first global release.

You can read PocketGamer's review of the game here

Released for iOS and Android in mid-September, the game is yet to find a paying audience.

In terms of our Success metrics, it hasn't ranked top 10 top grossing in any country chart yet, so has a score of 0 on all three platforms.

Low levels

Viewed through the lens of our main Monetizer ranking, Cavemania is interesting as it combines three layers of monetisation technique.

In terms of a hard currency, it has gold, which is used to upgrade your units, but the transaction bands only range from $1.99 to $9.99 - much lower than the vast majority of games.

The game also has permanent and consumable items, each of which are purchased with real money.

Cavemania's store doesn't show real-world prices until you tap 'View'

For example, you can buy permanent items that increase specific resources at the start of each level. These range from $2.99 to $4.99, and include everyone's favourite - Double Gold.

Consumables - in this case, packs of the game's four resources - range from $0.99 to $2.99.

You can also buy extra lives when you're out or request them from friends King-style. Finally, additional levels (15) are available for $0.99.

Despite this, crunching the numbers, the $9.99 maximum hard currency purchase transaction sees Cavemania scores a tiny 12 - the second lowest score ever recorded.

In comparison, we take 100 and above as our benchmark for a highly monetized game.

Finally, in terms of our Discount Currency ratio, Cavemania scores 1.3, which is low in comparison to other games (typically 1.3 - 1.8), but relatively high given we're making the comparison between a $1.99 transaction and a $9.99 transaction.

(For most games, the comparison is between a $0.99 or $1.99 transaction and a $99.99 transaction; read this guide if you want to find a full explanation.)

Conclusions: Cavemania

Success coefficient (iPhone) = 0

Success coefficient (iPad) = 0

Success coefficient (Android) = 0

Currency Discount ratio = 1.3 (gold)

Monetizer coefficient = 12

Cavemania ranks extremely low on our Monetizer ranking, partly because its gameplay relies on many, small item transactions, and partly because it has a very low maximum transaction price. It is yet to demonstrate any commercial success.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.