Why mobile games are going Downhill

Now, don’t get me wrong, games on your phone are still fun and you can still pass plenty of time that would otherwise leave you bored by playing them, but they aren’t getting any better. Overall, they follow a limited series of formats, copy pasted and then repainted with a different theme or franchise painted over them. Some of them grow and add little new bits to distract you from the parts designed to coax you into paying them for faster results or more rewards.

The biggest downer for me is seeing everything steal the format of “Clash of Clans”–wow, that’s the throwback–and changing it enough so they don’t get sued for doing it and capitalize on one of the few mobile games that really generated a lot of money. In the end, it is all about money obviously, but to sell out the entire strategy genre and force this formula onto so many games is growing a little annoying. They basically work as follows: build this to collect resources, then wait X amount of time (which is always increasing as you get more out of it) to actually get those resources, then click to build something like a defense tower or barracks to train soldiers, but then you need to wait for those to be built before carrying on. This system wouldn’t be too bad, but to upgrade things and make them stronger, you increase the time you need to wait for things to be done. I understand that this is intended to work around your busy schedule, but all it does is add to the things you need to time out during your day. It keeps these games from being things you could just pull out and play as long as you’re free. Your work in-game might not be finished yet, which limits your enjoyment. They provide a way to speed things up for those who don’t have time, but you must spend your real money to get them, often having speed ups in the shop for up to $20 or $30 per large pack. It can get expensive just to play it when you are able.

That rant aside, that format is being applied to most of the major games that make it to the tops of the charts in the app store, such as “Rise of Civilizations”, which is even more blatantly a clone of the basic system of “Clash of Clans”. It adds some unique aspects that the original game did not have, but does it add enough? How much should we require to really ensure it’s not just a wheel of copy pasting games with little to no originality? I don’t know that it will stop any time soon, because those creating them catch on and throw in incentives to keep people playing, and to keep them buying their way through the game. One day this has to stop, but who’s going to get us there? Who is going to come out with more original, fun games that have some passion put into them?

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