The secret to designing a fantastic hyper-casual game is to keep it short, simple, and enjoyable. You may utilize several mechanics and mix in your hyper-casual game when working towards a goal, so we thought we’d look at which ones work best and why.
These mechanics serve as the foundation for game design. Your games will become more engaging as you learn more about them and experiment with them.
It all comes down to tapping the screen at just the right time in timing games. It’s all about accuracy. In other circumstances, such as in Good Job Games’ Fun Race 3D, you’ll have to time your jumps. In others, such as a sports game, you’ll need to hit the ball at precisely the right time.
In these games, the main mechanic is a diminishing window of opportunity with time, similar to a repeating gauge. If you miss your chance, you’ll have to wait for another event.
Every puzzle mechanic has one thing in common: you’re challenging someone to think logically. Moving rocks across a screen, adding numbers, or solving a murder mystery are all possibilities. Although these games vary, they all require moving items about the screen.
The absence of a time constraint is crucial in hyper-casual puzzles like Voodoo’s Roller Splat! And because they’re straightforward puzzles, they don’t take long to complete. However, simply removing the time limit does not make the level longer. Instead, it relieves stress and ensures that the game is balanced.
In a merging game, there are usually three mechanics. The first is merging: combining two low-tier objects to form a higher-tier one (like dogs in Merge Dogs by Zepni Ltd). The second is to obtain the objects of the lowest tier (quite often, games will link this mechanic to an in-game economy). Finally, the third element is the goal, which could be anything as simple as racing the dogs you’ve built around a track.
In these games, there are usually a few mechanics at work. Objects must first fall from the sky. Second, the player can rotate the items. And, last, they must stack. Tetris is an obvious candidate. Other developers, on the other hand, have gone a step further. Full Fat’s Cat Stack is a fantastic example. They also provide physics to the game and challenge the player to achieve a specific height.
These games are always about moving left or right, and the primary mechanic is to persuade the user to swipe. Perhaps you’re avoiding obstacles or speeding down a tunnel. The player’s accuracy, or how far left or right they go, is crucial. Voodoo’s Aquapark is a must-see. Skilled players can veer off the track and bypass large sections of the race in this mode.
Resizing items is a natural fit for hyper-casual games. It’s a straightforward mechanism that you can easily tweak to fit any theme. These games allow the user to reduce or enlarge their avatar, usually to fit through particular spaces. They have a similar style to swerve games, but there’s a lot more room to experiment and come up with something new.
SayGames’ Jelly Shift is a fantastic example of this. Players can shrink a block to fit through gaps; however, this does not disrupt the game’s main flow.
You control a character in a turning game, and you decide whether to move left or right. Because they’re usually 3D, the amount of turning is generally predetermined. They develop excellent driving games, such as Kwalee’s Skiddy Car, which involves maneuvering a car from left to right along a winding track.
The main difference between turning and swerving games is that turning games involve a single forceful swipe from left to right, but swerving games need you to keep your thumb on the screen and control how far left and right you move. It’s a pretty minor distinction between the mechanics. But it’s a significant one. The 3D aspect of a turning game makes judging when to turn more challenging. To maintain an accurate hyper-casual title, the controls must be simplified.
The focus of these games is on a character pushing other objects or people around. Objects are frequently pushed from the map so that you can continue or be the last person standing. (Voodoo’s “Push em All” is an excellent example of this.)
The ability to freely move your character and some form of physics are usually the main mechanics. However, the method by which a player pushes another object can vary: using an ability or ramming into them like a sumo wrestler.
Agility or dexterity mechanics
These games are not to be confused with time management games. Agility mechanics are similar to timed games in that they require the player to repeat a motion. Fast. For example, the player could be rapidly switching from swiping left to swiping right. In games like Tiles Hop: EDM Rush! by Amanotes, this could mean chopping down a tree while dodging branches or bouncing along with pads.
In these games, the player is tasked with constructing or dismantling barriers to some form of flow. The goal is to use the game’s physics to guide a tide of objects, whether balls or liquids, to a specific location. For example, in SayGames’ Sand Balls, the user wipes away sand to create a path for the balls to follow to the bottom of the level.
Rising and falling mechanics
In these games, the main mechanic is that an object rises or falls through a series of obstacles. Usually, this is a ball that you’re trying to get via the correct path, such as in Voodoo’s Helix Jump.
You can either allow the player to move the level itself, such as by rotating a column, or you can push yourself in these games. By gradually increasing the pace as the player progresses through the level, Fluffy Fall by What(fun) (and released by JoyPac) achieves this, giving the impression that you’re approaching terminal velocity.
Falling games use much of the same principles as swerving games, but the essential distinction is the sense of gravity.
Growing games have the goal of becoming the most significant thing, whether it’s a crowd, a black hole, or a sticky ball. Therefore, players commonly move their characters around in an attempt to discover and collide with another object. The character is then ‘absorbed’ with this information.
Lowtech Studios’ Slither.io is the simplest of the bunch, with you as a circle trying to avoid colliding with other circles. It’s almost the perfect game because it’s so basic. There are only two mechanics in this game. Moving around and growing in size The art style is as straightforward as it gets: colored blobs. Each round only takes around a minute to complete.
It proves that these mechanisms are perhaps the best out there since it strikes that sweet spot that hyper-casual games are looking for.
The player’s ability to discriminate between things is the focus of these games. The main distinction with color-matching games is that the only way to tell them apart is by looking at the color. It might be guiding snakes to food or aligning three different colored jewels.
These games are all about satisfying that itch we get when things aren’t quite right. Peeling a fruit, cleaning a window, or painting a wall may all be examples. However, the goal is to fill in or remove a particular region.
There are usually only one or two mechanisms in hyper-casual games. And, in general, while designing one of these games, you’re more concerned with modifying those mechanics for distinct gameplay experiences rather than creating something entirely new.
As a result, keep your games short, simple, and enjoyable. However, if you want to stand out, play around with the existing mechanics and themes. If you’re looking for more ideas or want to stay up to date, sign up for our email below.