What makes the hyper-casual game fun and good? Let’s analyze this issue by using data and metrics. The HGC team did a little research and looked at the metrics behind the most successful hyper-casual games. Let’s get rid of a vast number of graphs and highlight the essential points.

About what is this research?

Using data from the web, we have highlighted the main KPIs (Key Performance Indicators – measures of performance) that hyper-casual game developers should strive for. We’ve divided games into subgenres to make navigating mobile games’ vast and busy world easier.

You can use this data to compare your projects against some of the best games and see which direction you should head towards.

What subgenres of hyper-casual games are we looking at?

  • Timing: Games that focus on precision, such as jumping at the correct time. These are games like Fun Race 3D, Crossy Road, Splashy! and Color Switch.
  • Traversal: This genre of games relies on players’ reflexes and makes them swipe left or right, for example, to dodge objects. It includes games like Color Road!, Pixel Rush and High Heels!.
  • Physics: This is usually an object (like a ball) that rises or falls over a series of obstacles. The user directly influences the laws of physics. Examples include Helix Jump, Stack Ball 3D, and Stack Fall.
  • Shooting: Logic is the player’s best friend in these games. Simply put, these are games in which you need to aim and move objects around the screen accurately. Think Stealth Master, Pocket Sniper! And Knock’em All.
Results in numbers
Health metrics
  • The first-day hold shows how many players return after one day of play. The winner in this category was 44%. The rest is about 40%.
  • The 7th-day hold shows how many people will return in seven days. Here the advantage in the shooting subgenre was 17%. The rest were just below 15%.
  • Game time is the total time the user spends playing each day (all sessions). The shooting subgenre here came out on top with an indicator of 45 minutes.
Monetization indicators

When it came to monetization, the best value was when ARPPU (Average Revenue Per Paying User) was $42, ARPDAU (Average Revenue Per Daily Active User) was $0.15, and conversion rate (Percentage of users who purchased on that day) was 0.94%.

Favourable countries

France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands showed the best average retention on the first day; it was 49%.

The best retention on day 7 was in Germany, the Netherlands and Japan with 19%. And the best playing time was in Japan – 63 minutes. We also looked at a few other countries, notably the United States and China (although they didn’t quite make it to the top for the casual genre).

Best of 2020.

It is also worth analyzing the past year to highlight the games that the players will remember. But so far, the best games in every genre in 2020 have been:

  • Timing – Slap Kings by Lion Studios with a performance score of 43420.
  • Runner – High Heels! from Zynga Inc., which scored 48,383 points.
  • Physics – Demolish! from Voodoo with 36,449 points.
  • Shooting – Stealth Master from SayGames LLC with 39,732 points.

Performance scores are the score we give each game based on many things, like the rating, how long they’ve been at the top of the charts, and how popular they are worldwide.

How to make a successful hyper-casual game?

After analysis, we decided to highlight three tips to help you create a super popular hyper-casual game based on the games mentioned above and metrics.

1. Short session, ease of management.

The game session should be short so that the user can play your game while standing in line, travelling to work, school or university. The user must quickly plunge into the gameplay without long immersion in the game. Your game should be as low as possible. Also, don’t forget about satisfaction… give players a reason to return to your game.

2. Make sure the gameplay is forgiving.

Don’t overcomplicate your game, and don’t make mobile Dark Souls. Give players multiple lives or rewards. In some games, users can’t even lose and don’t have a losing moment. Remember, your players are looking for a fast, easy and fun game to have a good time.

3. Know when to cut losses.

Any hyper-casual game with a first-day retention rate below 40% is unlikely to be successful. Depending on where you are in the development process, you can do quick launches to deploy more iterations, improve your stats. You’ll want to start with high-performance, low-effort tweaks for each launch — otherwise, you might end up spending weeks working on a game that people don’t want to play.