How-To HC
What makes a game Idle Arcade?
Alejandra Caceres
June 15, 2022

Idle arcade games are impacting the Hyper casual market lately. Some of you might wonder, why is this game called idle arcade? What makes it different from other Hyper casual games? There are quite some differences, and in this blog post, you will find out the characteristics of arcade idle, its features, monetization, and its contrast with other Hyper casual games.

Why is idle arcade different from other Hyper casual games?
As known before, the ideal Hyper casual game has a CPI of at least $0.35 and a RET of over 25%. Regarding idle arcade, the CPI is higher, the CPI could be about $0.50, and the RET is over 40%. In an idle arcade game, the gameplay focuses on engaging the player for a long time and not abandoning the game for a while, making the average playtime over 1200 seconds. These factors make the LTV higher and the final profit of the game even higher.
Characteristics of idle arcade
Now, what makes an idle arcade game? Developers must take many characteristics into account for idle arcade games to have an impact on the player. When developing an idle arcade game, you must have satisfying gameplay, for example, collecting enormous amounts of money and carrying it to another place.
Another characteristic is giving the player a familiar scenario. These scenarios can vary, but they must follow a pattern in which the player can connect their actions to develop the map even more, making it the game's objective. For the map development, there are various options, the usual ones free roaming and level-based. For free roaming, the player can go around the map however they wish and keep expanding it with no stop. For level-based maps, once the player finishes an essential task, they will go onto the next level, where they will need to restart the construction again.
The game's main character is primarily simple, looking like a jelly man or stick man.
When it comes to the camera view, developers must place the camera on a slanted top view, allowing the player to see more of the map and surroundings, giving the player more ability to view all of the actions occurring and know where exactly to go.
For game mechanics, idle arcade almost always uses the joystick controls. This is to have the player move easier around the map since they play a dynamic character in the game.
My Little Universe by SayGames is a great example of a successful level-based Idle Arcade game.
Idle arcade monetization, how to deal with it?
Since idle arcade keeps the player engaged for a long time, there are many game monetization opportunities. The main point of idle arcade is world expansion. For the world to keep expanding, there will need to be transactions to unlock the new areas. As the world keeps developing, the items become more expensive, challenging the player to spend more on creating new sites for the flow to go faster and smoother. When the player starts needing game upgrades is when monetization can take place.
Most of the time, idle arcade games include Reward Videos (RVs) for the player to obtain new items or boost their character to go faster. RVs can play in between levels or have a merchant on the map in which the player can watch an RV to obtain a boost to their gameplay.
When it comes to placing Interstitials (IS), this can be a bit more tricky to implement. Since the main point of an idle arcade game is to keep the player engaged, IS can make the player want to quit the game if they are played too often. The ideal placement would be in between levels if it is level-based. Regarding roam-free maps, there could be a particular time on when to place the IS. Knowing the exact time to set the IS can affect your gameplay and monetization for your game.
In App Purchases (IAP) for idle arcade games are more doable since the players are engaged for a long time. IAP must be placed as the game develops and the player needs more help on their map expansion. These IAP could be permanent boosts or characteristics to make the gameplay easier for the player. They could also substitute RVs. There could also be IAP to quit IS in a free roam map.
A good example of IAP is in My Little Universe. The player has the option to pay $2.99 to skip ads and gain extra resources.
Are you ready for your idle arcade game to be a hit?
For your idle arcade game to be a hit, make sure that you implement all the needed characteristics and make it engaging and satisfying for the player. Players need to be constantly engaged, and for that, the gameplay should be easy for the player to understand right away but have its challenging parts, so not everything stays the same.
I hope these tips and information help you create the next idle arcade hit! At MondayOFF, we provide feedback and all the necessary information for your game to be a hit. If you wish to test your games with us, access our self-served MondayOFF Dashboard, your campaign will start right after your submission!

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