Whenever I regularly browse overseas market trends from my seat, I would like to adapt Lineker’s sentence: “The European and American free list is a lot of new products competing for, and finally slaughtered by the ultra-casual games.”
This phenomenon has long been the norm in overseas markets. Ultra-leisure, a category with frequent changes and simple structure, is like the cicadas in the midsummer day. It is ubiquitous, but few people will listen to the sound to capture and study its characteristics. Unless they suddenly performed a cantata.
And this novelty has actually appeared in the European and American mobile game market.
Just last week, Voodoo, a super-leisure manufacturer from France, suddenly launched two new products “Fat 2 Fit” and “Run of Life” that also use parkour as the gameplay, and quickly entered the European and American markets. head. As of press time, these two products have entered the top 10 free iOS games list in 75 and 39 countries and regions respectively.
If the results of the two single products seem to be unconvincing, you might as well look further away. In the report just released by Sensor Tower on the Top 10 downloads of global popular mobile games in May, there are as many as 5 products that use parkour as a gameplay method, which occupies half of the entire list.
Obviously, this “parkour” whirlwind is sweeping across North America and even the global mobile game market.
Ever-changing subject matter, unchanging track
In terms of specific gameplay, Voodoo’s two new products can be said to be similar, continuing the most common action logic in similar parkour games, which is the closed-loop process of moving-collecting-to achieve clearance requirements. However, although the gameplay is inextricably changeable, in terms of the theme of the presentation style, it can be said to be wild and mind-blowing.
Just like the Chinese translation of the game “My Body Thief is Good”, “Fat 2 Fit” adopts the diet and weight loss theme that is very popular in Europe and the United States. Players need to control their characters to move continuously, collect cucumbers, eggplants and other vegetables to lose weight. Touching the hamburger will instantly swell the body, unable to climb over obstacles in the road, and fail to pass the level.
But what’s interesting is that in the Bonus reward link in the later stage of the game, the character needs to gain weight by actively eating junk food in order to break through the glass to get extra points and reach the end. This also means that in the closing celebration animation, the player’s body shape is likely to change back to “Big Mac”. This alternative setting is somewhat similar to the author’s own diet results.
In another Voodoo product “Run of Life”, the theme has changed from weight loss to “rejuvenation”. The objects players need to collect have also changed from food to a series of “beneficial” objects such as books and milk, which are used to trace the age of the character and reach the heaven through the “God Long Steps” at the bottom.
Compared with “Fat 2 Fit”, the logic of “Run of Life” is simpler-you don’t need to consider the “positive gain” that negative items may bring, just keep decreasing the age. In layman’s terms, it is to try to turn the 80-year-old woman into a toddler in the process of “parkour”, creating a medical miracle.
Even at the extreme point, it degenerates into a tadpole that shocked the author all day.
Obviously, the gameplay design of these two products is quite simple, and there are almost no obstacles that can be called “the threshold to get started”. And this multi-faceted streamlined process is also a general trend in the entire parkour category.
Review the changes of parkour products, or just call it “evolution.” The mobile-end enlightenment works such as “Temple Escape” and “Metro Parkour” have turned the behind-the-scenes parkour perspective into the mainstream. The simplified works from “High Heel Me the Most Beautiful” to “Fat 2 Fit” unify the pictures into a 3D style, and even the runway seems to use the same one, only the subject matter is different. .
This slightly simple and rude approach also has the advantage of refocusing the player’s focus on the most primitive power of parkour games-running fast and brainlessly. This is somewhat similar to a racing game, which creates a sense of tension visually through the continuous changes of the scene, allowing the player’s brain to secrete dopamine and produce a pleasant feeling.
Adding the mechanism of collection and growth stacking in the level will enable players to gain a sense of accomplishment more frequently and intuitively, and move the entire process closer to the “short, flat, and fast” direction. Obviously, this design has also successfully captured the hearts of players, and the entire category has ushered in a new wave of small climaxes.
TikTok+ pop culture successfully “detonated” the boom
Although the fixed frame design can avoid the risk of the product being cold, in other words, this is also a real “skin change” behavior, and the core is not essentially different. If you keep copying such formulas in the domestic market, the infamy must also be on-board fighting. So why do players in Europe and the United States take this set?
To find the answer to this question, we must first start with a video.
In mid-January of this year, a user named isaiahbaca of TikTok, an overseas version of TikTok, uploaded a Zynga-owned game “High Heels! “Is a short video of the content, and shouted in an exaggerated tone: “I found a game for baddies!”. And this seemingly ambiguous video unexpectedly became the source of this “parkour fever”.
It should be noted that this “baddies” actually does not refer to bad people, but sexy and independent girls in English slang. When this video was released, its popularity began to spread at an incredible speed. isaiahbaca also received more than 1 million likes through this video, far exceeding the sum of all his previous postings.
Subsequently, its butterfly effect also began to appear. After this short video was released on January 18, “High Heels! “After four days, it miraculously climbed to the top of the free list. The attention it brings has also led many video bloggers to spontaneously look for similar ultra-casual games to make videos. #Hyper casual game has also become a hot topic on TikTok.
Then, in “High Heels! After “became popular, “Long Nails” and “Hair Challenge”, both made for Rollic, have successively reached the top of a series of products with beauty as the theme and with obvious feminine orientation. This popular theme + TikTok push-stream combination boxing almost tried Bailing, and finally attracted Voodoo and other peers into the game, ushered in an explosion.
Coincidentally, these games are not only widely spread among TikTok users, but they are also sought after by another group-the queer community.
The term “queer” is derived from “Queer”. Today, most people whose sexual orientation is inconsistent with mainstream concepts are part of LGBT culture. And “High Heels! Both the male and female roles in “The high-heeled catwalk show the gender ambiguity setting, which is also widely regarded as a support for this culture.
Although the person in charge of Rollic said that they did not do it intentionally, they were unintentional, and the queer group also played a catalytic role in the spread of the game’s popularity. This kind of radiation effect eventually spread to the entire parkour category, becoming a powerful boost for them to “sweep the world”.
The “New Wave of Parkour” in the ultra-leisure market
As the “vane” of the ultra-leisure category trend, the ranking of the US market list usually reflects the development trend of ultra-leisure products in the next period of time in advance. It can be seen that among the top 10 products that were downloaded in the global mobile game in May, most of them first became popular in the US market, and then radiated heat to the world through several months of propagation and fermentation time.
And the parkour category, or the female-oriented parkour category, has now reached this “mature stage” time node. Although “High Heels! 》The popularity of social media at the beginning of the year can be classified as an accident, but in the leisure category with a relatively short R&D cycle, half a year is enough to complete the process from project establishment to launch.
But what is more noteworthy is that in the ultra-leisure market with a huge number of products, once a certain gameplay or theme can form a trend of concentration, its vitality and flow benefits are often immeasurable. The elimination game is a good example. Today, match-3 games that have been popular for nearly a decade still have bursts of money from time to time, and they have become one of the representative categories in the overseas market.
Nowadays, the sudden emergence of parkour gameplay obviously has the potential to replicate the former’s brilliance and roll up a new wave in the ultra-leisure market. After Voodoo and other big factories took the east wind into the market, it may only be a matter of time before more explosive new products appear. And how long this wave of heat can last, and what products will make new breakthroughs, we are still looking forward to the results.
Source: Something about Mobile Games