One of the most popular but short-lived games of 2013 was the mega smash hit, Flappy Bird, from Vietnamese game designer Dong Nguyen and his small group of developers at dotGEARS. Well, they're back and they have a free new game that's out right now.
Gamespot did a brief article notifying the gaming audience that Ninja Spinki Challenges, the new game from dotGEARS, is available right now for free for the iPhone and Android smart devices. You can pick up a digital copy of the game from over on the iTunes App Store or the Google Play outlet right now.
It's a tiny little game, clocking in at just 19MB, and features six different mini-games with a variety of increasingly challenging levels the more you play.
Each of the challenges require different sets of touchscreen skills to employ. One challenge sees players having to dodge cannon balls being fired from different angles. Players will have to move the ninja-in-training around to avoid being clobbered by the explosions.
Another mini-game has gamers throwing shurikens at targets that zip and zoop across the screen. It's a fast-reflex mini-game centered around testing your hand and eye coordination. The latter levels require players to to act fast and take out as many targets as possible before time runs out.
Ninja Spinki Challenges also features a spiked ball challenge, featuring giant bouncing balls that must be dodged and avoided, otherwise the ninja gets crushed. This sees players zigging and zagging their fingers across the screen to avoid the bouncing obstacles moving across the play area.
The one mini-game in Ninja Spinki Challanges that is oftentimes showcased on promo art is the one with the bouncing cats that you have to avoid. The challenge takes place on a side-scrolling 2D plane, opposite of some of the other challenges that allow players to move in up to eight directions. The objective is to time the ninja to zip underneath the cats as they bounce overhead.
Yes, the mini-games are a weird assortment of challenges for gamers to overcome, but the title is receiving some noteworthy feedback on the mobile app stores. A lot of people like that the mini-games start off simple and then ratchet up in difficulty the further they progress into the game.
Monetization is a little bit different from what Nguyen and crew used for Flappy Bird. This time around they don't have cash shop items. I know, shocking right? Instead of chipping away at the wallets of customers with microtransactions, they're instead using in-app ads. Previous market research reports indicated that in-app ads were least liked by gamers along with in-app ad notifications. So they're using a rather odd monetization method for the game.
The most preferred form of advertising by gamers is one where brands are organically integrated into the product. Not only was that the most preferred form of advertising but it was also the most likely form of an ad to be interacted with.
In Ninja Spinki Challenges there are ads that play in between players having to continue the game after failing a challenge. There's no way to know if this new game will be anywhere near as popular as Flappy Bird, but dotGEARS certainly hasn't given up on trying to find another hit. It's doubtful they'll manage to bottle a lightning success again, especially after Flappy Bird was racking in $50,000 a day for the small team, but who knows? In the world of mobile apps, just about anything is possible.