Read thought provoking articles on the use of machine learning for improving mobile app marketing performance.


Follow us:  circle_twitter circle_linkedin circle_facebook

Successful User Acquisition Strategies for Puzzle Games


Puzzle games have proved that very simple repetitive mechanics can be hugely profitable. A search for “puzzle” games in the App Store reveals over 2,000 results with the likes of Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda Saga at the top. Due to the immense popularity enjoyed by this genre, puzzle games have gone mainstream.

“Shariki” (Balls) was developed by Russian programmer Eugene Alemzhin for DOS in 1994. It is believed to be the first videogame to feature match-3 mechanics. The simple and abstract mechanic of matching three of the same items to clear the board hasn't changed in more than 20 years.

The core challenge of puzzle games is to match three or more similar objects (candies, jewels, fruits, etc.) on a board and score combos to get high points. They are being played by millions of addicted people around the world for hours every day. The success of this genre is primarily due to its simplicity and flexibility.

Marketing Recommendations

1. Target the right users

Due to the competitive nature of mobile gaming, and persistent churn, finding high lifetime value users is a necessity. The user profile of puzzle game players is unique and well understood. Keep in mind that these users don't read gaming magazines, don’t surf through the app store to find new games, and don't care much about the latest trends. The main objective is to kill time, it is not to play with friends, build up skills, or collect items.  With all this said, the audience is truly loyal.

match3-playable-ads.png2. Choose the right creative 

Considering app specific features is the key to success. Like ad layout for example, which differs from app to app. Puzzle games have a grid layout that are great for use in creative. They resonate well with the users due to familiarity with the genre. Additions of boosters, blockers, and game characters further enhance the performance. The combinations of these creative assets can be optimized using multivariate creative testing. Aarki’s creative optimization technology ensures that your media dollars are always spent on the best performing creatives. Lastly, we recommend testing ads in a variety of formats to evaluate the best format.

3. Leverage cross-promotion

Since puzzle games share similarities, cross-promotion is a very effective strategy to retain users. Cross-promotion is even more effective for high LTV users. Such groups of lapsed and active users can be targeted efficiently on Programmatic channels.

Aarki has deep expertise in the marketing of casual games. Insights and knowledge gathered in this genre enables Aarki to deliver consistent and reliable return on investment.

To learn about how Aarki can help you succeed, please reach out to partnerships@aarki.com.

Topics: Mobile Game Advertising, User Acquisition, Programmatic Advertising, Ad Creative, Cross-promotion