Stickman Death Game Trend... Why and what's their strategy?

Anyone have any idea why stickman games are moving to the top of the charts? These games couldn’t possibly take more than a day to make and only consist of button press actions linked to the death animations with no real gameplay. It just doesn’t add up and makes me want to jump out a window… hey there’s a stickman game for that!!! The only thing I can think of is that these developers are investing thousands in pay-per-install campaigns to reach the top and capitalizing on all who haven’t grown pubes yet. However if they had that kind of money, why wouldn’t they invest in making their game higher quality so they can monetize more effectively and get better retention? Anyhow, see what I mean at

As developers we all have to realize what we like isn’t what the general public likes. Yes its very obvious when they 1st started out they used pay per install to climb the charts. Google was not going to give them a feature obvoiusly so pay per install is the best route. However once they got there organic installs happened by people who like those sorts of games. Why would they invest in a better game if people like what they made already?

Well for starters the average use per user must be pretty low for this type of game as there’s not much content to keep anyone interested for long. The initial cash-in must be decent given that they’re using interstitials or video. Adding in just a little more content and upping the quality would allow the developer to make more than just a small fortune and actually remain in the charts for longer. I’ve seen ridiculous trends like this come and go, and I’ve found these types of games don’t last for long in the market once everyone else besides adolescent teenagers catch wind. So my point: Obviously these developers are shelling out significant cash for burst campaigns, so if they’re going to ride on a fad, I say why not make the most of it, especially if you have the means to do so? My guess is that these games are so quick to make and the payout is enough that they’re content with what they get…

Ok I see the problem , let me break it down to you. Most people who play mobile games like 5-10 minute time wasters. Most mobile gamers want to pick up and play the game without instructions just figuring out how to play as they go along. The stickman games ARE high quality in the eyes of these types of gamers that dominate the marketplace. If they made more features and made the games more complex , people would NOT play them.
Now I know hardcore gamers would say oh that game is crap and since hardcore gamers are loud developers tend to listen to them. Trust me they are the minority of mobile gamers. I am pretty sure the company behind the stickman games is making ton’s of money right now, so there is no need to change what works.
Also watch this video it will help you understand game design a bit and how to think in the mobile market.

Yes you have some valid points. The whole Flappy Bird craze proved that most mobile gamers aren’t hardcore gamers, I agree that complex control schemes can ruin a game, hence that’s why simple games always trump over the overly complex games on mobile. Anyway, I watched the video. The guy seems like he knows what he’s talking about. However, I watched another video of his which totally contradicts what you were saying Despite that, I know you’re right. The majority of the mobile audience wants games that would make even a moderate gamer cringe… I just hate having to stoop that low, but hey if I want to make money, I guess I better change my tune…

If he is using pay-per-install campaign method then how much budget needed for the campaign to reach the same result as him?

Its good idea for a game. Probably I will also try it.

Ok to hit a couple of points

  1. No the guy (me) did not contradict myself haha. Watch the video again and you will see. What I was saying is do or make the best game that you can make and don’t just slap something together. If your best is not great that’s ok , I am just a average programmer myself. I know web programming not java so I face tons of limitations to what I can do but I make sure my apps have value. Limitations like webview doesn’t play sounds, so I have to make a soundless game fun which is fuking hard. I am more into the marketing aspect right now , learning what people really want. Like I made a zombie run game which was basic so I included short zombie stories and link to free full zombie movies in the app. Try to make your games have a ton of value.

  2. Pay per installs ok if you target U.S. store your going to need at least 5,000 to compete in the action and casual game categories top 200 to get into top 50 you will need 10,000 . Your best bet is to tackle weaker stores and get high ranks there and then hope it carries over to other stores which it should .

ok, let’s see, im trying now :):slight_smile: i made this one quite complicated

Let us know how it goes. I am also considering making a stupid runner instead of a normal platformer because it might get more downloads (but I will probably create both, using the same code).

that’s what I did, not success so far :slight_smile:

To provide some constructive criticism:

  • Bad screenshots: iPhone “mockup” in the PlayStore, stretched improperly, graphical glitches visible

  • Google translation is awful at least for the german translation

  • “Stickman death” -> Where are your “death animations”? People expect a game with stickman gore and blood and what they get when they see the app detail page is some misaligned black and white screenshots with not any real gameplay elements or what they came for - comic brutality

The game gets difficult after some jumps

Thanks, I agree with it, but I made this one in 1 day, re-skinning and adjusting the gameplay. There are many details pending as you already mentioned, let’s see if I free some time :slight_smile:

ps. g translate sucks

:slight_smile: it turns impossible, I need to adjust this also. If you remember flappy bird was hard and people like it

You read the 1st couple of posts right and video’s? You need at least one “draw” to your stickman.

  1. Ok add a random buzz saw that comes and cuts your stickman in half and leave a splat of blood.
    2)Then you need to at least make a video of the game.
    3)Then go on Facebook android groups and Twitter and show a screenshots of the saw cut and blood.
    4)Then go into 2-3 forums and do the same thing.
  2. Then optimize your ASO because your keywords is a little off balance. Then you got to … Ok enough I could go on and on with marketing tips but I am sure you get the idea. Now if you don’t know too much about marketing I will post more stuff to do to get maximum reach.