The end of the Infinite Runner is nigh
Infinite runner games have been with us for a while now and they are extraordinarily popular. However they can make you feel like you’re playing a machine that does not want you to play anymore, which is most likely as a consequence of the free-to-play model. This curtails player enjoyment for the majority and increases frustration because the games are geared up to “make” you fail as a part of the gameplay design and the algorithms that place objects to hit you.
Just for the record here’s how long I lasted with some of the popular infinite runners, as an average:
Temple Run 2 – 43 seconds
Jetpack Joyride – 32 seconds
Subway Surfers – 55 seconds
While these games are easy to pick up and play, the difficulty curve increase exponentially in order to hook the 1-2% that will keep playing the game, in order to monetise. This can lead to a game that is “designed” for the minority where the emphasis is on what keeps users engaged enough to deliver sufficient revenue, as opposed to focussing on what is actually fun.
For the majority, we are unfulfilled and the “Infinite Runner” is a fraud.
There’s has to be something better.