· 6 min read

Hyper-casual bible: top resources for making a hit game

Short, simple, and satisfying. That’s what goes into a good hyper-casual game. But what else do you need to know? Here’s what we recommend reading.

Building hyper-casual games is a great way to get into game development. With their short cycles and simple gameplay, crafting a hyper-casual title means you can learn important skills across game design and monetisation, which you’ll need for success in the mobile games industry.

But how do you get started building a hyper-casual game? What exactly goes into creating a hit in this genre? What KPIs should you track and what results should you be aiming for? There’s a lot you should know before getting started. So before you get tapping away and developing your next hit, make sure to read through these resources to master everything ‘hyper’.

1. Understanding hyper-casual

The hyper-casual genre is a unique one. It’s made up of short, satisfying, and simple gameplay, basic artwork, and relies heavily on ads to make money. So to kick things off, read the following articles to fully understand what this genre is all about.

2. How to get started

So, now you know a bit more about what hyper-casual is and how it works. The next step is getting ready to start crafting your game. At this stage, you’ll be brainstorming all kinds of ideas and setting up your tools.

Best tools for game dev

3. Prototyping, testing and analytics

Hyper-casual games are all about prototyping and iterating your games to hit certain KPIs and targets. Testing is a crucial part of releasing successful hyper-casual games, and you need to understand your games’ KPIs and how to improve them.

4. How to make money

No one works for free. Hyper-casual games notoriously rely on ads to make their money. But there’s a lot more to it than just showing random ads in your game. Have a read of these resources to understand the ins and outs of ad-based monetization.

CPI definition

5. Soft launching and publishing

Ideally, you should soft launch your game to help test, refine and fix any bugs before the real launch. And there’s a couple of routes you can take when you are ready to hit that publish button. Here are a few guides to give you an idea of how to tactically approach your soft launching process.

6. Take the next step to hybrid-casual

It’s worth mentioning here that even though hyper-casual is still arguably the most popular genre in the industry, it is starting to hit a saturation point. It’s definitely an easy stepping stone for most developers. But with more games on the app stores, it’s getting harder to cover CPI costs and make a profit.

Archero gameplay

Image source: Bowmasters by Playgendary Limited

Hybrid-casual is starting to make some noise here. So it’s worth having a read-up on what this emerging fusion genre is, and how you can evolve your own hyper-casual game into something more.

7. Top hyper-casual studios and publishers to follow

Whether you want to reach out to these guys to work with them or just to research their games and story for your inspiration. Here’s a list of some of the leading hyper-casual studios and publishers in the market today.

  • Voodoo: They’ve hit over 6 billion downloads across the globe, and released titles like Helix Jump, Paper.io, Aquapark.io, and Crowd City.
  • Homa Games: These guys have hit over 500 million downloads, and work with some of the top brands, including Kadka, Topchop games, and Funcell games.
  • Lion Studios: Based in San Francisco, Lion Studios is owned by AppLovin, and has published chart toppers like Wordle, Match 3D, and Nail Salon 3D.
  • Supersonic: With over ten years of experience publishing games, Supersonic is one of the largest and most established publishers. The’ve published titles like Bazooka Boy, Clone Ball, and Hide N’ Seek.
  • Kwalee: They’re reaching almost 1 billion downloads, and they publish games across mobile, PC, and consoles. They also run Creative Wednesdays, a hybrid event where designers can brainstorm ideas and work on their prototypes.
  • Amanotes: Experts in music, Amanotes focuses on musical hyper-casual games. Brilliant for anyone looking to specialise in sound.

Got something to add to our list?

Hopefully, this has been a good starting point for you on your hyper-casual journey. If you’ve seen any good guides out there that are worthy of our list, feel free to send them our way.