evaluating an effective mobile game experience
by Michael DeFazio
* are the game’s rules clearly communicated to the player? (how)
* are the game objectives clear?
* are incentives clear (and appropriate)?
* are the risks/dangers clear/understood?
* how does the game read? (i.e. could someone discypher incentives /objectives /risks /dangers from a screenshot?)
* what are the game’s “metaphors”? (how do things in this game map to “real life”)
* is the game consistent? (does it use the visuals, audio, feedback in a consistent way throughout the game?)
* does the game provide feedback (visual/audio/tactile cues) where appropriate?
* does the game provide enough context so that if a player takes a hiatus (for days/weeks/months) can they return to the game with minimal effort (and understand clearly what the objectives are, regardless of how far into the game they are?)
Audience & Appeal
* who is the target audience for this game? (age group, gender, interest group, etc.)
* how does this game appeal to the audience?
Learning & Mastery
* how easy is the game to “pick up and play”? (does the action on screen map intuitively to the controls?)
* is the pacing appropriate to allow players the opportunity to “learn” features and gameplay without being overwhelmed?
* what makes the game easy to understand and hard to master? (i.e. does the game have “simple” (to understand) goals that are not necessarily “easy” (to execute) in gameplay
* how is the players progress communicated? (how far in?, how far to go?)
* is the player aware of how good/average/bad they are doing? (grading)
* what mechanisms exist from keeping the player from becoming discouraged (if they fail) or frustrated (if they are lost/confused) so they don’t quit?
* what incentives are there for players to achieve mastery?
Challenge & Play
* how does the game challenge players?
* what behaviors does the game encourage?
* what behaviors does the game discourage?
* what facilities does the player need to achieve mastery? (manual dexterity, problem solving, memory …)
Repetition & Uniqueness
* how does the game “surprise” players?
* what makes the game unique from similar games?
* what incentives are there for the person to keep playing after the initial novelty wears off? what makes the inherent repetition special?
* how much time does it take between someone realizing they want to play to be actually playing the game? (how long does it take to load and start playing?)
* What barriers exist that keep people from playing the game? (i.e.device must support multitouch, keyboard, internet, etc.) （Source：gamasutra）