Moonee Trend report Q4 - The rise of Hybrid Puzzles & New Action Hybrid Casual Genres

October 16, 2023
Or Segal
fashion and lifestyle
Time to read:
7 Minutes

The Hyper Casual Market almost fully shifted its direction to Hybrid Casual, with deeper game loops and mechanics, we now introduce new, evolved types of Puzzles that have taken over the store. 

As well as new Hybrid and Hyper Casual mechanics that will continue to inspire and create new innovative game concepts.

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Hybrid Puzzles

A new genre that has taken over the top charts is Hybrid Puzzles, which combines both elements from Casual puzzles and elements from the rules established in the Hybrid Casual evolvement.

Block JamOver
1.5M$ in revenue for September

Hybrid Puzzles are presented through long stages to create long gameplay sessions with deeper engagement, usually with focus on specific game rules that the player has to clear in order to advance to the next stage, such as clearing specific colors or to finish the game with a limited number of moves. This correlates well with the Inventory system that has been incorporated throughout many of the Hybrid Puzzles genres, limiting the player’s actions and options in a session and monetized heavily around it.

Sticker Book Puzzle
More than 2M downloads in September


With that, the Hybrid Puzzles are designed around long stages, it focuses on finishing the stage with mechanics such as Blocking, Unblocking, Sorting, Inventory mechanic and more.

Family Tree

On top of everything, those new fundamentals for Puzzle experiences on mobile are monetized around the core principles mentioned above, with their mechanics promoting deeper monetization including RVs and In App Purchases, as seen on Block Jam.
With focus on Interstitials in between the long gameplay sessions or RV’s to give the player extra moves or chances to beat the long stage they are striving to finish.

Hybrid Action

Next in line would be another emerging Genre - Hybrid Action. With the rise of Hybrid Casual games, players are looking for deeper game experiences with more layers to their actions and decisions as they play, while maintaining the short gameplay loops and rewards Hypercasual has established.

Mechangelion

Hybrid Action games tend to have either: 1 input vs multiple outputs (Mob Control as example)  or a deeper and more complex controls system that is still not too mid-core like. (Mechangelion).

Action games are presenting more complex controls, usually more than 2 buttons the player can utilize in its gameplay, usually focusing on Multiplayer like experiences (PVPs, Arena fighters, Social elements, IO).

This new approach to game design, creating Hyper Casual gameplay with more complex controls gives them more room to experiment with the game and try out different actions in different situations, which creates a more engaging experience.

Mob Control

Knowing players will try out multiple buttons that we have designed for them, where each button has its own designated cooldown, players will experience more outcomes to their actions, a stronger sense of risk reward (timing-based mechanics), essentially creating a loop of players having multiple options to explore using multiple controls to be rewarded with different outcomes.

Hybrid Runners - Runners with an ongoing action

As the Runner genre leads the market almost since the beginning of Hyper Casual, we are of course presented with a new evolution of the genre yet again.

Weapon Craft Run
Lasted in the top charts most of Q3

Runners have also gotten deeper, where in the previous Q we discussed how runners have showcased fresh new level designs, simple controls yet deeper gameplays, we can now explore new options of Runners utilizing elements from the Action genre we discussed.
Decision making makes the player feel stronger, with a stronger sense of reward.

Runners today will more likely to have multiple goals for the player, making them replay the game over and over trying to conquer the end phase of the game, or to be able to upgrade their character as much as possible in one run, trying to breach the limits the game has presented. Those elements in runners tend to lead to relatively strong KPI & monetized heavily by Rewarded videos and IAPs.

Those multiple goals come in hand with the multiple options the player has in each stage, giving them more room to explore different mechanics and evolution.

Which all comes down to having multiple outcomes to each option they can explore.

Cross Genres

Cross genres is the last example of a new hybrid ‘direction’. a new way the market has presented to extend gameplay loops and to create more engaging gameplay experiences where the game has 2 different main mechanics that support one another, which results with a simple game that has multiple layers for the player to explore and provides more depth for the players.

Build a Queen - Runner

Build a Queen - Simulator
(Both from the same stage)

For example, Build A Queen showing Makeup Simulation - like gameplay in its runner

Lastly, even though we are covering here development directions for you to try. We would like to emphasize one thing that we see unlikely to succeed this Q. and that is, Idle Arcade

Allow us to explain, while Idle Arcade is a great Sub Genre for Hybrid. It seems like the market has been oversaturated with idle arcade, and there aren't enough innovations there (that is pure gameplay, and not just a ‘theme’ spin-off which isn’t very unique.

Therefore, we suggest all developers out there not to create Pure Idle arcade anymore, unless you have found something truly unique (as a mechanic, a system, etc) to implement there. 

Summary

These 4 new genres & sub-genres present promising opportunities for success in the coming months. However, it's also worthwhile to delve into other sub-genres not discussed here, such as Idle Arcades. Even better, consider the potential of merging them with a hyper merge mechanic for a unique gaming experience.

In conclusion, we recommend thoroughly studying the mega-hits in the gaming market, particularly those by various publishers in the hyper-casual space. Deconstructing these successful games can provide valuable insights.

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