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I teach Swift 3 and Android Studio. My students are always asking why I'm not in the mobile market yet; frankly, I'm migrating my 88 games from flash into native mobile apps ... it takes time. My question is: What game mechanics are most successful in the mobile apps for a profitable endeavor? Puzzle sliders? PacMan-ish chases?

I know there are 7 different methods of input, but which provide fun entertaining games? I could use some advice.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This seems like a question to answer with your own market research. Consider taking a look through the top apps on iOS and Android to get a sense of what's popular right now. You'll be able to trust that direct research a fair shake better than some stranger on the internet opining "Accelerometer-controlled match 3 works the best on mobile. Trust me. Totally the best" ;) \$\endgroup\$ – DMGregory Jul 9 '17 at 18:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not looking for popular genre nor theme. I'd like to learn of research evidence on what mobile inputs are most popular. \$\endgroup\$ – PBMCube Jul 11 '17 at 0:05
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I do not have any actual data on this issue, but in my opinion, the most important factors are

  • Very limited methods of input. There are a lot of popular games which only use sliding and tapping. Some games use only one (e.g. infinite runner games where the only action is jump on tap).

  • Much shorter game sessions. Most people play mobile games to kill a few minutes (e.g. in public transport). This requires the game design to account for short playtime. Games also benefit from the ability to be paused and continued later.

  • Small screens. Much less elements can be visible at the same time (this makes designing gameplay and UI more difficult (or at least different from PC) for e.g. strategy games, although there are some popular ones).

If you need some particular statistics on the popularity of genres or mechanics, you will probably need to do your own research (unless somebody here has this data to share). But more importantly, you need to account for the abovementioned limitations while designing the gameplay and UI. In your case, you should probably choose the games that already satisfy these constraints (or can be easily made to do so).

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