Kittie 2048 usability evaluation

As part of a benchmark series, we will look at many 2048 games out there to see how they compare, and highlight best practices swell as common pitfalls for this type of games.

Next up, Kittie 2048, looks pretty much the same as Cats 2048, but has little in common with it in terms of experience !

Onboarding

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The game starts up really fast and gets the player directly to play. It takes less than 5 seconds to go in game, and this is very much appreciated by players. It contributes to create a great first impression : introducing the style and a first positive experience with the game.

 

Interactions

kittie2048-playspeedInteractions are very smooth. The game can be played as fast as one wishes, players never experience input errors . The game feels very comfortable to play.

Feedback & signs

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New tiles grow in from center, allowing the player to notice their appearance and the changes in the game board.

Merging tiles grow slightly and zoom out again. This animation is very short and subtle.

The score does not benefit from a special animation. The player’s attention is not drawn to it particularly. The game does present the current and best score though, which means the game shows that the game focuses both on progress and scoring.

kittie2048-2-epic512achievementWhen the player reaches a new tile, a dialog congratulates him for his achievement, which feels good and rewarding. The goal, progress and next step isn’t very clear though. A small indicator in the center between the score and best score shows the next goal to reach. It is not very visible though and was not clear enough for many players.

Menus & options

kittie2048-quit-no-confirmThe menus of the game are icon based, which helps making the game understandable while requiring fewer efforts for localisation.

The direct access to sound options is also nice, since many players want to turn off the sound when playing in public places without headset.

 

What did we learn from this game ?

  • Very quick start-up and access to gameplay contributes to create a positive first impression which will have a positive impact on later impressions, making negatives less negative, and positives even more positive. This works also the other way around, that’s why making a positive first impression matters so much.
  • Animations help players to notice changes in the interface, such as new goals and score increases. Lack of animations fails to draw attention to scoring or goals, and take away a little satisfaction from the player who is motivated by progressing visibly.
  • Reaching a new goal is rewarded with a pop in congratulation message. This can be intrusive, but here it feels like an accomplishment.
  • Well chosen and distinguishable icons help players understand actions without reading, which makes the game more accessible for younger audiences and easier to localise.

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