This article looks at how 2048 games manage closing the game and what it means for the player experience.
Close immediately without confirmation
Closing the game by accident can be really frustrating for players if they were doing good and lose their progress. This can be a problem when quit interactions are mapped to the hardware back button, which is easy to touch by accident. If the progress is saved and players can continue their session afterwards, it may not be as much of an issue, but it can still be frustrating if it happens by accident, even if the player only needs to restart the game.
Confirm before closing using a native dialog
Using a native dialog is effective and cheap to avoid accidental quits. It adds an action before leaving, but prevents most of the potential frustration of quitting by accident. It is also consistent with leaving the game using the hardware back button, without risking to lose progress by accident,
Confirm before closing using a custom dialog
Using a custom menu can add to the consistency of the game, by matching the look and feel. It represents more work to design well, implement and localise. It works well both with the device’s back button or a quit option in a menu. The advantage of this approach is it lets you display a non intrusive add when quitting the game, as they do in the cupcake example below.
With a custom dialog comes the risk of introducing usability issues. An effective custom dialog follows as closely as possible the native behaviour of the device. It implies an increased workload which may not be worth it in many cases. For example, many users close their apps by pulling up the list of active apps and closing those they don’t need anymore. In that case, all development of the closing screen will be by-passed, ads included.
Displaying ads before closing
Some games will display a full screen add when closing the game. This can get extremely frustrating specially when combined with accidental quits without a confirmation messages. I don’t know how well this performs in the short term, but it definitely is a poor experience for players and will fail to build trust and long term engagement with the brand. I do believe displaying an add when closing the app is a good timing, but the previous example on the confirmation dialog seems more user friendly and would be displayed as much as the full screen one.