Kakao Talk Odds & Ends is a new weekly feature on the Latis Games Blog. In hopes of giving you a better understanding of one of the hottest mobile platforms in Asia, each week we’ll pick one of the bottom 100 games from the Kakao Game Store to review and analyze. We’ll talk about the good points, bad points, and where these developers went wrong in their quest to top the charts.
#452 Draw Jelly
This modern puzzle quest brings a new perspective to the Tetris classic. Rather than bricks dropping from the sky, players “draw” one of three available jelly shapes in an attempt to complete a row and score points. Each stage has different score goals and time limits. Boosts can be purchased to help overcome difficult levels and include a double score boosts and extra time.
|Publisher:||United Fun Trading (St. Petersberg, Russia)|
|Release Date:||January 2014|
|Last Update:||March 2014|
|Google Play Installs:||10, 000 – 50, 000|
|Supported Languages:||English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish|
Where they got it right
The familiar game play and cutesy artwork make Draw Jelly an easily approachable game. Though not bringing anything terribly new to the Tetris genre, at least it is something a little different. There is something satisfying about joining jellies of the same color together (though this appears to have no real benefit) to form big rows of blobs.
The short play sessions are perfect for the mobile platform and make it a great game for people of all ages, whether they are distracting themselves on a subway commute, waiting on a friend to arrive, or just relaxing before bed. But what struck me most about this game is the music. There is something incredibly relaxing about the simple tune that loops as you trace your blobs.
Where it went wrong
Draw Jelly has a lot of potential to be a great game, but fails across the board by feeling unfinished. The multi-player function promised on the store page is not functional. A “coming soon” message says that the mode will be here eventually, but there is no release information available.
Additionally, there are only 130 levels, which for a game competing in this genre is relatively low. In the first 20 stages, there isn’t much to differentiate one level from another other than the score goals and time limitations. A message indicates that the developer intends to release more stages in the future, but just as with the multi-player function, there is no indication of when this might actually happen. Even the game store feels incomplete. There are only four purchasable boosts to help you get past more difficult levels, with major imbalances in pricing.
Adding to the incomplete/rushed feeling of the game is the relatively poor localization (in English). Though the text is passable, it is awkward at times and, combined with the other lackluster elements of the game, feels like it was a rush job.
Finally, there is the fact that it is yet another candy-themed game in a candy-saturated market.
What could be changed?
It is already difficult for foreign developers to succeed in the Kakao marketplace. Only a few every reach those coveted positions among the top 50 games. The incomplete elements of the game do a lot of damage to Draw Jelly’s ability to move up in the ranks. United Fun Trading could have planned a tighter release schedule for those incomplete parts of the game, or waited on release until they were finished development.
Given that the artwork and IP are very similar to many of the games already on the market here, they may have considered at creating a partnership with another publisher or developer in Korea to help spread their name.
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