If you’re talking downloads, it’s Mediocre’s Smash Hit on the iOS App Store and King’s infamous puzzle game Candy Crush Saga on Google Play. The former is an endless runner-first-person mash-up where you fling balls to smash stuff for progress, while the latter needs no explaining if you’re familiar with match-three puzzle games like Bejeweled.
Smash Hit performed well in China, along with Western countries most likely for its outerworldly aesthetics not unlike Journey and Limbo. This indie-styled effort by studio Mediocre prove that with the right timing, games like this that aren’t shackled by paywalls and passive-agressive free-to-play tactics can make it big, even for just one month.
Just behind Smash Hit on the top games by monthly downloads chart is King’s Farm Heroes Saga, which is the publisher’s way of proving that it’s not a one-hit wonder company. Despite the fact that Farm Heroes Saga is a slight variation of the Candy Crush Saga games, but with farm animals. Tencent’s Thunder Fighter was the sole Chinese-made game on the list at eighth place; still, the Chinese publisher is doing better with its combined amount of titles and game placements on its WeChat app.
The big money-making titles were Clash of Clans for the App Store and Puzzle & Dragons for Google Play, unsurprisingly. The former was tailed by King’s Candy Crush Saga and GungHo’s Puzzle & Dragons. The latter was tailed by Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga. Tencent had its mark all over the top ten with its slew of games: Massive Plane Warz at seventh, Flying Carz at eighth, and GunZ Dash at tenth. This is part of the reason Tencent dominated the iOS charts last March.
One other interesting thing to note is the appearance of Brave Frontier. As it made its debut in North America, the English version and Japanese version was placed tenth on the monthly revenue Google Play chart. The game is still a top-grossing title in Southeast Asia, but it’s slowly gaining traction in the US. For many, Brave Frontier does remind players about the good old days of 16-bit Japanese RPGs, only in portable form.
Do you cherish the fact that an abstract title like Smash Hit break through the likes of Farm Heroes Saga and Flappy Bird clone Flappy Wings? Is China still the de facto spot for unleashing mobile games with free-to-play models? Let us know on the comments below.