Confessions of an Angry Bird Addict; What Makes a Game Addicting?

Confessions of an Angry Bird Addict; What Makes a Game Addicting?

Hello, my name is Meredith and I am addicted to Angry Birds. A few weeks ago, my colleagues Nate and Sarah introduced me to a new game app for my Droid X, which I can’t decide whether or not to thank them for (at least it was free on the Droid, unlike the iPhone!). Since downloading Angry Birds, hours upon hours of my limited free time has been lost to this addicting game. But now that I’m just a few slingshots away from the last level, I can’t help but be proud!

For those of you who still haven’t heard about the latest app that’s sweeping the nation at 60,000 downloads a day, allow me to introduce you. Angry Birds, made by Rovio, is a game where you fling different types of birds (all with different abilities ranging from high-speed crashes to bomb-like explosions) via a touch-screen enabled slingshot at fortified castles where the evil, green pigs who have stolen the birds’ eggs are hiding. You control the angle and power of the slingshot that flings the birds at the wood, stone, or ice fortresses in an attempt to knock them down and crush the pigs.

So, after weeks of playing nothing but Angry Birds, I had to ask… What is it that makes a game addicting? I’ve narrowed it down to the five points below.

  • A Goal – okay, we’ll start with the obvious. All addicting games need to have something you’re working toward.
  • Levels – for a truly addicting game, just having a goal isn’t enough; you need to feel a sense of progress and have a reason to keep playing even if the goal is reached.
  • Success Rate – Having goals and levels that are challenging, yet attainable is key. No one likes to play a game they always lose. It needs to be satisfying.
  • Replay Value – “I’ve almost got it, just one more time and I’ll make it for sure!” This phrase is one I’ve repeated many times while playing Angry Birds and is what keeps you up hours past your bedtime. But beyond just beating level after level, Angry Birds gives you a star value based on your completion score, so you can keep going back over and over again until you reach the maximum of three stars per level.
  • Brain Power – like Angry Birds’ incorporation of physics, a game that uses a combination of logic and skill will have much longer lasting power than a game that’s pure luck.

What do you think; are there other features of an addicting game that should be added to this list?


3 thoughts on “Confessions of an Angry Bird Addict; What Makes a Game Addicting?

  1. I liked this. Now I know what Angry Birds is all about. And I think your description of what makes a great game is ‘spot on’. Perhaps a competitor like you appreciates it more than most!

  2. Thanks for reading! I agree, anyone with a competitive drive would feel obligated to beat every level in Angry Birds, and the sense of accomplishment is well worth it. Hopefully that same motivation will translate to more worthwhile endeavors as well!

  3. in the same boat.. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. was almost done the orignal Angry Birds, then they came out with Anry Birds RIO… with MONKEYS.. will the madness ever stop!!!! LOL

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s