Post mortem on our first 3 Hidden Escape games!
Hidden Escape Town is now available on both iOS and Android!
Hidden Escape is a series of point and click adventure games that involve searching for hidden objects, decoding riddles, solving puzzles, and beating minigames.
The series is the mobile release of the hit Flash game series e3D we created for Bored.com a few months ago. We still owned the mobile rights and decided to start self releasing the games under our own channel. We’re more used to doing client projects, so this is the first big self release we have done and it’s been a crazy learning experience in so many ways! The series was released about 1 month ago and we hope to keep it going with at least 10 installments, releasing 1 every week. So far we have around 10,000 downloads on iOS and Android with our most popular one being Hidden Escape – The Suite.
***** SPOILER ALERT! *****
If you would rather just play the games, scroll down for the links 🙂
Hidden Escape – Autopsy Lab
The series started with Hidden Escape – Autopsy Lab which has the player escaping from an abandoned autopsy lab. Through newspaper articles, flyers, and other various in-game items, the player unravels the backstory. It is revealed that during an experiment to bring a dead body back to life, the subject became aggressive and started attacking the audience. The lab was sealed shut with the zombie inside. The game starts several years later with the player waking up inside the lab alone. If they try to go outside, police shoot at them because they are the zombie. It’s up to the player to find objects, combine them, and find ways to unlock saves that contain explosives that allow them to blast a secret exit through a wall andescape the autopsy lab! The game was very well received on Android and still climbing in downloads every day. We were only monetizing the app through admob which was yielding around $2-$3 cpm (not very high) and was pissing off our players for having an ad every 30 scene changes. We did plan ahead for this to happen though and created an external xml hosted on dropbox that controls the amount of ads and changed the ads from showing up every 15 frames to every 30 which seemed to have calmed down the negative feedback, but caused us to drop drastically in revenue. Overall the game has been getting good reviews it is just a difficult task to monetize through interstitial ads without ruining the play experience.
Hidden Escape – Suite
The second game in the series is Hidden Escape – The Suite. In the suite, the player controls a forgetful person who has somehow locked themselves inside their own apartment suite. The gameplay is pretty straight forward and follows a more classic escape the room format having the player finding, combining, and placing items. There are however a lot of secret areas in the game that the player must find. This game exploded on iOS due to our expert ASO and received 6,000 downloads in the first 2 days! However, the ads were still very annoying to players and resulted in some bad reviews killing the momentum of the downloads. We decided to completely change how we monetize from the game and only use 30 second Tapjoy video ads that appear when the user starts the walkthrough video which is embedded directly into the app. These ads have a WAY higher CPM, are optional to watch so they do not affect any part of the play experience, and allowed us to remove all other ads from gameplay! The game still has an admob ad at the start of the game and whenever the player closes and reopens the app which are both very non-intrusive locations. We’re seeing much better play times on the game after this change and revenue is starting to climb back up again!
Hidden Escape – Town
And today we released my favorite game in the series Hidden Escape Town! This game is longer than the others and has a fantasy theme to it. The player is presented with a challenge of unlocking 3 gates leading out of the town. Each gate is only unlocked by them decoding a very cryptic puzzle designed by our artist Eran Limor. The player has to search through over 40 scenes of an abandoned ancient town searching for objects that can help them solve the mystery. The gameplay include: using sound waves and prisms to reveal a secret melody, and even stealing the moon right out of the night sky! We just released it today and hope to see that removing all of the gameplay ads help the player experience and the video ads have keep up a high cpm. Only time will tell, but we’ll definitely be making iterations so we can keep improving the series with every release!
Play the Games!
This post has kind of been all over the place. It’s half-release announcement, half-review of a series, and half post mortem on what is and isn’t working for our first set of self released games. I hope that you found something useful in it and have time to check out our games. Remember to rate them if you like them and to tell us directly if you don’t 🙂 One bad review can totally kill an app in today’s competitive app market!
Thanks for reading! Happy escaping!
Are you interested in publishing a point and click adventure, escape, or hidden object game? We have over 60 published games in this genre, some with over 4 MILLION plays! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org today to get a free estimate!
Here are a few screenshots from the unreleased ones! Let me know if you are interested in publishing the iOS and Android versions of them! Like us on Facebook to get all of the updates!