MiniTroopers: Mini is More

MiniTroopers has the right formula: simplicity. Cut the fat and present the player with a limited set of meaningful choices and your product becomes easier to grasp and enjoy. Hit the link above and be ready for a casual gaming treat. Forget signing up, screw password strength and nagging terms of use – the terms are easy: you, fun, now.

All too easy.

Luke Wroblewski, a prominent web designer, shares Will Wright’s belief that games (and web sites) should allow people to succeed within the first five seconds. Both brilliant designers, Luke and Will are in the business of creating engaging conversations with people they’ve never met and, like all first conversations, it pays to gradually introduce yourself. Motion-Twin, the developer of MiniTroopers, shows a little social swagger with this friendly introduction that is all play. Name your army and select your first trooper…let’s have some fun.

Once you’re introduced your trooper is ready to kick some pixelated butt. The blinking “Go!” button is hard to miss and the combat itself can’t be fat fingered or Leeroyed; you’re just the cheerleader for a minute.

Epic game'sUX flattop always wins, unless the other guy has a shotgun

Ok, fine, that’s all great but where’s the game, right? What makes MiniTroopers a game rather than a toy is the decision making outside of combat. Once you’ve earned some coins you can purchase new troopers or upgrade your existing army. As your troopers advance you can also give more detailed instructions that will guide how they behave in combat.

Sniper rifles are cool but the flattop likes to get close and personal: Loader it is

What’s critical here is that the theme of limited, clear choices is carried through across all aspects. Rather than feeling underwhelmed, this lack of complexity puts the player in charge of the situation. Invite and empower your player immediately just by keeping it simple.

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