Pulse UX Blog:
Why Angry Birds is so successful and popular: a cognitive teardown of the user experience
Why is an interface so engaging that users cannot stop interacting with it? This is a difficult question because it requires cognitive reverse engineering to determine what interaction attributes a successful interface embodies that result in a psychologically engaging user experience. This question pops up when products become massively successful based on their user experience design – think iPhone, iPad, Google Instant Search, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Kinect.
A detailed examination of the game mechanics and psychological elements that contribute to Angry Birds’ incredible stickiness, fun, and success. I play it now and then, a couple of levels at a time, and have many levels to go. I’m personally more susceptible to reflex-based game addictions, stuff like Canabalt, Skipping Stone (an ancient mobile game which is now being remade for iOS), and Super Quickhook/Hook Worlds. The latter two are amazing games on the iPhone by a small indie studio called Rocketcat Games. If you like infinite running games like Canabalt or retro 8/16-bit graphics, you’re going to love these. They’re hardcore one-more-try games that have you racing against your own ghost and/or the clock, but their finely-balanced fun/reward ratio keeps you going instead of tearing your hair out.