It isn’t every day that you get to hear an Indian-developed game making it to Apple App Store’s Editors Choice in over 80 countries and an Editors Choice Banner, no matter how much blooming ‘you think’ the Indian mobile gaming ecosystem is. Brishing all that aside though, Pune-based Dropout Games founded by Sujeet Kumar and Ankush Madad, has achieved just the same with UNWYND, a free-to-play puzzle game.
Well, the game, released only in February end, has already been been dubbed a successor to the classic Tic-Tac-Toe. The ‘challenging element’ is missing in most ‘casual’ games released these days, and this is where UNWYND heats it up.
True to it’s name, the app helps you unwind the strategic way; it promises to test hardcore mobile fans of the puzzle ‘genre.’ The game aims to continually evolve it’s varied 90 difficulty levels as per user needs.The 5-member strong team, being avid players of puzzlers like Kami and Puzzle Retreat went ahead and created a game based on slightly higher difficulty levels.
Coming to the heart of the product, the gameplay. It essentially involves a simple swipe based mechanic in order to solve meticulously crafted combo – based puzzles. There is heavy emphasis on letting the player paint unique “looking” solution to each puzzle presented on the screen. Each solution can be achieved in multiple patterns depending on player’s approach to gestures.
The core of the game is based on color and symbol matchmaking. With swift gestures ,players need to pull in coloured ribbons that mark the blocks on screen based on their respective colours resulting in different combinations of X and O patterns. You must be asking about the soundtrack, which is an important part of the voerall gaming experience. Well, UNWYND’s soundtrack features Ashley Read, known for his work on AAA titles including EVE: Valkyrie, Watchdogs and The Crew.
UNWYND got off to an unsuccessful Android stint, after which Dropout games decided to change tact, and instead develop for iOS, focusing more on the UI and gameplay elements along the way.
Talking about the feedback they received, Ankush tells me,
We’ve had a chance of showing the game to alot of people including many people from studios including Zepto Lab (Cut The Rope), Joybits (Doodle God), Reliance Games (Real Steel), Team Signal (Hyper Square), Mike Bithell (Thomas was Alone) amongst others and got some amazing feed backs.
Surely, the right amount of feedback and user suggestions paved the way for the game’s current position in the Indian as well as overall mobile gaming industry.
The game is available in a variety of languages (even Chinese) and is available on the iOS App Store, Play Store and Windows Phone platforms for download. It is 32MB in size, and in-app purchases can go between Rs.60-120.
The studio members have previously worked on ROTO: A simple Circular Puzzlewhich too wasn’t shy in received industry accolades.
UNWYND comes as a breath of fresh air for the Indian mobile gaming ecosystem, which is becoming glutted with unpopular titles, day by day. However, future prospects are bright, if the gaming industry matures to build up games lived by a global audience. A few months back, research company KPMG-FICCI predicted that from the current INR 560 crore, the mobile gaming segment size in India will more than triple to INR 1,800 crore by 2017.
Indian mobile users are expected to cross 500 million in numbers, and Dropout Games is expecting to take a pie out of this number. The growth story will only boost forward as mobile connectivity issues improve across the country.
From an outsider’s perspective, there’s definitely an infectious passion in the indie gaming scene in our country, and looking at how 2015’s going so far, the next couple of years should be interesting to watch.