It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 20 years since Snake first came loaded onto Nokia phones in 1998. Its simple premise and gameplay was perfect for mobile devices, and although nowadays smartphones are leaps-and-bounds more powerful, some developers continue to recreate the same kind of simple but addictive games. Ketchapp is one such developer, and their latest game Knife Hit has players around the globe hooked.
There is nothing really innovative about Knife Hit. The only thing you can do in the game is tap on the screen to send a knife shooting upwards into a spinning target. What makes the game interesting is that you have to time your throws so they don’t bounce off of the objects stuck into the target, including the knives you’ve previously thrown. If just a single knife falls, you lose.
Well, you sort of lose. You can continue after watching a short ad, or immediately if you pay three bucks through an in-app purchase. You might be wondering who would pay for such a simple game, but considering the fact that Ketchapp was bought by French gaming giant Ubisoft in 2016, they must be doing something right. Even if their games aren’t always original.
This is far from Ketchapp’s first successful arcade-style release. They’ve been one of the top grossing developers on both iOS and Android for years, and their recent announcement about a Chinese subsidiary is likely to lead to even more market dominance.
All of their games feature ad-supported gameplay with one simple gameplay mechanic. You can unlock a few cosmetic items the more you play (or by paying money), but the games never deviate from their original premise. This allows them to pump out well-polished games pretty frequently and keep raking in the ad profits.
Love it or hate it, these games continue to be the bread and butter of Android’s price-sensitive user base. Sure, they’re not as flashy or action packed as Battle Royales like PUBG Mobile, but sometimes a few minutes of mindless tapping are just what the doctor ordered.