Rethinking the restart loop in games

The Problem

Most games in order to restart the player needs to traverse multiple screens and menus. When I design games I try to make this process as smooth as possible. The lower I can make the barrier to let the player play again, the better.

Starting the game

When designing Schuriken, I wanted to teach the player how to play the game before actually playing the game. It is not very common for a game to have you hold the screen the entire time. So in order to start the game, the player needs to hold their finger in the designated spot for three seconds (as shown in the video below). This also gives the player a count down before the madness happens. If the player fails to do this they are reverted back to the previous screen with the message: "Touch, Hold and Avoid the Shuriken!"


When the player is game-over the player can easily restart by holding their finger in the designated spot again (as shown in the video below). The player is in the app to play the actual game, so why make it hard for them to do exactly that? Because of the quick and punishing nature of the game, I want to have the player restart very rapidly.

The Game

Schuriken is a mobile game where the player’s finger is attacked by Japanese shuriken and katanas. The player just hold their finger on the screen and dodged the weapons as long as possible. Lifting your finger, or getting hit, results in the player being game-over. My aim for the game was to put the player in the game as the player avatar. So the weapons would attack your finger. Upon hitting you there would be blood on the screen, which would be the "player’s blood". The game could be categorised as a “Hypercasual” game. Hypercasual games are the simple small free games that are very popular these days.


Adobe illustrator, Unity 3D Game Engine, C#