By Shubhang Gopal
With everyone stuck at home amid the on-going COVID-19 lockdown for months now, family-friendly mobile games that can be played in groups have seen an enormous spike in downloads as well as usage. Games like Ludo King, Houseparty, Tambola and many more have become popular than ever before at this time of crises.
With mobile application versions of a plethora of classic old-school board games available at one’s fingertips, here is our look at some of the most popular games of the lockdown.
Developed by Mumbai based Gametion Ludo King has enjoyed an exponential rise in its popularity in the last two months. Despite being launched way back in February 2016, the popular dice game has really come into being during the lockdown. Between March 25 and April 10, the game was among the top 5 most downloaded apps in India, and currently has more than 50 million daily active users. With close to 350 million downloads, the game has overshadowed other popular players in the market such as Candy Crush Saga.
The game’s success can be attributed to a variety of factors, one of the major ones being the casual Indian audience’s familiarity with the gameplay. In addition to the comfortable interface, the wide range of customization options, the multiple game modes and the option of playing live games online with your friends and family, all have been important contributors to the game’s success.
The ever-popular shedding-type card game is another beneficiary of the lockdown, with the game’s inclusive nature and people’s memories associated with it working in its favour. With a 50-year legacy and countless variations, the game is experiencing a second-home in India in the wake of the lockdown. The Mattel application has received more than 50 million downloads, and the fact that the multiplayer mode works in both online and offline modes is a major draw for the game. The gripping nature of the gameplay and the ability to play a different variation every day keeps the players engaged and hooked to the game.
Skribbl, a deliberate misspelt form of ‘scribble’, is a simple, easy to play, online web game which allows users to compete against each other by drawing a picture based on a prompt in a given time limit. As the name suggests, the game is a modified online version of the popular board game, Pictionary, and up to eight users can play a game of Skribbl at a time. The game essentially involves picture-base charades, where users draw their representation of a given prompt while the other players are supposed to guess the prompt. The faster one guesses, the more points one scores. The game also includes high levels of customization, from the user persona to the catalogue of drawing tools available to aid the gameplay.
Several other apps have contributed towards increasing family bonding and have seen a similar resurgence. These include the mobile versions of the classics, Scrabble and 8-Ball Pool. Scrabble Go, by Scopely has seen a 75 per cent rise in the active user base in the last two months, and is one of the most trending applications on the Google Play Store.
Word-based games have seen a rapid increase in their user base because of their ability to impart knowledge along with enjoyment. This is true even for trivia-based games, such as Glu’s QuizUp, which crossed 10 million downloads recently.
Another popular game is Tambola (Indian Bingo), which has really stood out because of its ability to be played over video call, imitating a real-life experience unlike most other games around it.
Most of you would be familiar with and even frequent players of a lot of the games mentioned above. In case you were unaware of a few, these can act as potential recommendations for you to download and give a try. In times such as these, it is essential to prevent monotony from setting in, and these engaging classics, besides bringing you closer to your loved ones, can also act as a refreshing source of enjoyment and positivity.
Shubhang Gopal is an intern with indianexpress.com
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