Blossom Blast

Blossom Blast is a mobile match 3 type of game by King.

1. Heuristic Analysis of the Onboarding

To conduct an heuristic analysis of the game’s onboarding, I first tested the game myself as a first-time player, observing and noting down my thoughts, frustrations and feelings throughout the process. I then assessed the game’s onboarding using relevant principles from Jacob Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics.

What is Done Right

The game’s onboarding does a good job explaining how to play the game:

  • It visually and clearly shows what to do in a nice animated way.
  • It is not too long.
  • It generally uses easy to understand words and language.
  • The nature of the onboarding steps and language are consistent.
  • There seem to be no error-prone conditions to be encountered.
  • Players don’t need to remember many things because it’s all clear and simple.

What Can Be Improved & How?

  • Selection of messages and steps
    Some messages and steps are redundant.

    How to improve:
    Unless there’s some valid reasoning behind having 2 of the same steps, only keep 1 of each.

  • Clarification of scoring and system status visibility
    Players aren’t always aware of what, why, and how certain things are happening. For example, as a new player, I was left wondering and trying to figure out how the blossoms worked, and what number or sizes of flowers they needed in order to bloom. I was also wondering what radius does the bloom affect, what the bar at the top meant, and how it worked. I also didn’t know what the sizes of the flowers were, for example, I didn’t know if a flower needed just 1 more combination to bloom or needed more than 1 combo.

    How to improve:
    – Include 1-2 onboarding steps or messages to mention or explain to players what the top bar is and how the blooms work. Ex. A bloom affects all flowers around it, and the tiles of the affected flowers will glow.
    Ex. Once the top bar meter fills, you get a superbloom.
    Ex. Each flower corresponds to a number based on its size.
    – Add a “garden guide” section accessible from the settings menu, that shows the growth levels (pics) of each type of flower so players can learn and recognize what level a certain flower is at.

  • Help and documentation
    There’s currently no quick help/restart tutorial/how to play option.

    How to improve:
    – Add a “restart tutorial” button or a “how to play” button in the settings menu that allows players to either restart the tutorial or access a how to play section.
    – Also add a “garden guide” button and section as mentioned previously.

  • Flexibility and efficiency of use
    – It might be unclear for players how to undo a certain move.
    – There’s no option to restart the tutorial or to skip tutorial.
    – On Android, there’s no option to exit game if the tutorial is running.

    How to improve:
    – Mention how to undo a move in the onboarding
    – Add a “skip tutorial” button/option when onboarding messages are displayed, and add a “restart tutorial” button in the settings.
    – Enable someone to exit the game if they press the back button on Android. Use an exit confirmation dialogue before exiting.

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