Many of you would know… I’m a big fan of Bruce Lee. So a little while ago I was pleased to find out that a new mobile game was being developed named; Bruce Lee – Enter the Game.
Screenshot from the game
Despite my excitement I only downloaded and commenced playing the game yesterday, and being the usability nut that I am I noticed a few things about my initial interactions that I thought I’d share.
Upon initial loading (which is indicated to the user quite nicely) there are several different Bruce Lee quotes displayed for a few seconds a piece. This is a fantastic way to provide the user with some interaction while waiting for the game to load; especially helpful in this game as the load times are fairly lengthy compared to other games I’ve played.
After this initial load period I stumbled across my first moment of confusion…
It appeared that Bruce Lee wanted to do something; however I wasn’t quite sure what. My initial assumption, using the visual prompts displayed, was that he wanted me to follow him on Google+, but because I wasn’t really sure I hit CANCEL. Perhaps if this was explained a bit better I would have taken a different path. Left with no explanation I didn’t want any of it.
The next few screens were similar to the above however they each provided an explanation of what information was going to be shared with Google and I was happy to proceed with most if it. One particular part that I didn’t want to share was easily updated through the UI with a few simple steps; that was pleasing.
Continuing into the game the majority of actions I took for the first time were joined by an explanation dialogue that guided me in my decision making and explained what I was doing as I did it. My assumption is that these will not be displayed the second and proceeding times I execute the same actions, but I have not tested this.
The great user instruction continued into the actual game play. Each of Bruce Lee’s moves were explained in the same way; by providing an explanation dialogue and then allowing you to undertake the action required for the move. As learning by doing is my thing, I really appreciated this when compared to other games that provide instructions via a help section outside of the game play.
After successfully dispatching all of Bruce Lee’s enemy’s, I was presented with my 3 stars…
Oh, and a new life! Awesome. At this point I realised that my bus stop was nearing and so decided to quit the game. Ah, how do I quit? I spent a bit of time on the above screen trying to find a way back to my phone’s home screen, but couldn’t. After some thought I decided to lock my phone and unlock it to see what might happen…
Success! Some explanation as to how I get out of full screen mode. After seeing this I did recall it being displayed earlier, when I first started the game, but I hadn’t thought about it when I needed it. So I hit OK and then swiped down…
More success! My phone’s menu now displayed and I could get back to the home screen. While I got to the point I wanted to in the end, my preference would be some sort of constant visual representation that a swipe down would reveal the menu (exit full screen mode). It could be a simple little downward pointing arrow using the same style as the rest of the game so it doesn’t look out of place. Looking at the screenshots above I think there is plenty of available real estate for such a button.
Overall I would rate it as a good experience so far. I have plenty more game play ahead of me, and perhaps if I notice more while doing so I’ll add to this post.
This has been a good reminder of how much I use Jakob’s Usability Heuristics without really being aware of it.
Update – This evening my daughter was playing the game on the bus and said to me, “Dad, how do I get back to the main screen?” I was more than happy to show her how (by swiping down), but it has since occurred to me that anyone playing the game on a smart phone where it has been played before could face the same issue. Even more evidence for the need to resolve it.