In this era of digitization and smartphone revolution, it would be difficult to find someone who hasn’t played or heard of mobile games! Typically the easiest to play and less time consuming, mobile games enthuse all smartphone users alike. However, most game developers target children and young adults as they’re more likely to try new games than their adult counterparts.
Mobile games can be played on portable devices like tablets or music players and smartphones as they require less memory and processing speed compared to other console/PC games. Many of today’s mobile games are based on open source or commercial game engines like Play Canvas, Unreal, Cocos2D, Construct and Unity3D, most of which provide great tools and frameworks to get your game built quickly, with graphical features. Even with their limited resources, good mobile games make more revenue in the market compared to PC/console games, and can even serve as an excellent means of advertising.
All mobile games have one goal in common – to keep end users entertained, engaged and thus increase repeated visits and rate of retention. Entertaining end user is more complex than one can imagine, especially when we look at the domain in which most mobile applications are built. Herein lies the significant difference in testing games and applications.
Multi player – Tested in two different approaches – host and client, where data is received from the server that creates numerous test cases to cover all the scenarios.
Network – Testing a game under various networks depending on the speed/ types can impact the performance as the game is played with backend server.
Fun – Creating a game with fun as an integral part is a daunting task. A game with a bad review will not attract users to download the next version. As every user has his/her own definition of fun, testing the fun aspect is imperative.
AI – Unlike mobile applications, games have AI implemented in them. Complex games have complex AI mechanisms, and it takes more time and patience to test the accuracy of the AI.
Realism – Domain expertise plays an important role as users can easily spot the unrealistic actions.
Installation testing – To verify whether the game is installed or uninstalled without interruptions.
Performance Testing – To verify the behavior and performance of the game under particular conditions like low battery, bad network coverage and low memory.
Certification Testing – To verify the guidelines set by the mobile platform.
Usability testing – To verify if the game is user friendly.
Interrupt Testing – To verify the behavior of the game when user gets a call, message, notifications, alert messages, etc.
Memory Testing – To verify whether the device lags due to lack of memory which may affect the performance of the game play.
Functional Testing – To check whether each feature is working as per the design, and the game play meets the requirements.
While playing mobile games is fun and easy, testing these games before launching to ensure excellent quality and seamless game play is complex involving many steps and procedures. The goal of every game developer and tester is to provide users with a flawless product that helps them not only enjoy gaming but also keep coming back to the brand for more versions or newer games. If the gaming app companies succeed in giving what users want, without compromising on the quality, they’ve surely gained a loyal user for life!
Sindusha Rudraraju works as a QA Engineer at [x]cubeLABS and has over 2 years of experience in desktop, web and mobile applications. She is ISTQB certified and has experience in testing business applications and games.
Tags: mobile game testing