Game thinking from Adam Clare

Reflection on Making a Free Version of a Game

One of the creators of Catch the Monkey wrote a neat reflection on their making of a promotional free game to promote sales of the full version on the App Store.

The creators always had a problem with demo and free versions of games and it turned them off of the idea. They decided to go ahead with it and apparently the following talk by Matt Rix (Trainyard) greatly impacted their approach to making the free version.

Part 1 of Rix’s talk:

Part 2:

We determined the following principles:

  • Don’t do anything that would make the people who bought the paid version regret their purchase. The free version should complement the pay one, and theoretically co-exist side by side on the player’s device.
  • Don’t do anything that would make a person regret buying the paid version AFTER playing the free version.
  • I recently had a negative experience with an iPad game where I played 12 levels of the demo, bought it, and then had to play through those same identical 12 levels. I regretted buying it, and I did not want to spend hours redoing my previous progress. I didn’t bother to play the pay version. (InApp purchase obviously solves this.)

Read the full reflection at


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  1. Thanks for posting about us. I’ve looked around your site and I find it very helpful!

    • admin

      Thanks for writing about your experience! Also glad you like my blog.

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