In our meetings with brands, we often discuss various mechanics that are found frequently in popular games. Not only can these mechanics be used to build successful games, they are important to keep in mind for other app builds and marketing plans.

This is the fourth entry in our five part series on

successful game mechanics: Partial Reinforcement.


The partial reinforcement mechanic is a strategy that has been in existence for quite some time. It involves intermittent rewarding of players, which then drives them to spend more time with the game in order to seek and earn additional rewards.

A classic example of this is the slot machine. Jetpack Joyride (pictured) is a popular runner game, but its unique aspect to place it in this category is not what happens during gameplay. In between levels, players can spend the special coins they earn during the game at a slot machine which spits out a variety of rewards.


Hearthstone, a popular card based game, applies a randomization mechanic when players purchase packs. These packs contain upgraded cards used in building more advanced decks, but are not known to the player before spending in-game currency to purchase the pack.

This random crating of loot strategy is extremely common and is an element found in a wide variety of game styles.

Catch up on the series with part 1 Social Competition, part 2 Limited Time and Seasonal Events, and part 3 Creativity and Self Expression.

Stay tuned to the blog or follow Dragon Army on Facebook and Twitter for updates as we close our series on successful game mechanics with the final installment.