Nintendo did at least one thing right when bringing Animal Crossing to mobile

It's fair to say that Nintendo's latest mobile title, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, has met with a mixed reception.

In the press, reviewers have expressed a number of complaints about the game, including its monetisation mechanics, intermittent server issues and lack of certain gameplay elements that were found in earlier console versions of Animal Crossing.

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GS7 Edge beats iPhone 7 Plus and rival Androids at Mario


Don’t be fooled by the nostalgic graphics and simple gameplay. Nintendo’s new mobile title, Super Mario Run, is a real battery guzzler due to its blistering 60fps frame rate, high CPU usage and always-on network connectivity. This is true of both the iOS and Android versions of the game, but the impact on user experience (and hence potentially on user reviews and revenues) is more surprising on certain top-end Android phones. Let's take a look at some numbers...

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Does 'Super Mario Run' set a new benchmark for mobile gaming performance?

Mario has arrived fashionably late to the iPhone party and no one is holding it against him. Such is Nintendo’s reputation for quality that many gamers are actually expecting this week’s launch of Super Mario Run to set a new standard for mobile gaming.

We’ve been using GameBench to find out whether Super Mario Run delivers the objective hallmarks of quality: Does the game run at a perfect, console-like 60fps? Does it make efficient use of system resources and battery power? And does Mario manage to keep up with his Sega rival, Sonic, who has already had a long career in the “endless runner” genre on smartphones? Read on to find out...

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Mobile game performance pitfalls that studios and QA teams often overlook

There are many ways to test a mobile game, from compatibility testing through to subjective testing (i.e., determining whether it’s fun or not). But one aspect of the QA process that is still quite new, and hence doesn't always get the attention it deserves, is performance testing.

The need for performance testing has arisen in response to recent demand for more premium mobile game experiences -- in other words, games that deliver high levels of visual quality and fluidity, and which increasingly do so in combination with other intensive tasks (such as AR or VR, physics simulation or sophisticated AI).

Given the newness of this discipline, I think it’s worth pinning down an essential checklist of six common pain-points which we frequently encounter here at GameBench, and which any meaningful performance test should take into account.

1. Slow or jerky animation

When a studio sets a target frame rate for a game's animation, usually at either 30 or 60 frames per second (fps), it's essential that this target matches the game's genre and that it is achievable on popular devices.

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CASE STUDY: NEWS APPS AND THE QUEST FOR EXTREME RESPONSIVENESS

News reading apps are the quiet ninjas of the mobile world. On the face of it, they perform a simple, repetitive task: displaying the daily news. Whether it's the Huffington Post, the BBC, The Guardian or the Mail Online, they all go about this task in very similar ways.

Behind the scenes, however, the popularity of the leading news outlets is so great, and there’s so much pressure to engage and retain habitual readers (who are fussy and spoilt for choice), that news reading apps have become the focus of huge amounts of technical skill and resources, both in terms of software development and QA. The apps may be simple, but perfecting them isn’t.

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