Build a base. Attack neighboring islands. Wait, in real time, for unit/building upgrades to complete. Purchase gems to experience instant gratification. Ah, the good life of Boom Beach.
Supercell’s Boom Beach is the tropical cousin of their 2012 hit, Clash of Clans. Beyond the change of scenery, Boom Beach and Clash of Clans are pretty much the same game. Both feature:
- Strategic base building.
- Freemium-based gameplay hooks designed to encourage the purchase of in-game currency.
- The destruction and death of cartoon property and beings. (There should be an organization formed against such things.)
Life in the Feedback Loop
I am not sure why I flirt with games like Boom Beach. Perhaps it is the initial rush from the positive feedback loop they provide?
A positive feedback loop can be thought of as a reinforcing relationship. Something happens that causes the same thing to happen again, which causes it to happen yet again, getting stronger in each iteration – like a snowball that starts out small at the top of the hill and gets larger and faster as it rolls and collects more snow. 
The problem with the feedback loop is that after the tutorial levels, the game levels off. That wonderful pat on the back, which happened often in the beginning of the game, starts to take longer. I find myself losing interest as I have to wait for units/buildings to complete their building cycles. As a long time gamer, the in-game timer and time associated with how long a unit/building takes to complete comes across as arbitrary. Yes, I know that games such as Boom Beach are made to be played on a mobile platform. Mobile platforms are perfect for quick gameplay experiences as you are standing in line at the bank–do people do this?–, or so I’ve been told.
If I was one of the gifted, one of those who owned a smart phone, I would be shelling minutes of my life away to a game like this. The problem with Boom Beach and Clash of Clans is that they eat away time much like channel surfing. Instead of dedicating a set amount of time to a game, like one would to watching a specific TV show, players spend a few minutes here and a few minutes there battling and upgrading their minions. This nickel and dime style of gameplay causes players to spend untold hours on a game. I don’t think this is respectful to the player. Add in optional push notifications and the game becomes like a second child.
I am still not sure why I flirt with games such as Boom Beach. Such games have no place in my life with their disrespectful underpinnings. Even though they are fun, for a season.