The 10 Best Educational Apps that use Gamification for adults in 2023

This post was recently updated to reflect the 10 best educational apps for adults that use Gamification for 2023

Click here to view our full list of our Gamification examples. 

Get ready to learn, the fun way! We have scoured the internet and app stores to find the 10 best educational apps that use Gamification for adults. See how companies and organizations are making learning languages, music, coding, art, history, and more fun and exciting for everyone!

10. Brilliant – gamified educational app for problem-solving and critical thinking skills

Brilliant | Learn interactively

How it works: Brilliant is a gamified educational app that focuses on enhancing problem-solving and critical thinking skills. The app offers interactive puzzles, quizzes, and challenges in various subjects such as math, science, computer science, and engineering. Users can engage in thought-provoking problems and explore concepts through an immersive learning experience.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment – Brilliant utilizes this core drive by providing users with challenging problems and puzzles that require critical thinking and problem-solving skills. As users progress and successfully solve problems, they gain a sense of accomplishment and advancement.

Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback – Brilliant encourages creativity by presenting problems that require unique approaches and solutions. Users can explore different strategies and receive immediate feedback on their progress, helping them refine their problem-solving skills.

Core Drive 7: Unpredictability & Curiosity – The app keeps users engaged through unexpected and intriguing problem scenarios, stimulating curiosity and the desire to explore further. The element of surprise and the diversity of problems maintain user interest and motivation.

9. Khan Academy – gamified educational app to learn anything for free, forever

How it works: Khan Academy is an educational platform where students can learn math, science, computer programming, history, and more. What makes Khan Academy standout is their mission: they aim to provide this education to everyone around the world (currently in 36 languages) completely for free forever.

They’ve accomplished some amazing results:

  • Students who complete 60% of their grade-level math on Khan Academy experience 1.8 times their expected growth on the NWEA MAP Test, a popular assessment test.
  • Student use of Khan Academy correlates with score gains on standardized achievement tests.
  • 20 hours of practice is associated with a 115-point average score increase from the PSAT/NMSQT to the SAT, nearly double the average gain of students who do not practice on Official SAT Practice.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

  • Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling: Khan Academy truly utilizes CD1 to motivate donors, teachers, and volunteers on its quest to accomplish its mission. Because of their mission to provide free education to everyone forever, they’ve gotten companies that have donated over $10,000,000 each.
  • Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness: Khan Academy utilizes the power of CD5 to recognize their interns from around the world:

8. Coursera – gamified educational app to get Ivy-League education from your own home

How it works: Coursera is an online learning platform that provides universal access to the world’s best education from top universities. Universities add their courses onto the platform and students can use Coursera to pay for and take a course.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

7. Udemy – gamified educational app for user-generated learning

How it works: Udemy is an online platform that allows educators to upload courses and for students to purchase these courses and learn online. Anyone from anywhere in the world can upload a course: you can learn anything from coding, to languages, to fashion, and even parenting.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

  • Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: on the student-side of the platform, Udemy utilizes progress bars to indicate the student’s progress and to encourage completion of a course. They also dangle a trophy at the end of the course as their reward for completing it.
  • Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: Udemy truly excels on the teach-side of the platform. Anyone from anywhere in the world can create their own online course. They have the complete creative freedom to choose any topic and use their video editing skills to make their course stand out.
  • Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession: Udemy provides instructors with the chance to generate passive income.

6. Mimo – gamified educational app for learning to code

Mimo: Learn to Code - Terms of Service

Website

How it works: Mimo is a gamified educational app designed for individuals interested in learning to code. The app provides interactive lessons, coding challenges, and quizzes to help users develop coding skills in various programming languages. Mimo offers a structured learning path and progress tracking to ensure users’ continuous development.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment – Mimo utilizes this core drive by offering users a clear learning path with incremental challenges. As users complete lessons, challenges, and projects, they gain a sense of achievement and progress in their coding journey.

Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback – Mimo empowers users to apply their coding skills in real-world scenarios through coding challenges and interactive projects. The app provides immediate feedback and evaluation, allowing users to refine their coding abilities and enhance their creativity.

Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness – Mimo incorporates a social aspect by allowing users to connect with a community of learners, share their projects, and receive feedback from peers. This promotes a sense of relatedness and provides opportunities for collaboration and support in the coding learning process.

5. BitDegree – gamified educational app for learning technology skills

Gamification Design: A BitDegree Case Study 

How it works: BitDegree is a gamified educational app that focuses on teaching technology-related skills. It offers courses on various topics such as web development, programming, data science, and digital marketing.

By partnering with the Octalysis Group, BitDegree implemented behavioral science principles and the Octalysis Gamification Framework to transform their platform.

BitDegree incorporated various gamified elements into their platform to enhance user engagement. Firstly, they utilized the Octalysis Gamification Framework, which encompasses eight core drives of human motivation. This framework guided the design process and ensured the incorporation of both White Hat and Black Hat gamification techniques. BitDegree leveraged core drives such as ownership, scarcity, and epic meaning to inspire and incentivize users throughout their learning journey.

To address the audience-centric approach, BitDegree created a gamification path. This pre-defined learning path provided clear direction and support for users, catering to their specific learning motivations. By experiencing a structured journey and anticipating the end goal, users were motivated to progress and complete courses. This gamified learning path significantly differed from the previous function-focused design, leading to improved user engagement.

BitDegree’s implementation of gamified elements and audience-centric design yielded exceptional ROI. Within a short three-month design sprint, BitDegree witnessed a remarkable 400% return (or 300% increase) in course completions, while reducing the Time to Completion by 50%. Check out the BitDegree Case Study here.

gamification Bitdegree

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

  1. Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Through a gamified learning path, users are guided with clear objectives and a progression system. They earn rewards, badges, and certificates as they complete courses, fostering a sense of achievement and advancement.
  2. Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: BitDegree encourages user creativity by incorporating interactive exercises, assessments, and projects. Users receive immediate feedback on their progress, allowing them to refine their skills and explore their own creative solutions.
  3. Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession: BitDegree’s “learn to earn” business model, powered by blockchain technology, allows users to earn cryptocurrency upon course completion. This sense of ownership, as users accumulate valuable digital assets, motivates them to engage further and unlock access to paid courses or services.
  4. Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness: BitDegree incorporates social elements to foster a sense of community and relatedness among learners. Users can connect with peers, join discussion forums, and collaborate on projects, enabling them to learn from and support each other.
  5. Core Drive 6: Scarcity & Impatience: BitDegree introduces elements of scarcity by offering daily chests and mysterious map locations that haven’t been unlocked yet. By creating a sense of urgency and the desire to acquire something valuable before it becomes unavailable, users are motivated to engage and complete courses within specified timeframes.
  6. Core Drive 7: Unpredictability & Curiosity: BitDegree incorporates elements of surprise and curiosity throughout the user experience. Users encounter diverse challenges, quests, and interactive elements that pique their curiosity and keep them engaged. This dynamic and unpredictable nature of the platform sparks user interest and motivates them to explore further.
  7. Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance: BitDegree introduces elements of loss and avoidance by utilizing limited lives or time-based challenges. Users are motivated to avoid failure or loss by actively participating, completing tasks, and progressing through the learning path.

4. Memrise – gamified educational app to learn a language through locals

How it works: Memrise is a gamified language learning app that utilizes a myriad of gamified techniques (including over 20,000 native speaking videos) to teach a new language. Players can learn English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, and many more languages. In addition, Memrise has courses for art, math, and history.

The app is incredibly fun to use. You are an astronaut, going on your journey to learn a new language! As you learn and progress, you gain in levels and your pet alien evolves as well.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

  • Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Memrise uses CD2 in a myriad of ways: from earning points for completing lessons to leveling up your little alien pet, the app continuously shows the user their status and progression.
  • Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: Memrise has the “point and translate” mode that allows players to turn on their camera, point to an object, and get the object translated in real-time. It’s a phenomenal way to get creative and capture your own vocabulary library.

3. SoloLearn – gamified educational app to learn how to code

How it works: SoloLearn aims to gamify the way we learn how to code. As an educational app, SoloLearn naturally has lessons that teach players how to code, but that’s just the beginning. SoloLearn utilizes player challenges (players can compete head-to-head in a coding challenge and the winner earns XP), a Code Playground where players can show off the code they’ve created and get feedback from other members of the community, and a leaderboard that shows the top coders.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

  • Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: SoloLearn utilizes progression, EXP, and leaderboards to drive players to continue learning to code.
  • Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: SoloLearn truly shines in the way it uses CD3 to drive player engagement. Players can create their own code and apps, upload it to the playground, and have players from around the world upvote their product and even play with it. This provides immediate feedback for the player and encourages them to continue engaging with the platform.
  • Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness: SoloLearn has an amazingly vibrant community (their Q&A discussion forum). The community is completely gamified, allowing players to upvote topics and get EXP for answering questions.

2. Yousician – gamified educational app for learning an instrument

How it works: Yousician is a Gamified educational app to learn a new language. When you’re ready for your lesson, you turn on the app, select your instrument, and choose a lesson or song to play. The app will play the background music, display the song tutorial, and listen to you play to give you immediate feedback about how you’re doing.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

  • Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Yousician is structured like a game: you start off as a beginner with easy levels (easy songs). As you progress and get better, you unlock stages that get progressively difficult and you level up in level. You can also see your progress through the in-app analytics that shows how you’re improving.
  • Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: This is where Yousician truly shines. The key to Yousician is that it listens to you play and gives you immediate feedback. If you struck a chord too soon, it will visibly let you know immediately and track your progress. In addition, you can upload your own music to the app so that you can learn to play your favorite songs.

1. Duolingo – gamified educational app for learning a new language (and it’s free!)

How it works: Duolingo is a free language-learning app on your mobile phone. There are a ton of languages to learn: Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, and the list goes on and on. In fact, more Americans are learning a language on Duolingo than the entire American school system! It’s quite an impressive feat.

Duolingo is proud that they infuse Gamification into every lesson. From in-lesson grading, to streak counts and hearts, Duolingo has done a terrific job at making language learning incredibly fun and easy.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

  • Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling: As stated in the Duolingo Manifesto: “There are over 1.2 billion people learning a language and the majority are doing so to gain access to better opportunities. Unfortunately, learning a language is expensive and inaccessible to most. We created Duolingo so that everyone could have a chance. Free language education – no hidden fees, no premium content, just free. Duolingo is used by the richest man in the world and many Hollywood stars, and at the same time by public school students in developing countries. We believe true equality is when spending more can’t buy you a better education.” When you use Duolingo or pay for the premium version, you are contributing to this grand mission.
  • Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Duolingo utilizes progress indicators such as daily goals and streaks to make a player feel accomplished and get them to come back for daily usage.
  • Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession: There is a currency within Duolingo called Lingots which allows players to buy Power-Ups (such as streak freeze) and buy attire for their avatar.
  • Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness: Duolingo has social language learning clubs within the app that encourage players to learn with each other. Although it sounds like a great idea, it’s actually implemented weakly–not much conversation is happening amongst club members, resulting in empty rooms.
  • Core Drive 6: Scarcity & Impatience: In order to play (to learn a language), you need lives. If you run out of lives, then you have to wait until you regain life to learn again.
  • Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance: In Duolingo, players get lives. Every time you fail a lesson, you lose a life. Run out of lives and you’ll have to wait until you can continue learning.

Conclusion: Education Gamification is here to change our future

Even with all the great examples above, this is just the tip of the iceberg of all the great education gamification examples. Education gamification is here to stay and here to change the world.

What about you? Do you know of any great education gamification examples that can really impact our society, not just for this generation, but also for future generations to come? I look forward to learning about that in the comments!

The 10 best examples of using Gamification in the enterprise, corporate workplace (2023)

Click here to view our full list of Gamification examples.

Can Gamification turn traditional drudgery into productive engagement within the enterprise?

In a world where creative and innovative tasks are becoming an increasingly greater part of the world economy, it seems the archaic carrot and stick tools of motivation used throughout the Industrial Revolution are un-evolved tactics that fail to truly engage the modern-day individual. Perhaps one of the biggest indicators of a lagging workforce culture can be seen in how the U.S. loses nearly $370 BILLION annually due to disengaged employees according to a Gallop Poll.

With such staggering disengagement and worker dissatisfaction, I can’t help but wonder… what if I could harness that zen-like focus I get when I’m fully immersed in a video game for twelve hours straight onto my real-life work instead?

Well, it turns out a hoard of start-ups and large corporations have also caught a whiff of what’s cooking and have started to build gamification applications and programs which have turned into a $100 million industry overnight that is expected to grow to $2.8 billion by 2016. Although many successful gamification examples have cleverly incorporated game mechanics such as leaderboards, badges, and progress bars to provide real-time feedback and increased engagement, you have to wonder how in the world could you possibly make the most mundane tasks intrinsically motivating.

Despite the huge risk that 80% of current gamified processes may fail by 2014 due to employers simply replacing one extrinsic reward (money) for another (badges), there are quite a few enterprise gamification successes that have spawned from carefully applying game mechanics to fit the unique needs of each organization. As you’ll soon see, even the most mundane tasks can be successfully gamified to increase engagement. It’s time to take back that $370 billion and make a dent in our national deficit.

Enterprise Gamification Example #1: Salesforce with Nitro/Bunchball

If you have ever worked in any sales-related role ranging from door-to-door soliciting or the dreaded cold call, you know firsthand how demotivating a multitude of rejections can be. Although thick skin and a narrowed focus on the prize can get you through the day, in the end, it’s team competitions, leaderboards, and rewards that have typically had the most success in motivating sales forces.

While I’m not particularly excited about these extrinsic rewards and believe that there are a lot more intrinsic tactics that we have not fully tapped into yet, I do agree that providing real-time feedback and visibility into tasks is a first step. Remember how in the Disney animation Monsters Inc., Sullivan, and Randall had a competitive rivalry to be on the top of the leaderboard? It was apparent that the tracking and real-time feedback significantly affected the monsters’ behavior in speed and focus on the job.

Salesforce Motivation uses these same proven techniques to replace manual processes with a user-friendly sales application that displays a team leaderboard, a progress bar, and a featured challenge that can be customized. Team standings display which teams are leading in points and progress bar while the rewards tab offers either real-life or virtual goods selected by employees. Moreover, Salesforce Chatter allows teams to easily exchange info and keep each other updated collaboratively. While many sales jobs have not typically screamed of intrinsic motivation, let’s face it, we all have to sell every day in some shape or form. Now with this tool, sales teams can get a steady diet of real-time feedback to keep them gunning on achieving their short and long-term sales goals.

Enterprise Gamification Example #2: Badgeville with Yammer

What do you get when you combine one of the largest gamification companies with one of the leading social media plug-ins? Yammerville… I made that up but in all seriousness, Badgeville has become a dominant force in enterprise gamification with over 150 major deployments with major companies such as Deloitte, Samsung, Dell, and my own company Accenture. Similar to Salesforce Motivation, Badgeville provides an out-of-the-box SaaS service that has many customizable options for companies to configure any type of goal ranging from task-related goals such as completing expense reports to learning goals such as leveling up a key industry skill. With the integration of Yammer, companies can leverage gamification and social reputation so that when badges are achieved from a goal, these achievements can be published through social media to provide visibility throughout the entire company.

While I have never cared too much for posting an accomplishment through social media, I have found myself twiddling on my own Accenture profile and seeing how I can complete certification training or volunteer events to get the bonus of a virtual badge. Although badges run the risk of sapping intrinsic motivation and creating gaming/manipulation of the system behavior, I have found that these badges can enhance intrinsic motivation, serve as a pseudo resume, and expose me to other skills/interests that I already have a liking towards.

When extrinsic rewards such as badges are paired carefully with a goal that you already have intrinsic motivation for, the effect can be positive. If extrinsic rewards such as prizes or money are large enough that they supersede intrinsic motivation, then all the unintended behaviors I mentioned are likely to occur and the benefits of gamification are lost. Because of this fine line and the need for customization, Badgeville has created a gamification framework that can apply to a myriad of companies. Whether this is just a scheme to boost revenues or an effective methodology to improve productivity in enterprise remains to be seen.

Enterprise Gamification Example #3 SAP Community Network

Continue reading The 10 best examples of using Gamification in the enterprise, corporate workplace (2023)

Top 10 Marketing Gamification Cases You Won’t Forget (2023)

Click here to view our full list of Gamification examples.

Marketing Gamification is not just in your face. It’s in your head.

As a gamification consultant, I work with many different types of clients and projects in product, workplace, and marketing gamification. As time goes by, an interesting pattern arises based on the help they need from me:

  • Smaller startup clients usually want help with product gamification. This process has to do with creating a winning product that provides a rather addictive experience, where players naturally want to keep playing.
  • Mid-sized companies enlist my help for marketing gamification. The objectives here are to: attract potential new customers within a target market segment and get them actively engaged with their brand and products. This is also more focused on the discovery phase in my Octalysis Framework.
  • Fortune 500s and large companies usually shift their focus to workplace gamification. Their motive is often to train employees (in a way that feels effortless) and to cultivate a greater sense of solidarity within the internal team.

Marketing Gamification: Beyond Basic Loyalty Programs

Many people immediately think of marketing gamification as some type of loyalty program. But simply having this in place is not the silver bullet that will automatically solve all your challenges and concerns.

Even with loyalty programs (something that Gabe Zichermann sometimes even refers to as part of the definition of gamification), there are a few ways to do it right, and thousands of ways to do it badly.

In reality, there are vast creative possibilities involved in marketing gamification. To illustrate this, I will present ten classic real-life case examples. These examples are from an older period. Nevertheless, these classic examples remain timeless concepts and are worthy of examination.

Marketing Gamification Example #1: Nike+ Fuelband and Accessories

Nike launched this application in January 2012. And since then it has developed into a popular gamified sport. The company extended itself beyond its comfort zone as a well-known product brand one that actively fosters lifestyle changes by helping its customers keep themselves fit.

The most popular accessory so far is the Nike+ Fuelband, which is a bracelet with special technology that can monitor user movements. Participants must download the Nike+ App. From this point, they can track their workouts. Statistics (like the number of calories burned) are displayed to provide feedback.

Nike+ As Seen Through Octalysis

The strongest Core Drive that the Nike Fuelband utilizes is Development & Accomplishment (Core Drive 2), where they show users daily feedback on how close users are to their daily goals. Also, whenever they hit a goal or have a streak, an animated cartoon character jumps out and starts to celebrate in a hyper manner.

Also, the immediate feedback meets their need to feel CD3: Empowerment & Creative Feedback, another core drive within Octalysis.

Integrating Social Drives

The smart game designers of this product also included a social dimension to this game which has undoubtedly helped to expand awareness and demand for the Nike Fuelband.

Participants have the opportunity to challenge friends. Here we can see the aspect of CD5: Social Influence & Relatedness within the Octalysis model. And this provides a great incentive to use this application. In turn, it perpetuates a greater level of momentum in user engagement.

As the points are accumulated based on the distance traveled, the community is aware of who is ranked at the top of the leaderboard. These will be the individuals who trained more and earned a highly developed physique.

This is a very clever way to forge an association between a fit, slender body to Nike’s brand.

Results of the Nike+ Fuelband

In 2011 the number of players using Fuelband was 5 million. This is estimated to reach 11 million by the end of 2013.

Marketing Gamification Example #2: My Starbucks Reward

Starbuck‘s philosophy has always been focused on personal service in favor of consumers. Much of their business model is based on ambiance. The inside of each store is characterized by an inviting environment that is hip and upbeat. Customers are enticed to stay longer so that they can sit and enjoy their coffee or espresso.

How My Starbucks Reward Works

The brand used gamification tactics to enhance the Starbucks experience and to boost sales as well. Players register for My Reward through an application. Every time they purchase a Starbucks product, they accumulate stars (which look like cups that are graphically filled in).

But the game does not stop here. There are three “levels” depending on the degree of user loyalty. More frequent visits to a Starbucks store are awarded through an upgraded level. Examples of benefits include an extra cup of coffee, a birthday gift, or even offers designed specially for the customer.

Core Octalysis Drives

Within the Octalysis model, the Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment is a major source of motivation. Another element is Ownership & Possession (the possibility of receiving virtual goods, which is common to any loyalty program).

Results

In 2012, the users of My Reward totaled about 4.5 million. The cards alone accounted for $3 billion in sales per year.

Marketing Gamification Example #3: McDonald’s Monopoly Game

McDonald’s succeeded in increasing their product sales by using gamification concepts derived from the classic game of Monopoly.

This promotion dates back to 1987. And it takes place entirely offline. When you buy certain products from McDonald’s, you will receive tickets. Each ticket represents a space on the Monopoly game board. The goal is to collect all the pieces of the same color to be eligible for a prize.

How Compelling Is the Mcdonald’s Monopoly Game?

One loyal customer made a YouTube video about this game and explained:

Every October I go through the McDonald’s drive-through just because of this silly game. They got me!

The alliance between brands seems to work well: In 2010, McDonald’s increased its sales by 5.6% in the USA through this program, with many people engaged in impulse buying just to get tickets.

Marketing Gamification Example #4: Coca-Cola’s Shake It Continue reading Top 10 Marketing Gamification Cases You Won’t Forget (2023)

Top 10 Fitness Gamification Examples to Get Fit in 2023

This article was started by Erik van Mechelen, based on the Octalysis framework designed by Yu-kai Chou. Updated throughout the years.

Human-focused Fitness

The main takeaway from Yu-kai Chou’s Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards is that design experiences, particularly those involving gamification, need to be designed for humans. That’s why Yu-kai refers to them as human-focused.

Fitness should be human-focused too. It’s not only about getting you outside and moving (like Pokemon Go), but about improving health and fitness and getting tangible results over time. I would add, for the long term. It’s pretty easy to build a product that works for 1 or 2 or 6 months, but there are precious few that people will use for beyond 6 months.

Here are the top 10 fitness apps to watch (or use!) in 2017.

As always, I’ll refer to the 8 Core Drives of Octalysis. As a bonus, I will mention a few Game Techniques along the way, too!

Edit: There are a LOT of fitness apps. Tell me which ones I missed in the comments or on Octalysis Explorers on Facebook!

Continue reading Top 10 Fitness Gamification Examples to Get Fit in 2023

10 Most Legendary Mobile Games

Day 213 - Temple Run

In the realm of digital entertainment, mobile gaming has emerged as a colossal titan, bringing immersive experiences to the fingertips of billions worldwide. With the rise of smartphones and app ecosystems, a myriad of games have vied for the attention of users. However, only a select few have etched their names into the annals of gaming history. These titles, with their innovative mechanics, compelling narratives, and cultural impact, have not only set industry benchmarks but have also reshaped the way we perceive and interact with games on our devices. Join us as we journey through the 10 most legendary mobile games that have defined a generation.

Angry Birds

Angry Birds is practically a household name and yet if I explained the game on paper (catapulting birds like weapons + destroying forts = fun), it may not sound ingenious nor very exciting. But many of you know that the game experience is very different; it is super easy to get addicted. Here are a few reasons:

  • It is simple and because it is simple, players feel accomplished and empowered early on- Core Drive 2 (Development & Accomplishment).
  • The game develops in a way that allows the players to feel a clear sense of progress which further ingrains their sense of achievement.
  • Players can compete with their friends. There is a strong drive to beat the other person and score higher (even if they are your girlfriend or boyfriend)- Core Drive 5 (Social Influence & Relatedness).

Temple Run

Temple Run is an adventure game. Players interact as an explorer character who steals an ancient mask and must escape the wrath of demon monkeys. The touchscreen controls allow the explorer to run as fast as possible, trying to avoid dangerous traps and obstacles such as trees and roots- Core Drive 8 (Loss & Avoidance). Players can move left or right. They can also duck, turn, or jump.

There is now a Temple Run 2 which is based on the movie, Brave. The objective is to use archery to hit a target and collect coins. By the fourth day of its release, it had already been downloaded 20 million times!

Jetpack Joyride


Jetpack Joyride
, developed by Halfbrick Studios, is an action-packed side-scrolling endless runner game that has captivated millions with its engaging gameplay mechanics. Players take control of Barry, a protagonist who breaks into a laboratory to commandeer experimental jetpacks. The simple touch mechanism — press to ascend and release to descend — complements the game’s fast-paced nature, as players dodge obstacles, evade missiles, and collect coins. Power-ups and vehicle upgrades add further depth, ensuring every run feels unique.

From a gamification design perspective, Jetpack Joyride incorporates several elements that hook players and promote continuous engagement. The game employs a series of missions and achievements, motivating players to pursue specific objectives each time they play. This taps into the Octalysis Framework’s Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment, giving players a sense of progression and achievement. Furthermore, the collection of coins and the in-game store where players can purchase aesthetic upgrades and power-ups play into Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession. The result is a game that, beyond its core mechanics, skillfully utilizes gamification principles to keep players returning for one more ride.

Genshin Impact

Continue reading 10 Most Legendary Mobile Games

What is Gamification

Gamification Framework Octalysi

If you want to make Gamification actionable, Check out my Complete Gamification Framework called Octalysis.

What is Gamification?

What is Gamification? This may be an unfamiliar word for many of you. As a leading author and pioneer of the industry (since 2003), I’m here to help you grasp the promise of gamification and clear up some misconceptions in the industry.

Gamification is the craft of deriving all the fun and addicting elements found in games and applying them to real-world or productive activities. This is what I call “Human-Focused Design” as opposed to “Function-Focused Design.” It is a design process that optimizes the human in the system, as opposed to the pure efficiency of the system.

Most systems are “function-focused” and designed to get the job done quickly. This is like a factory that assumes that the workers within WILL do their jobs. However, Human-Focused Design remembers that people in the system have feelings, insecurities, and reasons why they want or do not want to do things, and therefore optimizes their feelings, motivations, and engagement.

The reason we call it gamification is because the gaming industry was the first to master human-focused design. Games have no other purpose than to please the human inside. There are “objectives” in the games, such as killing the dragon or saving the princess, but those are all excuses to simply keep the player happily entertained inside. Since games have spent decades learning how to master motivation and engagement, we are now learning from games, and that is why we call it Gamification.

Games have the amazing ability to keep people engaged for a long time, build relationships and trust between people, and develop their creative potential.

Unfortunately, many games these days are simply focused on escapism – wasting your life away on something that doesn’t improve your own life or the life of others.

Imagine if there is a truly addicting game, where the more time you spend on it, the more productive you would be. You would be playing all day, enjoying it, and your career would be growing, you would be making more income, having better relationships with your family, creating value for your community, and solving the hardest problems in the world.

That is the goal I strive for and the potential I see that Gamification could fulfill.

What is Gamification in Relationship to the Gaming Industry?

Many people think Gamification is a branch of gaming. Upon hearing the term, some people respond with, “Oh I don’t play games.”

That’s a complete misconception of what is gamification all about.

So what is Gamification really? Gamification does not involve games. It is simply absorbing the fun elements in a game (what we call Game Mechanics or Game Design Techniques) into real-world applications. When you see the progress bar on LinkedIn, or when you Tumblr listing out a Leaderboard on the best content, do you think, “Oh I don’t play games. This is not for me.”? Of course not!

Continue reading What is Gamification

A solid presentation on Gamification by Sebastian Deterding

New to Gamification? Check out my post What is Gamification & my Gamification Framework: Octalysis

Gamification presentation/research from Sebastian Deterding

I recently stumbled upon some Gamification Research by Sebastian Deterding and I think it is a great piece of work in the industry. It shows a heavy amount of research and utilization of Gamification.
As you know, I have always been saying that Gamification is not really a good word to use (sounds very gimmicky and suggests it is created from games), but it should really be called “Human-Focused Design.”
Sebastian calls it “Gameful Design” which I think is appealing but difficult to gain significant traction.
I strongly recommend going through the entire thing.