A game about Bucket, a robot working its way to the top of the social ladder through cool upgrades and social media followers, only to realize that the dream it’s chasing is rotten.
What makes my game unique?
Enhance aims to fill a place in mobile games that we feel is lacking. Too often we see games filled with microtransactions, ads, and a design which preys on its players with psychological hooks in the form of tightly designed reward systems and endless progress. This reminded us of how our own culture in the Western world pushes us (especially young people) to constantly strive towards perfection, whether in the workplace or socially.
We decided to challenge this mentality by creating a game split in two parts – a factory and a social media platform – to implement the contrast between mindless hard work and the way that we are supposed to portray ourselves. We turn the average free-to-play mobile game on its head by providing a similar loop of upgrades and progression, however, at the same time you get to observe a change in personality as your character pushes away people they used to know and eventually providing an impactful and definitive ending.
Why could my game win an award?
The game is designed specifically for mobile meaning we only use traditional phone-interactions like swipes and taps. Our design goal from the start has been to find innovative ways of telling stories through the phone, which led us to design the in-game social media that feels diegetic with a satirical twist.
Through our game we play with the notion of player agency in that players cannot stop working, but they can decide to interact on social media, and in turn they ask themselves whether their robot is doing the right thing as they continue to pursue the ultimate upgrade. No matter what, their robot dies as a direct result of their constant upgrading, and the player must actively pull it apart in a way that feels tactile, direct, and uncomfortable. This acts as a stark contrast to the humorous mood of the game, creating a powerful ending to a game that players initially expect to be endless.
We want our players to reflect on their own behaviour – whether in mobile games or in the real world -, and challenge the current environment of mobile gaming.