A year-and-a-half of tech toiling is paying dividends for a pair of Kansas City puzzle-makers whose mobile game is now surging in popularity.
Luke Lisi and Kevin Bradford spent roughly 18 months designing and testing their game, The Guides, which was recently featured on the Apple Store. The Apple nod boosted daily downloads by 300 percent, Lisi said, from 1,000 daily to upwards of 4,000 each day.
Lisi now estimates that in the nine days since its release, more than 25,000 people have purchased the $1.99 game.
“It’s been kind of surreal actually,” Lisi said of the game’s popularity. “It’s reassuring to see this because there were a lot of late nights, working so hard and wondering if the time invested would pay off. Obviously, it’s a passion project so it’s been really awesome to see.”
The Guides challenges users with hundreds of artistically-designed puzzles, codes and ciphers to accomplish. The game grows progressively more difficult and recalls details that users have learned by completing other puzzles.
Lisi said those looking for an effortless series of puzzles should look elsewhere.
“It’s not a game of puzzles — it’s a puzzling game,” Lisi said. “It’s a game about exploration. It’s progressive so you build on what you learn. … It’s not an easy game.”
A 31-year-old designer with Kansas City-based ad agency Bernstein-Rein, Lisi said he maintained a strong focus on the game’s design, which seems to have resonated with users. The Guides has lingered in the top 40 games downloaded on the Apple Store for six consecutive days. It’s also sat atop the No. 1 or No. 2 spot for puzzle games since Friday.
“It’s been amazing to watch,” Lisi said. “Hopefully the momentum continues to build.”
Lisi’s partner, Kevin Bradford, is an independent developer that’s created several mobile games for kids and adults. The duo is already working on a second iteration of the game.