Mind Candy targets an older audience with Moshling Rescue on iOS, Facebook [Interview]

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After developing successful properties for younger audiences, Moshi Monsters creator Mind Candy has expanded its target audience to include moms and dads with Moshling Rescue on iOS devices. Previously released on Facebook, the match-three game sees players completing levels by rescuing moshlings that have been trapped under the dirt and rubble from a volcanic eruption.

While outwardly similar to games like King’s Candy Crush Saga, Moshling Rescue offers multiple unique level types and is described as “the next evolution” for the genre. In one level, for instance, players may be asked to make matches with only a single color of symbols, while another sees an animated Moshling walking down a path on the board as it’s cleared by making matches.

Now that the game is available on both Facebook and mobile, we had a chance to chat with CEO and Founder of Mind Candy, Michael Acton Smith, about the game’s development and early progress on the App Store and Facebook.

Michael Acton Smith with Moshlings - CEO & Founder 2Inside Mobile Apps: Moshling Rescue has been available on Facebook for a short time now. What has the response been like from players?

Michael Acton Smith: We’re a 5-star rated app, and in the US store alone have had over 4000 ratings of our game. The reviews have been fantastic. People really love the quality of the graphics, and the variety of gameplay. We get a lot of Candy Crush players saying that they prefer Moshling Rescue!

IMA: Was there a noticeable shift in business that inspired Mind Candy to go after a new, older demographic with Moshling Rescue?

MAS: At Mind Candy, we’ve always said that we want to be a family entertainment company and not just create entertainment for young children. At the same time, Moshi Monsters is a brand that parents have enjoyed alongside their children for some time now, and this is our way of giving some more of that fun to the parents.

IMA: With the ample amount of available match-three games, what inspired the game’s development team to stick with that genre, rather than something new?

MAS: We love puzzle games at Mind Candy. The gameplay for Moshling Rescue is a twist on the hugely popular matching genre, with unique modes where players have to move their Moshling home, or dig underground to rescue, giving players familiar with other match-three games a new challenge. At the same time, the team at Mind Candy are also busy working on a number of other new games, such as The World Of Warriors which will be an Epic Combat Strategy game, with a unique skill element drawing from history’s greatest warriors. Warriors will be launching later this year.

IMA: What would you say to potential players, to make Moshling Rescue stand out from its competitors? 

MAS: Moshling Rescue is a unique twist on familiar match-3 gameplay.

  • We have six different game modes, providing more variety & depth than any other match-3 game.
  • Our “Rescue” game mode is truly unique. Getting your Moshling home, while avoiding obstacles is really fun, and makes you think!
  • Visually, it’s stunning. We use really modern technology (and lots of hard work!) to make sure it’s the best looking puzzle game ever.
  • The game is filled with over 100 characters from the Moshlings universe.
  • We have lots of optional bonus levels, where players can find rare Moshlings and win treasure prizes.

IMA: How will the game be updated going forward? 

MAS: We’re really happy with the reception for Moshling Rescue so far, and want to make sure that players have always got more fun things to do in the game.

We already have over 140 levels in the game, and are busy working on our first update (due very soon!) which will bring the total to 229!

Following that, we have a few things up our sleeve, including new mechanics to keep things fresh, even more levels, and a couple of surprises that we hope to reveal very soon!

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IMA: Will the continued development and support of Moshling Rescue affect the support of other games in the franchise? 

MAS: No not at all, we’re passionate about all of our products that form the Moshi Monsters and Mind Candy umbrella and are keen to keep them all fresh with continued new content.

IMA: So many developers are seemingly running away from Facebook in favor of a larger mobile audience. Can you share some insight on this? Does Mind Candy still see growth potential in the Facebook platform? 

MAS: Facebook web is still a major platform, and for us – being on all major platforms increases retention and is incredibly valuable. Moshling Rescue is also available on Facebook’s app center on mobile too. It’s a great discovery channel!

IMA: What’s next for the world of Moshi Monsters? 

MAS: We’ve got a number of exciting projects bubbling away and lots of new content for our existing Moshi apps and games. We’re looking forward to sharing them over the coming months!