University of Oulu

Methodologies for evaluating the playability of mobile games : systematic literature review

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Author: Mendez Tellez, Kevin1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Pages: 53
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : K. Mendez Tellez, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-06-21
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Rajanen, Mikko
Reviewer: Rajanen, Mikko
Rajala, Joni


The gaming industry has been growing rapidly during the past years due to the interest of the new generations in mobile gaming. To deliver a great experience for the gamers, it is required for the gaming companies to produce games that are challenging but at the same time easy to play. To achieve this, it is required to understand the factors that affect the gaming experience. Playability is a term that is used to understand the usability of a game and its experience.

The purpose of this thesis was to understand what is known related to the playability of mobile games and to identify the methodologies that are used by the community to evaluate this phenomenon. To find the answers to these questions, it was performed a systematic literature review (SLR) using the databases Scopus, IEEE Xplore, and Web of Science. After conducting the SLR, 1,390 studies related to the playability of mobile games were found from which 27 were identified as primary studies of this research.

From the data collected from the primary studies, there were identified 12 different methodologies that are used for evaluating the playability of mobile games. The methodologies that are most suitable to assess the playability of mobile games are heuristic evaluation and playtesting. Other methodologies can be used for evaluating the playability of mobile games, but they must include a set of heuristics that allows evaluating the playability. The limitations of the research were mentioned, and it was proposed topics for future research of this field.

The contribution of this thesis is the summarizing of the current methodologies that are used to understand and evaluate the playability of mobile games. The results of this thesis are valuable for game developers, game designers, and game usability practitioners.

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Copyright information: © Kevin Mendez Tellez, 2021. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.