decorative image with an abstract phone screen showing a puzzle game
Mobile Data , User Acquisition

Catching Quality & Securing Wins in Your Puzzle Game Strategy

Data availability in the mobile adtech landscape is scarce. This makes it difficult for app marketing teams to find their best-performing users and scale their apps. 

That’s why first-party data is precious – with it, adjoe’s team is continuously able to shed light on the top-quality users for each mobile game genre. In this case, we’re looking at mobile puzzle games and who UA teams should be targeting in their puzzle game strategy – but it’s not the audiences you’d expect. 

We used adjoe first-party data from Android devices between January 2021 and June 2023 to look at

  • 30 million installs
  • 1+ million in-app purchases
  • 8+ million unique users
infographic showing the hidden gems for puzzle games: male gamers, puzzlers under 30, older OS versions, puzzlers in Indonesia and Brazil

Puzzle Game Users: Where’s the Quality Coming from?

Who are the quality puzzle game users we see engaging the most? Our Mobile Games Index 2023 would suggest it’s the following demographics for Android:

  • Those over 50+ spend on average 17.6 minutes per day in puzzle games
  • Women also spend roughly 17.6 minutes per day in gameplay compared with men at 16.1 minutes

The rewarded ad format Playtime rewards users for playing advertised mobile games. This means that sessions are typically – and significantly – longer than the market average. The demographic insights that we list here, however, remain unchanged.

1. Puzzlers Under 30 Can Be Your Secret Weapon

First up on the list of unexpected demographics that UA teams shouldn’t exclude: puzzle gamers under 30. 

Puzzle gamers worldwide are typically over the age of 30 – this hasn’t changed. We have seen however across all puzzle game campaigns that the under-30s outperform the over-30s in terms of D7 ROAS – if UA teams bid wisely.

bar chart showing puzzle gamers' D7 ROAS by age

2. Don’t Underestimate a Male Puzzle Gamer’s D7 ROAS 

When it comes to puzzle games – and casual games overall – we talk about women dominating this demographic for ROAS performance. The top performers this year have been women from Tier 1 countries; their ROAS lies 40 percent above most puzzle games’ KPIs.

We however urge you not to exclude the men from your puzzle game strategy. 

Campaigns have shown that D7 ROAS for men is not as far behind women as you might think. Keeping men in your strategy could therefore make all the difference when it comes to overall performance.

abstract close up of hands holding a phone with a bar graph showing D7 ROAS by gender for puzzle game genre

3. Older OS Versions Don’t Always Mean Worse Quality

Do you exclude users on older operating systems from your campaigns? We advise you not to.

We’ve seen that older Android OS versions – such as 9 and 10 – perform better than newer versions. While a more recent operating system usually means a user has a newer device and therefore greater purchase power, this doesn’t mean that users with older OS versions never spend money. 

With the right targeting and bid, these users on the older OS versions can deliver good quality.

bar chart showing D7 ROAS for puzzle games by OS version

4. Indonesia and Brazil Ranked High for ROAS

Tier 1 countries aren’t going anywhere. Keep targeting users in the US, Germany, the UK, and France.

But add some new GEOs to your mix – such as Indonesia and Brazil. They have emerged in the top-ten countries for spend worldwide, and Indonesia has even outranked the common culprits at top spot for D7 ROAS. 

New GEOs bring your puzzle titles new reach and performance potential. And they might not necessarily be in Tier 1, but the quality cannot be ignored. If you set up your campaigns well, these new GEOs might surprise you with higher-quality users than Tier 1 regions – just look at Indonesia.

map of the world with bar charts showing countries by spend ranking and D7 ROAS

Find Quality Users In Your Puzzle Game Strategy

If there is one hard rule in the UA game, it’s to keep looking for those hidden gems. They will give your puzzle game campaigns extra impact. 

But while these underdog demographics deliver quality, they shouldn’t be expected at scale. These puzzle gamers are nevertheless relevant enough for you to keep them in the mix – and our partners have shown just how crucial this is.

If your team has the right first-party data available to go into granular detail like we have here, you can

  • bid more accurately
  • use budgets more effectively and avoid overspending
  • reduce CPIs by up to 30% – as we’ve seen is possible 
  • allocate surplus budget to top-performing segments

Remember: It’s not about shifting your strategy entirely to focus on these underdog demographics. It’s about ensuring you don’t underestimate their impact on your app’s performance.

Scale your puzzle game with adjoe

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