What makes Angry Birds (and other stupid games) so dang addictive?

Angry Birds addict
Angry Birds addict

It's a question that's certainly been asked before--men of science have even tried to explain it. But New York Times critic Sam Andersen isn't just interested in what makes games like Angry Birds, and his case Drop7, so addictive, but how do game creators come across these golden formulae.

Andersen amounts of the success of games like Tetris to a mastery of both software and platform. In other words, Angry Birds is so successful because it mastered both what the iPhone is capable of both in terms of its software (iOS) and platform (the touch screen). Of course, there's always the special sauce--the nearly intangible thing that does just enough aesthetically to keep you around--which SpellTower maker Zach Gage seems to have discovered.

The developer has created a game that he may take to market, Unify, which he claims is the first multi-touch puzzle game ever. According to NY Times, the game has potential--a gripping play hook--but something is missing. Gage knows this, and is working on an experiment, or maybe it's just a parody: Unify Birds.

"I made a couple of other little changes," Gage told NY Times, "but mainly I just made everything superadorable. It's been really interesting, because I've showed it to people who liked Unify, and they'll play it, and they'll be like: 'Oh, man, Zach. This is a really good game. This is better.' They wondered what I've changed." A mystery solved? Read the feature in full here.

[Image Credit: MyTeeStop]

Are you inexplicably hooked on Angry Birds, Tetris or any other "stupid" games? Is this the answer to what makes them so addictive? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.