From play to pay: Domino Dreams deconstructed (by Alon Tish, BeachBum)

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This is a guest post by Alon Tish – a VIP Account Manager at Beach Bum.

Alon is an experienced VIP Account Manager with a passion for casual gaming. He specializes in developing and implementing retention strategies, leveraging his deep understanding of player behavior and psychological insights to optimize monetization tools and turn them into revenue-generating campaigns.

From play to pay: Domino Dreams deconstructed

Domino, a classic tile-based game, has transcended generations as a beloved getaway that combines strategy and social interaction. Despite being the lesser-known sibling of Superplay’s Dice Dreams, it attracts fans worldwide. In this article, you’ll discover how the game onboards, keeps, and monetizes its players. Let’s dive in.

First-Time User Experience (FTUE) + Initial Progress

The game offers a friendly FTUE, allowing players to ease into the experience gradually. It is structured similarly to Royal Match: each chapter comprises a few levels that players must complete to expand their kingdom. As players progress, each level introduces new in-game elements such as different useful tiles, cookies, gold bars, the Winner’s Wheel, offers, live-ops events, and many more.

Complete levels, build your kingdoms, and progress.

The game’s key mechanism is slow build-up. What does this mean?

1. In-app purchases (IAP) don’t appear until later levels, specifically at level 22.

2. Live-ops events are strategically stretched to ensure high retention and engagement.

3. New resources and in-game meta are revealed only after players master them.

Kingdom’s Look & Feel


Unlike other games, Domino places emphasis on a stretched approach from the beginning, encouraging players to progress in the core game by completing more levels and granting them with live-ops-based rewards which are linked directly to the core game loop. such as the “Winner’s Wheel” and “Lucky Number” events. This strategy aims to push players forward with clear goals. The more you play, the closer you get to the prize. Rewards increase as players progress, and missions become more challenging and time-consuming.

Lucky Number; 1 vs 4

A wonderful interactive live-ops event where the player gets the chance to pick the tile number he’ll be competing for. strengthening the core gameplay;

Interactive LiveOps events

Following the introduction I embarked on a new mission, fully keen on completing it to receive my rewards and pave my way to success.

Continually pushes you to your limits, rewarding you for your efforts.

The game makes smart use of prompts, guiding you to keep on playing, increasing your Avg session duration, and perfecting your skills, hopefully, not long before you make your first deposit.

Well-communicated features extend player’s session duration.

Cookie Tile 🍪

Another example of this mechanism is the usage of cookie tiles. offering a new way of clearing the domino board, which takes longer but enriches the gameplay.

Cookie Tile Introduction

These well-crafted strategies ensure players are fully controlling the newly introduced tiles, building the foundations for more live-ops events to be structured.


IAP, Sooner or Later?

Regarding monetization, a clear pattern emerges. IAP offers are presented quite late, specifically at level 22, which marks the beginning of the fourth chapter. Each game’s monetization strategy depends on factors such as the depth of the core game, live ops, sink points, side loops, collectibles albums, crafting, and overall investment in user acquisition (UA) compared to the return on investment (ROI) equation.

Domino has some interesting monetization tools, two of which caught my attention and can significantly boost revenue in any game.

Enchanted Path

This common FBFB which is also known as the “growing offer” tool is widely used in the industry and generates a solid revenue stream in many games. But, Domino pulled off a few Houdini tricks:

1. No X – the player can’t exit the offer until he collects the initial freebie,  Generating a sense of curiosity and commitment to the purchasing flow.

2. Hidden FREE Bundle – despite playing dozens of games, I have never seen such a clever use of the mystery effect, which encourages the player to pay in order to see which resources he will receive upon purchase.

Usually, games will present what will be coming next. Leaving the player with a higher chance for conversion.

A great tool for non-paying, FTDs and can be also applied wisely for paying users.

If cleverly implemented, revenue can spike.

Buy 1 Get 2 Free

Who doesn’t like freebies? Well, we all do, but we’d rather receive them without a purchase.

The industry is full of 1+2, but not when it comes to a hidden prize as part of the freebie. What’s in it for them? Let’s break it down:

1. Perceived Value Boost – This tool capitalizes on the psychological appeal of perceived value. By offering players two additional bundles at no extra cost when they make a purchase. creating a sense of increased value for the player’s money. The effect peaks once one of the FREEbie is disguised.

2. Anchoring Effect – Leveraging the anchoring effect by providing a clear comparison between the regular price of a single item and the bundled offer. Once the player acknowledges he is receiving X2 of his first bundle and on top of that comes another free bundle, we establish a mental anchor, making the combined “Buy 1 Get 2 Free” price & value seem significantly more attractive and encouraging to perceive it as a bargain.

Out of the box monetization strategy


When examining this aspect, the growing offer keeps the price sticky, putting the player in a more comfortable position, knowing they will continue to pay the same price as they progress. This approach delivers three important outcomes:

1. Higher chance of conversion

2. Increased revenue through a higher number of deposits

3. Enhanced loyalty and commitment to the purchase flow

Another version of the growing offer, fully exposed, sticky pricing.

In conclusion, Domino has crafted a seamless blend of strategy, engagement, and monetization. The slow build-up approach, coupled with strategic live-ops and clever monetization tools, ensures players are not only entertained but also invested in the long run.

Curious to know how to set up special offers like this one in your game? Watch Balancy’s video tutorials on how to add new offers in your game in a couple of clicks and start driving more revenue today!

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