MATCH-3 MECHANICS
Interactive pet
August 13, 2021
Pets are a mechanic commonly used in Match-3 games. Developers usually add pets to games that have main characters. This article examines the idea of the developers of My Home Design Dreams, which made this mechanic unique.
Changing the name as a way to form attachment to the pet
In My Home Design Dreams, the main character has only one interactive pet — a dog. Initially, the dog is called Banjo, but the name can be changed in the settings.

After coming up with a name for an interactive pet, the user grows more attached to it, and, therefore, to the game.
The dog’s name can be changed in the game settings
Interaction with a pet as a new game mechanic
In other games, the mechanic is aimed at getting a pet (it needs to be bought or won in events), but in My Home Design Dreams, the goal of the mechanic is interacting with the pet.

The developers designed the pet like a real dog: the player takes care of it, feeds it regularly, and plays with it. However, this is not necessary — nothing will happen if the player does not perform these actions.

Messages showing the pet's wants pop up next to the pet sometimes. The player can perform these actions, or any others. The result will be positive either way — the pet will be satisfied.

To interact with the pet, the player needs to tap on it and then select an available interactive item. An animation will be shown of how the pet interacts with the item. The number of interactions is not limited, and the animation will change from time to time.
The player needs to tap on the pet to start interacting with it
Then the player selects an available interactive item
The player is shown an animation of how the pet interacts with the item
Acquiring interactive items as a reason to play more
The player can only get interactive items through playing — they can be bought for points that are earned for completing achievements. Achievements are linked to different actions in the game:

  • game progress
  • daily login
  • spending in-game and premium currency
  • helping friends
  • viewing ads
  • completing events
The player can buy a toy for the pet for 300 points
Points can be earned for completing game achievements
Benefits of the mechanic for developers
The opportunity to buy new interactive items for a pet is a strong motivation to complete game achievements.
The activity in events will increase
The goal of some achievements is related to completing them
The duration of the player's game sessions will increase
The player will have to spend some time on completing achievements
The player retention will increase
Users will return to the game to complete achievements and play with the interactive pet
Players will log into the game more often
The goals of some achievements are related to daily logins
Boosters and premium currency will be used more often
Players will spend game resources to earn different achievements faster
The number of ad views will increase
One of the achievements is linked to viewing ads
The audience of players will increase
The player can invite friends to the game to complete the corresponding achievements
Find out how the pet feature is implemented in other games
Our update tracking service has examples of all interactive pet features implemented in Match-3 games