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Google’s Area 120 launches GameSnacks for players with slow phones, connections

Google’s experimental lab, Area 120, rolled out GameSnacks, which are online games that are designed to play well with slow smartphones and devices on slow connections.

The goal of GameSnacks is to make HTML5 games more accessible. In a blog post, Google showed that a typical web game takes 12 seconds to load for a 1 GB RAM phone on a 3G network, which is the set-up for hundreds of millions of people around the world. The problem is that over half of the visitors to a mobile website leave if the loading of a page takes more than 3 seconds.

GameSnacks games, meanwhile, will not take that long to load, taking just a few seconds even with internet connections that are slower than 1 Mbps. The blog post provided Tower as an example – the stacking game took just a bit more than 3 seconds on the same 1 GB RAM phone, 3G network configuration.

Like Tower, GameSnacks games are simple and fun. They last only for a few minutes and are easy to understand even without instructions, which makes them perfect for casual gamers. The games may be accessed through any device with an internet connection and may be played through touchscreen or keyboard and mouse controls, on Android, iOS, or desktop PC.

Other examples of GameSnacks games include Bridge of Doom, in which players guide a warrior through a bridge with spikes and orcs, and Jewelish Blitz, a Bejeweled clone.

According to Google, the faster performance of GameSnacks games is through Area 120 working with developers to reduce the size of the HTML page that initially loads, compress additional assets such as images and sounds, and load them only once necessary. Area 120 is inviting developers to help expand GameSnacks, either through creating new games to add to the catalog or by embedding them into an app as additional entertainment.

Google’s GameSnacks challenges Facebook’s Instant Games, which have been moved to the social network’s main app from Messenger.

GameSnacks follows Tangi, another recently revealed project of Google’s Area 120. Tangi is a network that is dedicated to short DIY videos, hacks, and tutorials, in what may be described as a combination of TikTok and Pinterest.

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