★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

What makes a great game name?

02-02-2012, 08:58 AM
#1
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 75
What makes a great game name?

We're wondering what makes a good game name on IOS.

We have come up with two choices of names for our game and we need to choose one so we can do a proper logo and start promoting:

1. "Slice Fight!" or "Slice Fight"
2. "Slice Crisis"


I know on the App Store users often get very little information about the game they are about to click on... often just a name and an icon...

So if there were to be an icon it would either be a meaty tentacle being sliced... or a blue tie in a pool of blood.

The game has a lot more depth than what I just explained... But I need opinions and advice from people who know a little bit about the App Store users and who aren't already intimately familiar with our game (as we are).

This is going to be my first game release after Pocket RPG, but this time I'm working without Tasty Poison and I'm trying to do everything right (or as well as I can).

But then again... I'm not sure that either of these names qualifies as a "Good Game Title"

My favorite titles generally just sound ridiculous or silly, like "Insane Twisted Shadow Planet" or "Sword and Sworcery"... I'm not sure that I'm the best judge of IOS game names.
02-02-2012, 09:15 AM
#2
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 197
This is NOT about iOS games or the App Store at all but I liked the names from the Half-Life AddOns with more than one meaning very much. Like:

-Opposing Force
or
- Blue Shift

This were good names because they sound cool and have a deeper meaning. So if you play the game first you like the name and if you know the game and the background you understand the deeper meaning.
Maybe games with names like "Fight" or "Crisis" sell in the App Store but for me this always sounds a little cheap (but I may be wrong on this). But one the other hand there are some cheap games in the App Store which sell quite good. When I look for good names I search Wikipedia .

For example, if I would create a game about wind I would look here for a good name: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_local_winds

Last edited by O__o; 02-02-2012 at 09:17 AM.

02-02-2012, 11:02 AM
#3
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 75
Thanks! Those are good suggestions!

Oddly there is kind of a Half-Life parody theme going on in our game... strangely prescient that you would bring it up O_O

There is also sort of an office theme... We were debating over a few others like:
"Deadline"
"Employee of the Month"
"Critical Existence Failure"
"Job Cuts"
"We Come in Pieces"
"Divided They Shall Fall"
"Worst Monday Ever"
"Of Vending Machines and Super Science"
"Closed for Science"

Last edited by Evan.Greenwood; 02-02-2012 at 11:32 AM.
02-02-2012, 11:44 AM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by O__o View Post
This is NOT about iOS games or the App Store at all but I liked the names from the Half-Life AddOns with more than one meaning very much. Like:

-Opposing Force
or
- Blue Shift

This were good names because they sound cool and have a deeper meaning. So if you play the game first you like the name and if you know the game and the background you understand the deeper meaning.
Maybe games with names like "Fight" or "Crisis" sell in the App Store but for me this always sounds a little cheap (but I may be wrong on this). But one the other hand there are some cheap games in the App Store which sell quite good. When I look for good names I search Wikipedia .

For example, if I would create a game about wind I would look here for a good name: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_local_winds
This is very enlightening!!

In case you like both match-3 game & Fruit Ninja:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gemania/id471333673?mt=8
02-02-2012, 02:35 PM
#5
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 197
Please keep in mind that all this is just MY PERSONAL OPINION and I'm neither a marketing professional nor a game developer but I like all of your ideas in the second post better than the two in your first. Also keep in mind the limited letters to display on the device and that the look of a game is presented by the icon and name on the users homescreen. I like the name "Deadline" for example it's not too vague and not too clear - despite I have no idea what your game is about.

Edit: The names in your second post could sound like chapters, too. Some may be to long for a game title.

Last edited by O__o; 02-02-2012 at 02:38 PM.
02-04-2012, 08:47 AM
#6
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 146
I have the exact same problem.
We're making a ski slalom game and I can only think of bland generic names such as Alpine Ski, Extreme Ski, etc.
I'm afraid a more unique name will not help when players look for a skiing game specifically.

I make games.
Twitter: NicolasG_B
02-04-2012, 06:43 PM
#7
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 197
The iOS versions are named after ski resorts.
http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/12/ios...ames-revealed/

Maybe you can get some inspiration there . Or look for inspiration in the type of snow, like "Powder" or choose a word from a different language like "Tiefschnee" (deep snow).
02-04-2012, 06:46 PM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan.Greenwood View Post
We're wondering what makes a good game name on IOS.

We have come up with two choices of names for our game and we need to choose one so we can do a proper logo and start promoting:

1. "Slice Fight!" or "Slice Fight"
2. "Slice Crisis"


I know on the App Store users often get very little information about the game they are about to click on... often just a name and an icon...

So if there were to be an icon it would either be a meaty tentacle being sliced... or a blue tie in a pool of blood.

The game has a lot more depth than what I just explained... But I need opinions and advice from people who know a little bit about the App Store users and who aren't already intimately familiar with our game (as we are).

This is going to be my first game release after Pocket RPG, but this time I'm working without Tasty Poison and I'm trying to do everything right (or as well as I can).

But then again... I'm not sure that either of these names qualifies as a "Good Game Title"

My favorite titles generally just sound ridiculous or silly, like "Insane Twisted Shadow Planet" or "Sword and Sworcery"... I'm not sure that I'm the best judge of IOS game names.
I would go with "Slice Fight!" but i think what you really should worry about is the icon. I don't know about other people but thats what draws me to a game most of the time
02-05-2012, 12:18 AM
#9
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,146
Both options in your original post are generic and forgettable. Any one option from your follow up post would be a better alternative.

Very general rule of thumb: avoid cliches. This works for everything from titles to epic novels.
02-05-2012, 05:05 PM
#10
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 48
Not knowing what the game is about, my favorite from that list is "Slice Fight!" as well. All of the names that you posted in your second list were either too long or too generic.

I just recently read this article on iOS marketing and it says what you'd expect about game names. Have a title that makes sense for the topic of the game but don't be too specific either.