Note: Im not fluent in all the Topps apps, so when my buddy Apeshot wanted to put together a piece on the launch of Kick 2018, I happily accepted. Looks like its off to a good start, really good article here for anyone seeking out a vet’s perspective.
Kick 18: Thoughts on the Launch of the 2018 Build
Kick 18 launched for many yesterday and I wanted to give my initial thoughts on a significant update to the Topps app. The first thing that all fans of Topps Digital Apps should take note of is that this release demonstrates what I would describe as a significant investment by the Topps Company into the digital space. I think it’s easy for many fans to forget that none of this is for free, and earning profits is the goal of any company. It’s easy for anyone to throw ideas out on what would be great; it’s an entirely different process to execute those ideas with financial resources. Thank you Topps for reinvesting in the digital product. Here are my initial thoughts on the app update, enjoy!
“Gamifying” the User Experience
Topps has added some games of chance in a smart way. It is obviously the goal of any app to keep the user on the app as long as possible. The two new games aren’t groundbreaking by any means, but do allow for a new way of grinding out some coins, rather than just watching videos about laundry detergent through TapJoy. It’s a system that prevents easy coin farming, but rewards the users who want to invest the time, such as casual kids.
Making Sense of the New Tiering System
Finally, a chase for collectors. I’m now only a collector on the Kick app. I’ve been a chaser in the past, having won gold game changers across all three leagues, so I know what kind of time and dedication that takes to win those gold beauties week in and week out. Those days of waking up at 5:30 am on a Sunday morning to watch Ingolstadt versus Darmstadt in the Bundesliga match are gone for me—thank the Lord. However, I’m still competitive and have always tried to make the case for a collector chase. The new tier system doesn’t accomplish this 100%, but it’s another step in the right direction. For the top collectors, exclusivity and competition are huge motivators—and reasons to spend money. This element is really well done. It is well presented, and updates on your progress are obvious with immediate rewards.
Design Front and Center
We don’t tell the team enough, but the graphic design team is absolutely outstanding. The initial pack releases are gorgeous. If you compare it to the Panini apps, it’s not even in the same league of design quality. If the product is ugly, it won’t sell, no matter how good the app is.
The Kick team has really stepped up and improved communication over the last half year. They are absolutely bombarded by nonsense and insults day in and day out, but yet continue to sift through our rants and keep us pretty up to date. Communication in this first 24 hours has been outstanding from what I have seen. Communication takes real man/woman hours and as a customer I really appreciate the effort they’ve put in on day one. It’s important on launch because there are always problems and glitches.
Problems and Glitches
The app right now is completely full of glitches. Some people aren’t even able to get through the tutorial, trades aren’t loading, some card collections haven’t loaded yet for customers, etc etc etc. It’s only been one day, so most of this is expected. But worst of all, the servers are absolutely smashed just from pack openings. I can only imagine how poorly the points chase will go this weekend as more users come on line, eager to use the new app. We know from history, it won’t go well. If this is true just from Kick, when Huddle update hits, it will only get worse.
Power Consumption Challenges
It always confuses me how an app that basically just displays static images can comsume so much battery power. I don’t even know how anyone could properly chase a full 90 minute game without draining their phone battery. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this app uses more battery power than any other app I use. I don’t understand why when the interface is conceptually so simple?? I would love to get this fixed. If I can render 3D graphics on a sports game app for hours, why can’t I just look at a few images on this app without draining the battery???
To Be Addressed
Communication with other users has not been addressed. Sending 1-1s to message is ridiculous in 2017. We need a chat bar at the bottom with custom user groups we can access. This would be absolutely amazing for trades and for chasing. The benefits are limitless and help tie the user more into a community. We also still need a way to customize some sort of home screen for users. Let me show off something from my collection that I value. Let me express some personality or flavor. Let me tell the community what I’m looking for and what I’m not looking for…I’m seriously not selling any singles including the one you’ve asked me about for 8 months. No seriously, not even that base card from MLS. 😉
I know I’ve missed some things, but all in all, I am super excited about 2017 in Kick. Beyond all features and games and new designs, I am most encouraged to see Topps further investing in digital cards. After going most of the last 12 months without spending any money on Kick, I hit the coin store last night. Well done, Topps!
Apeshot – 3 year user of Topps Apps, former holder of the 100 score account in SWCT, current holder of most cards on Kick. Always a pained Minnesota Vikings and Arsenal fan.