Deconstructing Magmatic Games Travel Town | Pocket

Travel Town: A Unique Merge Adventure Game

Travel Town, the first soft launch title from British developer Magmatic Games, has already gained attention for its impressive merge adventure gameplay and hundreds of levels. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what sets Travel Town apart from its competition. Let’s dive in!

What Sets Travel Town Apart?

Travel Town, developed by Magmatic Games, is an up-and-coming merge-2 project that has been steadily growing in popularity since its launch in early 2022. In early 2023, the game experienced a significant surge in downloads and revenue. This success proves that Travel Town is just getting started.

Initially, Magmatic Games focused on the Android platform for its project launch, but now the game’s downloads and revenue are almost evenly distributed between iOS and Android. This is a common trend in the industry, where different games find success on different platforms. For example, Love & Pies sees a 50/50 split between iOS and Android sales, while Merge Mansion and Gossip Harbor earn more revenue from iOS.

Travel Town’s primary audience is located in the US, which contributes to more than 50% of the game’s revenue. Other major revenue sources include South Korea, Japan, and Europe. The inclusion of Japan is no surprise, as merge games are gaining popularity in the Japanese market. Merge Mansion, for example, earns almost 20% of its revenue from Japan.

Competitors and Rankings

Let’s take a look at some of Travel Town’s main competitors:

  • Merge Mansion
  • Gossip Harbor
  • Love & Pies

Although Travel Town has gathered the most downloads, Merge Mansion currently holds the top spot in terms of revenue. Merge Mansion was the first to rise to the top in the merge-2 market and has maintained its position since then. While Merge Mansion may not have the most impressive UI/UX compared to its competition, it has a solid marketing strategy. On the other hand, Gossip Harbor and Love & Pies share similarities in their setting, visuals, events, and offers.

Unique Elements of Travel Town

Core and Meta Game Loops

Travel Town follows a standard merge-2 gameplay where players complete character orders by merging items, earning resources, and constructing buildings in the city. The game also features a dialogue-based narration that accompanies the gameplay. What sets Travel Town apart is the inclusion of different types of resources for building construction. Some stages require Tools in addition to coins, creating a meta game mechanic that allows players to develop unique strategies by prioritizing certain orders over others.

Merge Chains

Travel Town introduces various merge chains, some of which are exclusive to the game. New merge chains are unlocked as players progress through levels and construct buildings. While Travel Town’s competitors use similar merge chains with varying lengths, Travel Town stands out by constantly changing its chains. Some of the merge chain types include:

  • Nestled chains – A new generator is created in the first part of the chain before players can progress further.
  • Combined chains – Players must merge items from two other chains to obtain the final item.
  • No-energy generators – These generators can spawn items in adjacent cells for free after a cooldown (similar to Love & Pies).
  • Charging generator – This type of generator requires five taps to “charge up” before spawning items, and it may even spawn a “defective” item.

The diversity of merge chains in Travel Town keeps players engaged and helps balance the difficulty of orders. Short chains provide a sense of achievement, while long chains make the reward for creating complex items feel worthwhile. However, there is room for improvement in terms of user experience, as some players in the fan community struggle to understand these unique merge chains.

Order Balancing

While merge games generally have high retention and engagement rates at lower levels, these values tend to drop over time. The complex and lengthy orders that players encounter as they progress contribute to this drop, as they often require merging high-tier items. Players may feel stalled in the game, leading to a loss of motivation. Both Travel Town and Merge Mansion tackle this issue by balancing the difficulty of orders. Here’s how they do it:

  • Players always have four orders available – three with coin rewards and one with Toolboxes.
  • Varying order difficulty allows the game to maintain momentum and lets players develop their own strategies.
  • There is one difficult order with a large reward, one easy order that can be completed in one session, and two medium-difficulty orders.


Travel Town monetizes through in-app purchases (IAP) and ads, with a focus on IAP. In the in-game store, players can purchase Diamonds, which can be used to buy various items, energy, time boosts, and more. Notably, Travel Town offers unique features such as:

  • Wild Pearl – A mergeable item that can be used with any other item.
  • Scissors – An item that splits a merged item into two lower-level items.
  • Chests – Contains Diamonds, energy, coins, and tools for the meta loop. The contents are randomized, adding an exciting gacha-like element.

While Travel Town doesn’t bombard players with several offers, it still manages to generate revenue and surpass its competitors. The game features two types of recurring promos:

  • LiveOps Offers – Updated daily with items that are difficult to obtain otherwise, including Diamonds, energy, chests, Wild Pearls, and Scissors.
  • Out of Energy Offers – Displayed when players run out of energy, offering the opportunity to purchase Diamonds, energy, and item packs.

The price setting for these offers is carefully considered, with Out of Energy Offers priced at the average purchase value to keep players comfortable, and LiveOps Offers priced slightly higher to encourage impulse buys and offer unique items.

Additionally, during special events, Travel Town introduces event-specific offers that provide the same types of rewards with the exception of energy, which is tied to the event. Consideration for price setting and rewards remains consistent during these events.

Considering the success of Travel Town, there is potential for the game to introduce other types of offers to further engage players.

In Conclusion

Magmatic Games’ Travel Town stands out among its merge-2 game competitors with its unique gameplay mechanics, diverse merge chains, well-balanced orders, and strategic monetization approach. As the game continues to grow in popularity and generate revenue, it will be interesting to see how it evolves and competes in the fast-paced gaming industry.