The Google Play Games app introduces a new filtered all-in-one area where users can choose what to play based on buying factors, critical ratings, genres, and even game-based factors like accessibility and device orientation. If only we could get that granularity in the Play Store …
The feature, which Google called “Fireball”, was provided by product manager Boris Masis for feedback on the Google Pixel subreddit. We could find them in the Play Games app on our phones.
The section itself called “Diving Deeper” appears at the very bottom of the app and shows static icons and animated previews of a range of games. Above the image database is the filter bar which contained the following parameters and sub-parameters when we saw them:
- Play pass
- Trend / New
- Instant / Premium / Free Installation
- Show / No ads
- In-app purchases / No in-app purchases
- Editors’ Choice / 4 Star Ratings (Expandable Area)
- 4.2 stars
- 4.5 stars
- 4.7 stars
- Portrait / landscape
- Play games (expandable area)
- Save cloud
- Family (expandable section)
- 5 years and younger
- Age 6-8
- From 9 years
- Genres (Action, Board, Casino, etc.)
- Blind friendly
For the list of genres, users can tap a special overflow button to see all of them. However, other selections like the 4 star ratings section have more refined parameters – in which case you can look for ratings above 4.2, 4.5, or 4.7.
There’s a similar, but extremely limited, implementation of this Fireball-style filtering system on the Play Store that appears when you manually search for an app. It is sorted whether an app is suitable for the Play Pass, if its average rating is above 4 or 4, 4.5 stars, if it is an editorial choice or if it is new. Even so, we and at least some other observers would like to see our own filterable area, as we see it now at Play Games.
Since the Play Store is basically formulated as a huge marketing morass for any product developers and publishers want to push forwards, it could be a tough sell on this side of the fence.