Sniper games have been oddly popular on the App Store, and the first one I remember myself really getting into was Com2us’s Sniper vs Sniper, which seems to have fallen off the App Store some time ago. The popularity of the genre makes sense in a way, as shooters are massive on other platforms but are typically a bit too difficult for casual players to jump into. Fortnite (Free), for instance, has one hell of a learning curve just to even get to the point that you’re able to move around and shoot comfortably. Sniper games, on the other hand, vastly simplify things in that most of them just have you placing a crosshair on a bad guy and pull the trigger. Some get slightly more complicated than that, but that’s the basic gist. On the PC side of things, as expected, sniper games have a seemingly endless rabbit hole of depth which has largely been championed by the Sniper Elite series. (Which is currently on sale, and you can get all four games for just over $20.)
But what happens when one of these mobile sniper games makes the jump to Steam? Well, as experienced by Sniper Strike: Special Ops (Free), it doesn’t go too well. Right now the Steam reviews are “mixed," with Steam community members posting things like, “This is some typical cell phone trash dumped onto Steam." The anti-mobile stigma is strong on Steam, for sure, but the release of Sniper Strike: Special Ops serves as a fantastic example for developers that if you’re going to release your game across multiple platforms, make sure those games make sense on all those platforms.
When your primary competition is games like Sniper Elite, featuring in-depth scenarios and the sort of gameplay you can spend an entire evening settling into… It’s probably not the best idea to release a sniper game that’s played in 30 second chunks. I’m not even sure there’s a strong argument to be made that maybe the market is hungry for a free sniper game on Steam, as you can buy the original Sniper Elite for two dollars, which otherwise would barely get you started on the IAP treadmill in Sniper Strike.
But, hey, if you really like Sniper Strike on mobile but always wished you could play it on your PC (surely this demographic exists?) you can download it for free right now. For everyone else, I sort of think Sniper Strike’s Steam release will be yet another example of how to not release a game cross platform without really making sure the value proposition is there for each individual platform.