Have you ever considered using the airport as a testing ground for your game? That may sound strange, and I know most devs focus on beta testing to find bugs and glitches. But, over the past few weeks as Ive done a fair share of business travel, I think Ive come across something that you may find useful. While I dont write reviews here at TA anymore, I still manage to try out a significant number of games. First and foremost, many devs need to be realistic about whether their game has the appeal to generate success with the masses. In the past, Ive spouted about marketing strategy and all the pre- and post-launch media activities that need to be done in addition to the development. And, I still believe that good marketing in many cases provides that awareness and extra push to help with sales. Most devs dont have the budgets to conduct focus groups, which is a marketing tool for gathering insight and perspective from a random audience sample. What Ive found in my time at the airport simply by playing with my iPad is that you can get a pretty good idea of whether your game has the guts to succeed. Over the past few weeks, Ive played a number of games during my time at the airport (e.g. layovers, waiting for departures) and youd be surprised at how many people (complete strangers) will ask what Im playing on my iPad. I decided to take this a step further, and I let them try out the various games on my device. What makes this unscientific approach even more effective is that most of these people were not gamers. In fact, most were older folks, business people, soccer moms (attractive no less), and mostly people who werent tech savvy. I have a number of games on my iPad and these were the ones that had the most interest (with comments I heard): Reckless Racing (controls take a little getting used to but looks and sound effects are fun) Galaxy on Fire 2 (wow! cool looking; not sure Id spend so much with this, but easy enough to play with) Reiner Knizias Samurai (simple interface, but challenging at the same time) Lets Golf 1 & 2 (entertaining and not too hard; challenging yet not too challenging) Trism (good time waster; want to keep playing) Hedgewars (cute and easy to play; like all the choices) These had the least interest Battle of Wesnoth (too complicated although the old school look is great; too deep for me) Blimp (neat looking but gets boring) Madden Football (passing a little difficult; dont want to take time to figure out) Worms 2 (like the humor, but something missing; it feels like a lot of work) Like I said, this isnt a scientific study, but can you imagine what kind of information you could get if you ran your game by people who dont normally play games? My point isnt to say that any of these games are better or worse than others. In fact, what Im saying is that youd be putting yourself at an advantage by finding an inexpensive way such as the airport to gather marketing intelligence. If you have a game in development, youd be wise to get an outside perspectiveand I dont mean just from the gaming community. Obviously a lot of this depends on your target audience. For example, Battle of Wesnoth is one of my favorites, but a casual gamer who may not be inclined to commit to a long drawn out experience may not like it. Considering the iTunes store is aimed at casual gaming, getting honest first impressions can only help. In any case, this is only intended as advice for you to use or consider.