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Inside the Success: Airport Security

Airport Security

The concept of Airport Security was realised after one of the designers thought about the experience of being a mall security guard, highlighting what the themes, the concepts, and the mechanics would be like. The design team brainstormed ideas on how it would translate to a Hyper Casual experience and set the rights and wrongs of the games they researched.


And that’s when the premise arrived – the player is an Airport Security Officer in charge of inspecting passengers. Here’s what it took to turn the game into a chart-topping success.

How the concept came up


airport security game play


In Airport Security, the player is in a unique position of deciding which passengers get to travel, giving you a sense of authority.

You pat passengers down, check their passports, interrogate them and use your intuition or logic to either arrest them or let them go. Looking at this, it’s loads of fun playing a game from a place of power.

That’s why the key to making the game a success was making the characters unique and interesting.

These aspects of the game keep the player engaged by having them feel intrigued and excited to see the next funny element.

Designing gameplay and driving engagement


Initially, the design team was sceptical about introducing packs of minigames into a Hyper Casual title. However, the success of games such as Makeover Studio 3D and Bake It showed substantial results that suggested otherwise. The team took Airport Security as an opportunity to dive right into a ‘minigame collection’.


Some minigames required the team to double down on creative writing to flesh out the originality for every character that made it into the game. This combined with the hidden object minigame makes the entire experience immersive and engaging for players.


To give the game a sense of flow and continuity between the minigames, the development team set up transitions between different minigames within the airport terminal environment instead of cutting the camera immediately to certain screens.


Working towards getting the engagement right didn’t come with its own set of challenges, of course. On one hand, there was the content, which the design team had to create enough of so the player could sink their teeth into it without looping through the same characters or items early on.

On the other hand, there were the technical challenges, which were quite tricky for the development team to tackle.


Tackling the technical difficulties


The main mechanic in the passport-checking minigame involves drawing on the passport, which meant the developers needed to implement the painting technology.


Airport Security game


The developers wanted the technology to understand which parts of the passport the player had drawn on to use the highlighted data to cross-reference it with the claims made by the character. This would help the players find errors and inconsistencies in what they find.

The body check mini game proved to be tricky to work with as well. When revealing or hiding items, the items themselves had to be rendered on different cameras, something the developers had to do for certain scenarios.

These were lessons the teams learned from working on previous Kwalee games and successfully applied when they first began planning development efforts for Airport Security, giving the game that sense of smoothness. 

Visualizing the art


The art team came together during various stages of the project, taking the knowledge they developed during previous games to deliver a clean, fun, juicy, and accessible art style. In order to make the style ‘pop out’ and give the game a lively feel, the art team introduced fun, quirky animations to complement the characters’ personalities.

This created various entertaining scenarios where the player witnesses something interesting without gameplay and visuals feeling tired in the long term.


Making a theme-consistent UI


airport security game play1


There’s a constant case made that Hyper Casual games must keep UI elements to a minimum when instead, in reality, it depends on the game. Working on previous projects gave the art team an understanding of how to design assets and UI elements in a certain way that helps players feel more immersed in the game they’re playing.

By designing for new, returning, and seasoned players in mind, both the art and design teams were able to deliver a readable and usable UI system that’s in tone with the game’s quirkiness.

Since the game’s core loopinvolves the player identifying and highlighting smaller details within the game world, it was pertinent to keep away from elements that were too flashy.


Doubling down on the KPIs

Although the marketing team were confident that Airport Security would perform well, they weren’t expecting the huge scale the game ended up achieving until very close to launch.


The game’s LTV and retention rates were average compared to the previous games’ launches. However, the game displayed strong marketability KPIs, making the team realise they may have a chart-topper in their hands.


To tackle the challenge of lowering the game’s CPI, a few iterations were made to videos and playable ads. Going in this direction shot the game up to the top of the charts quickly.


Release and results


Now, Airport Security continues to be a chart-topping success!

After two months spent live, Airport Security has over 13.4 millions installs, wherein the top four countries that contribute to those installs include the United States, Brazil, India, and the United Kingdom.


The game also ranked #1 in both the Games and Casual Games categories in various countries.




Airport Security Rankings for Google Play Store and App Store, respectively.

We keep tabs on how dedicated players have been to their duties as an airport security officer, so here are some interesting numbers worth checking out too:




We have the full case study made available on the Kwalee Publishing Portal to all game developers – entry is free! Join the portal, and get access to some of our premium Hyper Casual content that can unlock your potential to make the next chart-topping success.


Inside the Success is where our Hyper Casual experts do a deep dive on Kwalee’s chart-topping successes, dissecting the game’s life till after release – from development to marketing. Learn how our games are such a success for free!

Simon's been a key figure in building Kwalee’s brand as a Hyper Casual and Hybrid Casual games company, managing all our internal mobile game development efforts as our Head of Development.

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