The Google Play Games app is debuting a new all-in-one filtered section to let users sort out what they want to play based on purchasing factors, critical ratings, genres, and even play-based factors such as accessibility and device orientation. Now, if only we got this level of granularity on the Play Store proper...
The feature, dubbed "Fireball" at Google, was put up for feedback by product lead Boris Masis on the Google Pixel subreddit — we were able to find it on the Play Games app on our phones.
The section itself, called "Dive deeper," appears at the very bottom of the app and showcases static icons and animated previews of a number of games. Atop the image bank is the filter bar which contained the following parameters and sub-parameters when we saw them:
- Play Pass
- Trending / New
- Instant / Premium / Free install
- Ads / No ads
- In-app purchases / No in-app purchases
- Editors' Choice / 4-star reviews (expandable section)
- 4.2 stars
- 4.5 stars
- 4.7 stars
- Portrait / Landscape orientation
- Play Games (expandable section)
- Cloud save
- Family (expandable section)
- Ages 5 & under
- Ages 6-8
- Ages 9 & up
- Genres (Action, Board, Casino, etc.)
For the list of genres, users could tap a dedicated overflow button to see all of them. However, other selections such as the 4-star review section contain refined parameters — in this case, being able to scrub for ratings above 4.2, 4.5, or 4.7.
There is 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 sorts by whether an app is Play Pass-eligible, if its average rating is above 4 or 4.5 stars, if it's an Editors' Choice, or if it's new. That said, we and at least a few other observers would love to see a dedicated filterable section just as we see now on Play Games.
Alas, seeing as the Play Store is basically formulated as a giant marketing morass for all the products developers and publishers want to push, it might be a tough sell on that side of the fence.