Pet Peeve: The plague of misleading mobile gaming ads

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Hands up if you’ve seen an advertisement for a mobile game that looks similar to the graphic above. The Flash-looking ad tends to show someone who is trapped in a precarious situation or trying to get to treasure that can only be achieved my manipulating the on-screen elements in a specific way. It’s an intriguing-looking puzzle, and the ad usually is animated and will show the puzzle failing while daring the viewer to download the game and do better.

And when said game is actually downloaded, it has absolutely nothing in common with those ads. It’s a completely different game, or a different type of puzzle game.

I’ve seen a lot of misleading gaming ads — anyone remember the hilarious run of Evony’s “Play Me, My Lord” a decade or so ago? — but this specific type of ad has been popping up on mobile, Facebook, and all sorts of…

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