I seek ideas for making a game more fun. I've been working on a game for over a year, and have a playable build for the iPad. It is an arcade game based on word relationships (e.g., "Joy" is related to "Happiness", not to "Prisons"). It is also a word puzzle (e.g., guess whether "ba??n??" is "balance" or "bananas" based on the available ammo).
Gameplay involves matching ammunition words to target words. The ammunition words are in the middle of the screen, drawn by gravity. The target words orbit the sun, and they have missing letters. The player has to figure out which targets match the ammo. Target words are often missing letters. Ammo words are thrown into targets to make a match (earn points). As targets are matched, sets of words are completed. Non-matches kill the target. If a target hits the sun, the sun shrinks. When the sun is small, the game is over. A game round typically takes ~3 minutes.
Gameplay involves the following tasks:
~ Figure out which targets match which ammo
~ Guess targets when letters are missing
~ Aim and throw ammo
~ Avoid targets hitting the sun
I'd like to bounce around some ideas for improving the strategy. i.e., how does an action in the game influence the game later?