Tag, you’re it!

Match The Memory was conceived as a way to share the details of your life. A fun photo here, a memory of a vacation there. It was supposed to be public, yes, and shareable too, but not necessarily viral or discoverable. A customized memory game featuring your family photos is interesting to your Facebook friends or Instagram followers, but not the world in general, so why would there need to be a robust way for someone to search for your games?

In practice, the site hasn’t been used in quite the way that I originally intended. Few people use Match The Memory to replace their annual family holiday letter, and many people instead create general-interest games that appeal to broad audiences. Teachers especially make games that help not only their own classes, but also any other students of their subject. That’s not a bad thing in the least, but it does expose some flaws in how I originally built the site.

In the beginning, the Play page was the only place to find new games to play. It shows a few random games and gives you a search field where you can type, and a list shows the titles and addresses of public games that match your query.

This works fairly well at filtering, as long as the game you want happens to have the word you’re looking for in its title or address. But it doesn’t allow you to see the games themselves, so you’re left with some questions: do they have pictures and text, or just words? Is the text too small for your target audience? Did the creator design the game in a way that’s pleasing to the eye? You have to click into those games one at a time to try them out.

In time, I decided that games needed to be taggable, and searchable not only by the keywords in the title, but also by anything else that the game creator decided was relevant. For example, games about Motion and Forces should also be accessible by someone searching for physics and science. So I added the feature and the tags page was born. There, you can browse some of the most popular tags on the site, and click into see games tagged with those terms.

The page where you view games for a specific tag has an advantage over the rudimentary search on the Play page: you can see the games’ preview images, as well as other tags that have been applied to each game. A matching game is a visual thing, and it’s easier to decide whether a particular game works for you based on a picture of that game, rather than just its title.

But the tags page has problems of its own. First and foremost, it only shows the most popular (and as of last week, the most recent) games that are associated with each tag. There may be 100 or 1,000 games on Match The Memory that have the keyword you’re interested in, like Spanish or French, but you can only see a few games in those very broad categories. There was no way to drill down to easily find a game about animal names in Spanish, or colors in French, unless those games also happened to be tagged with animales or couleurs respectively.

So last week, I built a feature to allow searching by multiple tags. Now you can find games that are tagged with both “Spanish” and “animals”, or “French” and “colors”. Just add as many tags as you’re interested in to the tag search field, separated by commas, and you’ll be taken to a tag page showing games that match both tags.

You can get to this page by changing the URL in your browser yourself. Entering


takes you to the same page as using the search field.

This is not as good as a real game search engine that would take multiple search terms and show you the most relevant games based on all of those terms. That’s coming in a rebuild that we’re currently working on, so you can look forward to a better search experience coming soon (depending on your definition of the word “soon”). But in the mean time, it’s now quite a bit easier to find the perfect matching game for you.

Most Popular Games – Week of 4 Nov. 2017

All Games

Rank Title/Image Creator
1 Phases of the Moon Matching Game
Tori Keim
2 Halloween Concentration
Curtis Gibby
3 Mr. Polum’s Landform Game
Chris Polum
4 The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything
Sarah Wood
5 Cell Organelle Functions
Mrs Vergara

New Games

Rank Title/Image Creator
1 comida quiz
Unknown User
2 Sargeant Baseball Memory
Unknown User
3 Chemical Equations
Tyler Herr
4 The Orbleu Family Memory Game
Unknown User
5 Cinema memory game

Most Popular Games – Week of 28 Oct. 2017

I’m going to start showcasing the most viewed games on Match The Memory to give you an idea of what good games look like and what kinds of games are available.

Our most popular games this week are dominated by some heavy hitters – real GOAT games – along with one seasonal entry. (Happy Halloween!)

Rank Title/Image Creator
1 Phases of the Moon Matching Game
Phases of the Moon Matching Game
Teri Keim
2 Mr. Polum’s Landform Game
Mr. Polum's Landform Game
Chris Polum
3 Irregular Verb Memory Match
Irregular Verb Memory Match
Unknown User
4 Halloween Concentration
Halloween Concentration
Curtis Gibby
Felipe C.

These are the most popular games that were created this week.

Rank Title/Image Creator
1 Spanish Address Words
Spanish Address Words
Unknown User
2 The Integumentary Game
The Integumentary Game
Cynthia Baumann
3 Muscular System by Baumann
Muscular System by Baumann
Cynthia Baumann
Kevin Williams
5 L2 Spanish Question Words
L2 Spanish Question Words
Julie Copp

Did these games give you any inspiration for a new game of your own? Do you want to share one of these games with your family, school class, or Facebook friends?

Play it again, Sam

Previously, when you finished playing a game and wanted to play that same game again, you had to reload the page. We had a “Start Over” button that helped you do this instead of manually triggering your browser, but the effect was the same. You had to transfer a bunch of data from the Match The Memory site again. This was a vestige of the very first version of the game that used some old technology.

Continue reading Play it again, Sam

Is this line secure?

Security has been a big deal on the web for the last few years, and systems like Let’s Encrypt have made it easy to make web sites secure. This week, we turned on HTTPS for all pages on Match The Memory. (Previously, only our purchase page was secure through PayPal.) Going to the old HTTP address will automatically redirect you to the new secure HTTPS page, where you’ll see the green padlock icon in your address bar.

What does this mean for you? Now you can be sure that when you play one of our matching games, or when you create a personalized matching game of your own, that nobody else is listening in on the conversation between your browser and our server. You can feel safe that nobody’s adding viruses or advertisements using Match The Memory as a back door into to your computer.

Have any questions or concerns about our security practices? Let us know in the comments, or hit us up on our contact page.

Improving every day

Match The Memory has been my baby for more than six months, and I’ve worked on it hundreds of hours during that time.  I’m adding to it every day.

But I can’t do it alone.  Mine is only one opinion, and I want to make the best memory matching game possible.  That means I need your input.  Let me know in the comments what you think could be done to make this a better web site.

I also need the input of your friends and family.  Share the site with them (via email, blog, Facebook, Twitter, whatever!) and ask them to come check it out, and leave their mark on the site by contributing a great game and some feedback.

Together we can make this an awesome site!