This paper reports on the efficacy of a mobile learning intervention that combined ‘push notifications’ and game principles within a timed quiz app. An institutional interdisciplinary case study was conducted which compared rates of student retention and academic performance with their usage of a purpose-designed learning app. Leading up to lectures the app ‘pushed’ daily quizzes to students’ personal mobile devices and then rewarded them with feedback, points, badges and a position on a leaderboard. It was found that since the introduction of the app there was an increase in student retention rate of 12.23%, an increase in academic performance of 7.03% and a significant positive correlation of .40 between students’ scoring highly on the app and achieving higher academic grades. Conclusions are made in regards to what these findings mean for the future research into higher education learning enabled via mobile app technologies. More broadly, we discuss the implications of our findings in regards to the key higher education stakeholders: universities, educators and students.