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Several times a year I tell myself that every possible manner of match-3 has been created. I am always wrong. Last year’s summer release of Puzzle Quest 2 and its multiple variations of the match-3 mechanic was a reminder of how easily this simple premise could be used to create player-versus-player gameplay. Similarly, Atari’s new Facebook title Faeries vs. Darklings takes what could have been a simple arcade title and adds enough variation to keep the match-3 mechanic interesting, while including a touch of competition.
Today’s release of Monopoly Millionaires seems a natural symbiosis between EA’s Hasbro licenses and its acquisition of Playfish. With the success of Family Game Night on the console, it was just a matter of time before said titles arrive on Facebook. Much of Monopoly Millionaires is familiar to players of the classic board game from Baltic Avenue to the “metal” game tokens (everyone starts as the race car).
Less than two years ago, teen-dominated social portal iminlikewithyou changed its name to Omgpop, partnered with like-minded MyYearbook , and began producing hit title after hit title . Late last year, Omgpop moved onto Facebook with Cupcake Corner , a restaurant tycoon simulation akin to Zynga’s Restaurant World. Though Cupcake Corner appears to have reached the pinnacle of its popularity and has begun a slow decline, Omgpop shows no signs of following suit. January’s announcement of $10 million in additional investment to integrate with Facebook and iPhone has resulted in bringing what is arguably Omgpop’s most popular title, the tragicomically named Draw My Thing , to Facebook.
6 Waves recently published another new social game to Facebook, and it’s rapidly making its name known. Developed by Game Insight , the app is Big Business , and while the name might lack a little pizzazz, it’s actually one of the better made and more highly polished city-builders around, comparable to some made by major players like Playdom . Though a city-builder, Big Business won’t have users groaning “not again.” Rather than following a formula, the game pulls in some of what made the original SimCity fun, and in the process creates deeper resource management than the norm.
A developer by the name of Team Sollmo is attempting to bring it’s version of the action-role-playing game genre to the social-mobile space in the form of Buddy Rush — it’s simplified, asynchronous and ultra-cute. Available cross-platform for both Facebook and iOS, we got to take an early look at the Facebook half, but watch for it in the app store very soon. An action RPG, Buddy Rush pits players into a cartoonish world filled with goofy looking characters that apparently came straight from the bobble-head store. With its bizarre art style and simple point and click play, it’s a game that ought to be appealing to many social users.
3-person action-RPG, asynchronous play by Feb 16
Going by the tag line — “IncrediLand: Breed with your friends” — players might not pick up on the depth of the real-world genetics rules that underscore the core design of this exceptional game. In Incrediland **, you attempt to breed, hatch, and raise your own “Incredimals” to compete in contests of sport (and to use as further breeding stock). Players begin with the giraffe-like gambi. A thorough tutorial leads the player through incubating eggs, training hatchlings in the nursery, the care of adults, and how to pick and choose traits for breeding.