Auto Hustle developer MetroGames recently committed to revisiting some of its older Facebook games for a mobile expansion through publisher Chillingo, but it appears as though there’s still life on the social network even for its oldest games. Recently, match-3 game Biotronic turned up on our top 20 list of emerging Facebook games after last appearing on our top 25 games in July of 2009 . The game is still well below its peak traffic of over four million monthly active users.
The game moves at a slower place than Bejeweled with seven different shapes and colors of small animated icons on an 8 x 10 rectangular board. A timer counts down for each level as the player races to fill a progress bar by completing matches in order to progress to the next level. Combinations, longer matches and the use of power ups advances the bar by a larger margin and a lucky combination can easily boost the player up into the next level. Interestingly, any unused power-ups also carry over into the new level.
Players have to wait until all actions and animations are complete before they can make another move, which creates a more deliberate sense of gameplay. Hints have to be manually selected and a penalty is applied to the timer for each hint a player selects. The biotechnology theme is reflected in blinking-eye icons and space-age sounds and music.
Social features take the form of a weekly, monthly and all-time leaderboard showing the level and highest scores reached. Instead of a gifting system, players are able to challenge a friend to a game or taunt friends of higher leaderboard rank with several different messages about overtaking their position.
The game monetizes by allowing players to pay a single Facebook Credit to replay levels where they didn’t beat the timer, which essentially is the insert-quarter method recently applied by Namco Bandai’s Pac-Man for Facebook. Each successive replay in Biotronic, however, increases in price. Additionally, players can buy one of two power-ups to use in-game: a bomb that is activated only when a match is made with it, and another bomb that is activated with a double mouse click. The chance to buy each item is offered to the player at the beginning of each new level.
Interested readers can follow the progress of Biotronic with AppData, our traffic tracking application for social games and developers.