Miscrits of Volcano Island is a new Facebook game from Broken Bulb Game Studios. It launched in mid-December of 2011, following its predecessor Miscrits of Sunfall Kingdom, which launched a year earlier in December 2010. It placed third in our list of emerging Facebook games for last week, and has been enjoying such strong growth since launch that it is almost at the same MAU figure as its year-old predecessor.
The Miscrits series takes its cues from Nintendo’s popular range of handheld Pokémon games. The player takes on the role of a Battlemaster, a character who roams the lands collecting teams of creatures (the titular Miscrits) and sending them into battle against one another. Structurally and graphically, the game is almost identical to Miscrits of Sunfall Kingdom, albeit with a different setting and different Miscrits to collect. If the player has started playing one game, their character will carry across to the other, though their team of Miscrits will not.
Gameplay has two main parts — exploring Volcano Island and battling Miscrits. Exploration is a simple cast of clicking wherever the player would like their customized hero to walk, and clicking on objects to search for hidden Miscrits. Upon successfully searching an object, the player will either be rewarded with currency and items or be thrown into a battle against a Miscrit.
Battles are resolved similar to most roleplaying games. Two Miscrits face off against each other and take it in turns to unleash their special abilities. Each Miscrit has a particular element associated with it, making it stronger or weaker against others — Fire-type Miscrits are particularly strong against Nature-type opponents, for example, dealing more damage and receiving less damage. A large part of the strategy of the game revolves around knowing which Miscrit to use for each situation.
New Miscrits can be captured by weakening them in combat, but not killing them. A “Capture” button then becomes available for the player to acquire and, if they desire, rename their new Miscrit. Unlike the Pokémon series, players don’t need a special item with which to capture the creatures. There are 22 Miscrits to capture in the wild, and each can be evolved into more powerful forms three times by leveling them up enough or by spending hard currency.
Like Pokémon, Miscrits is built for social play. Adding friends as “teammates” allows the player to duel their battle team of Miscrits, to send them gifts and visit their house. There is also a Battle Arena for players to pit their teams against other players from around the world, including a special Platinum Arena for high level players where hard currency can be won in large quantities by skilled Battlemasters.
Monetization is handled largely through the sales of the game’s hard and soft currencies — Platinum and Gold, respectively. Platinum can be earned through gameplay and through an offer wall or simply purchased via Facebook Credits. It is then used for a variety of purposes — leveling up Miscrits without having to battle them; evolving them without having to level them; and purchasing certain premium items. Meanwhile, Facebook Credits can be used directly to purchase certain items and even Miscrits from the in-game store, and is also used to restore the player’s “Virtue” statistic, ten points of which are spent any time a team of Miscrits is healed fully. Virtue restores to a maximum of ten points over time, but instant restoration items can be purchased from the store or sent by teammates. The Virtue statistic carries across between both Miscrits games.
The future of the game holds more Miscrits for players to uncover and additional areas to explore. Broken Bulb keeps players up to date via their official website and forums, and seems committed to communication and interaction with its player base.
You can follow Miscrits of Volcano Island’s progress using AppData, our traffic tracking application for social games and developers.