Pets and Avatars Top This Week’s List of Emerging Facebook Games

This week’s top 20 upcoming Facebook games still under a million monthly active users has a few distinct themes. The top games are about pets or avatars; a bit further down, the list is dominated by sports and skill games.

CrowdStar’s new zoo keeping game, Zoo Paradise, is the top overall, with 341,073 new users. Actually, that number is likely a bit low, as Facebook’s reporting seems to be delayed by a couple days. Whether the growth in MAU will be enough to satisfy Crowdstar is another question; Paradise is set up as a competitor to Zoo World, a RockYou game with about 20 million MAU.

Here’s the rest of the list:

Top Gainers This Week – Games
Name MAU Gain↓ Gain, %
1.icon Zoo Paradise818,347+341,073+41.68
2.icon Top Stalkers694,952+261,740+37.66
3.icon Music Pets741,986+243,034+32.75
4.icon Jumping Dog919,413+235,639+25.63
5.icon Ameba Pico456,039+214,702+47.08
6.icon Puzzle Bobble628,916+182,865+29.08
7.icon Glamble Poker686,155+164,529+23.98
8.icon Bola520,396+160,957+30.93
9.icon PoxNora179,680+149,625+83.27
10.icon 2010 Bracket Challenge283,888+148,182+52.20
11.icon MMA Pro Fighter842,548+132,117+15.68
12.icon 三國風雲 – 最佳多人在綫網頁遊戲124,402+124,137+99.79
13.icon Garden Life765,436+111,670+14.59
14.icon Alien Attack279,392+100,126+35.84
15.icon Island Life338,449+98,146+29.00
16.icon Ocean Party138,130+81,511+59.01
17.icon Social Pang506,388+77,868+15.38
18.icon Funflow806,585+76,939+9.54
19.icon My Casino829,882+71,225+8.58
20.icon Armies708,426+70,930+10.01

Top Stalkers is actually a social graph app, not a game. It’s followed by Music Pets, by Conduit Labs. This fun little game blends the popular pet care concept with music games; playing the right music to your pets is part of raising them. The game has a pretty low engagement so far, with only 10 percent of its MAU returning as daily active users.

Jumping Dog is in the same boat, but its success isn’t limited to Facebook. This appears to be a port of a popular mobile game, in which a dog jumps up to pop balloons and collect coins. The developer isn’t listed, though. When we played, the game seemed aggressively tuned to viral growth: It wouldn’t allow us to opt out of letting it make wall postings.

We recently reviewed Ameba Pico, a game by CyberAgent America in which you travel around with an animated avatar. This game is a bit unusual for having synchronous elements in its chat rooms; it also has a stand-alone site that players can use with Facebook Connect.

Looking down a bit, three sports games stand out: Bola, 2010 Bracket Challenge and MMA Pro Fighter, representing soccer, basketball and mixed martial arts, respectively. Sports games are another category that has been tried before on Facebook, but never produced any stand-out successes; this upcoming generation of games could change that, though — although the bracket app is seeing seasonal growth due to the March Madness college basketball tournament.