Big Facebook application developers have been cranking up their launch cycles to try to come out with higher -quality games faster than their competitors, with some recent examples being CrowdStar’s Happy Pets and more recently Zynga’s PetVille. But, the most recent example we’ve seen is a new game from Slide, a spin-off title from SuperPoke Pets called SPP Ranch.
The SuperPoke Pets brand has been around for a year and a half, and this new title intends to capitalize on it by using the same pet characters and art.
Like another recent Slide title, Top Fish, the main mechanic is raising virtual creatures to earn points, allowing you then get more creatures, get objects to decorate with, etc. While in Top Fish you bought, fed and sold fish, in SPP Ranch you buy, feed (and water) and release painfully cute cartoony animals. This is more like the mechanic in farming games, and some aquarium games; the original SuperPoke Pets and other pets titles typically revolve around the long-term care 0f a specific pet.
In terms of the animal-raising genre, it is perhaps most similar to Beijing-based Rekoo‘s Animal Paradise. A big difference between the two is that Animal Paradise lets you steal animals from other users — a feature that’s popular in many social games that we’ve seen come out of China. Many players in the United States and many other parts of the world prefer to not have that competitive element, from what we’ve seen.
There are also some other interesting features in SPP Ranch. For example, animals regularly make a “mess” (defecate) in their pen, so you clean up the mess to earn points. This is similar to a common virtual aquarium feature: Your aquarium gets dirty over time, but you can earn points by cleaning it.
Like other big developers, Slide, with 25.7 million monthly active users, has the ability to cross-promote new games like SPP Ranch with its range of large, existing applications — although the app just launched today so we aren’t seeing major growth yet.