Ateam Inc. of Nagoya, Japan recently announced their venture into Facebook with a title called Pubbles, a jewel-matching game that’s seemingly derived from PopCap’s Bejeweled look. The feedback and presentation are decent and there are even actual rewards to be won through raffle tickets. The publisher is focusing on funneling users towards a downloadable PC version (far superior in aesthetic value) that costs $10. The pervasiveness of Asian developers releasing titles on Facebook is increasing as the gaming companies venture to find new audiences and liberal revenue sharing policies on Facebook compared to the Asian social networks.
The social basis of the game is competition as players strive to eclipse their friends in high scores. The game play is quick and easy to learn. Players enter a ‘relax’ mode of play in which they try to score as many points as possible by popping similar-neighboring bubbles (a concept similar to Collapse!). This is unlike Bejeweled Blitz which confines people to 1 minute play but is similar to the regular Bejeweled where players progress through levels till they can no longer make any moves.
There are bonuses scattered in the game play from doing combinations such as popping 10 or more bubbles and players see fun animations such as gold and silver coins falling. Apart from the cutesy feel, the game is lacking in visual depth and social innovation and it will be interesting to see what kind of success this casual company sees in promoting its purchasable titles.