Web and social game developer King.com has a habit of breaking out games from its Facebook portal into standalone social games that net the developer a new audience. The latest of these games to get the “Saga” treatment is Bubble Witch Saga.
It’s a fairly simple game that builds on the Snood concept where players fire a colored projectile from the bottom of the screen into a cluster of multicolored objects clustered at the top, trying to match a minimum of three by color. When the player gets a match, the objects are cleared from the board permanent.
Bubble Witch adds a scoring element with cauldrons placed along the bottom of the screen that catch falling projectiles (here called bubbles) once players have knocked them out of the puzzle. Additionally, each time the player makes a match, spiders drop down from the ceiling to hang above the cauldron. Fallen bubbles that bounce off of these spiders on their way to the cauldron gain a score multiplier equal to the number of times the bubble hit the spider. Then, spiders are subtracted from the board each time the player fails to make a match when firing a bubble into the cluster.
The puzzles increase in difficulty as the player progresses through a world map. Like Bubble Saga, each level has up to three stars for the player to earn based on how high they score. A certain number of accumulated stars is required to unlock power-up items for purchase that can make the puzzle easier. Certain levels are friend-gated, requiring the player to invite new players to the game or to pay Facebook Credits to bypass the gate.
Bubble Witch Saga essentially combines all the lessons King.com has learned from its standalone experiments with Miner Speed, Bubble Saga, and Mahjong Saga. With all the similarities in gameplay between the standalone games and their “origin” games still playable on the King.com Facebook games portal (pictured above), one might think the developer is cannibalizing its audience with each new game release.
The data indicates otherwise, however, with King.com growing into the sixth-largest social game developer by monthly active users and the fifth-largest by daily active users at 16.5 million and 2.4 million, respectively. Note that the uptick in growth occurs about a month or so before the developer’s shift into cross-platform development. To date, only Miner Speed has an iOS version with limited integration to its Facebook parent game.
King.com tells us that it’s still working on developing iOS and tablet versions of its Saga games. We know that the company has been staffing up significantly in the last month or two, but as for future plans, King.com kept the conversation limited to Bubble Witch Saga. Players can expect to see tournament play and new power-ups in the coming weeks and there may also be a collaborative multiplayer mode in the works.
As the game only just launched today, Bubble Witch Saga hasn’t yet appeared in our AppData traffic-tracking service. Keep an eye out for it in the coming the days.