Over time, our expectations for new games has evolved exponentially. In the beginning, it was thought that blinking pixels on a screen were the pinnacle of graphical capabilities and presentation, but as the game development industry grew beyond a garage hobby and the technology began to flourish, the graphical expectations of new titles began to rise as well.
A similar trend is happening with social games on Facebook. At first, games looked simple (and many still do). They were point and click games that most consisted of RPGs and sending gifts to friends. However, as time passed, these games followed a path similar to that of their mainstream counterparts. Now social games are beginning to incorporate cleaner graphics, stylized presentation, and fitting sound effects that once seemed home only on other platforms.
Below are the Top 10 best looking Facebook Games. Please note that this list is purely subjective, and by all means feel free to leave your opinions in the comments.
10. Bubble Town – I-play
Bubble Town is certainly one of the older games on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve a spot on this list. The game is a simple puzzle game app in which the player shoots little bubble people at their counterparts in an attempt to clear the board before time expires.
What makes this game better looking than others, however, is not only the clean graphics, but the style incorporated with the bubble people: They fall asleep, yawn if you don’t hit them, and generally respond to what is happening around them. These are not “necessary” features, but the added style makes it stand out amongst the crowd.
9. Tennis Mania – Viral, s.r.o.
This may look like a typical Facebook RPG, but it is in fact much more than that. Yes, the RPG element is very clean and good looking, but so are a lot of other RPGs out there. What catches the eye most in Tennis Mania is the actually tennis game you can play when matched up against your friends.
This minor Flash application built into the main game adds a great deal of style to the entirety of the game and the added effort really goes a long way in improving the game as a whole.
8. KickMania! – TheBroth
Okay, graphically this game is decent. However, it isn’t simply the graphics that earn KickMania! the #8 spot. In fact, a lot of the game outside the actual kicking part is rather bland. What stands out with this app is the actual act of kicking. The rag-doll animation used when you kick your friends through the air is one of the most entertaining things to watch as they flail about, crashing through walls and across explosives. This impressive and gratifying animation earns KickMania! a solid spot on this list.
7. Stack’em – Gogogic
Simple and clean graphics: This means a lot in any game, but for Stack’em it’s the animation and comedic style that really adds to the game’s look and feel. Dropping those sheep is truly amusing to watch as they flail about helplessly and bounce about the stack as you drop them from the hands of a stylized farmer.
Not only do the sheep facial animations bring value to the table, but the sound effects and music really add a great satirical feel to the whole package.
6. Bowling Buddies – Playfish
One of Playfish’s older titles, Bowling Buddies brings clean 3D looking graphics to Facebook. What probably stands out most, however, is the stylized, almost caricature-like avatars meant to represent the player.
Granted there are better looking games out there, technically, but Playfish really encompasses an overall style and feel to this game. Everything fits and feels so colorful and animated. Even with the older looking graphics, that style really stands out in a crowd.
5. Who Has The Biggest Brain? – Playfish
These very simple cell shaded graphics go a long way in showing what can be done with flat, 2D artwork. Everything in the game has this sort of “game-show” type of feel to it that can truly be appreciated. The animations are smooth, the game is bright and cheerful, and the sound effects perfectly tie everything together.
4. YoVille – Zynga
This avatar game looks great with its isometric view and interactive environment. Because of the choice of perspective, and the time taken on the visual look, the game feels more like a desktop game than a Facebook application.
Also, with all the decorations and items you can collect and use in your virtual home, Zynga really had to put in a great deal of effort to make it all fit together fluidly. Its almost feels like an online Flash version of The Sims. Regardless, it looks great.
3. GeoChallenge – Playfish
This game is basically Who Has The Biggest Brain?, but with a newer and slightly better look. With the number of moving parts and characters, this game really feels like a bustling airport (or at least as much as a 2D Flash airport can bustle). Also, the characters are all wonderfully designed, and really create a silhouette image that you can remember long after you’ve finished the game (that’s not to say that other Playfish characters don’t stand out, this one just has more).
Of course, there is also the fact that the mini games are all highly stylized and animated. Nothing is static and everything feels alive and moving. As was said earlier in this list, this is a style choice that isn’t necessarily needed for a game, but it really makes it much better.
2. Space Movers: The Bloom Initiative – SGN
Space Movers: The Bloom Initiative was made in conjunction with the Arbor Day Foundation. It’s bright and colorful artwork, combined with multiple moving parts, memorable characters that have their own unique personality that is shown through their animations, as well as perfectly suited sounds and music truly puts this Facebook title on bar with any desktop game.
1. Lucky Strike Bowling – Large Animal Games
By far one of the most beautiful games on Facebook. This bowling game, while simple truly raises the bar on the capabilities of this space. This title easily compares with any desktop game. The graphics are a beautiful 3D rendering and the game play is filled with dynamic camera angles and perspectives.
The game also incorporates a great sense of lighting and sound that really creates the feel of a living, breathing, bowling alley. If for nothing else, it is worth checking out just to see what can be done.