Social developer Wooga, who is now the fifth largest game developer on Facebook according to AppData, is launching their fifth Facebook title this week: Diamond Dash. A simple arcade-style game reminiscent of the older casual game Collapse, the arcade concept is not wholly unexpected considering the success of its puzzle game Bubble Island, which garners nearly 6.5 million monthly active users and more than 1 million daily active users.
Though Diamond Dash is essentially Collapse, its current form also finds itself combined with the basic time element from games like Bejeweled Blitz as well as standard social mechanics (e.g. leaderboards).
It’s simple enough. Players are presented with a screen full of multicolored blocks, and they must click on groups of three or more in order to remove them. As they do so, more blocks will fall down in their place and its rinse and repeat for one minute (à la Bejeweled Blitz). As one might expect, the more groups removed, and the more removed per click, the higher the score becomes.
As an added boost, should players remove groups in a fast enough sequence, they will initiate a special ability called “Magic Fire,” which will subsequently boost their score even further for a short amount of time. That said, activating the power-up requires a very quick eye and is not very forgiving.
If this all sounds simple, that’s because it is. The only other addition, at the moment, is that friends can invite other Facebook friends to play and compete via a weekly tournament (which is basically a leaderboard that just resets every week). Other than this, players acquire a finite number of plays per day, dubbed Lives, and require players to ask for lives from other friends through a Facebook message.
Interestingly enough, the lack of features is not without purpose. In fact, players can only reach level four (experience is earned through finishing games) at this time. The reason, according to Wooga, is that they’re trying to garner early feedback, and had, in fact, only seeded the game to a few thousand users yesterday; just to see how it grows.
Though there is no timeline given, Wooga also states that later, players will be able to unlock the actual diamonds in Diamond Dash, which are noted as boosts to the core play. What these boosts are specifically, we have not been told, but they will be used to augment the final game score. In fact, these will be part of the coming monetization mechanic that will utilize Facebook Credits to allow users to buy them (whether or not they are earnable by other means is unknown). Additionally, players will also be able to purchase additional Lives should they wish to play more often.
In a more ambiguous note, Wooga also tells us that Diamond Dash will also host, in some way a “well-proven gameplay mechanic from virtual world social games.” This refers to titles such as Wooga’s own top title, Monster World. Sadly, they did not share any more than that, nor do we have a prospective date on when to expect such features.
In the end, the current form of Diamond Dash is pretty basic and nothing more than a social adaptation of Collapse. Even so, the game appears far, far from done, and Wooga has a number of additions in store for the game. Considering the success of the company as a whole, future iterations of their new title ought to be very high quality and could very well be a repeat success of Bubble Island.