Early Look: Poseidon’s Realm by Reiner Knizia

Poseidon’s Realm by Reiner Knizia from Zabu Studio is a unique take on the match-3 arcade game genre made popular by PopCap Games’ Bejeweled franchise. The game challenges players’ spatial awareness with rotating boards and changing the direction of gameplay from down to up. The game’s designer, Reiner Knizia, is an award-winning German-style board game designer.

Poseidon’s Realm is played on a seven by seven game board set against an underwater background. Like other match-3 games, the goal is to connect bubbles of matching color to remove them from the game board, however, the direction of gameplay moves upward instead of downward with bubbles rising through the board. The game contains similar power-ups as other match-3 games such as exploding items and score multipliers, and uses a 60-second timer that awards additional seconds scoring four and five in a row. The board can also be turned 90 degrees per click in the direction of the arrows on each corner of the board, providing more scoring opportunities. Mega-bubbles can be formed which take up a grid of four spaces. These provide a multiplier effect when connected to a chain of like-colored bubbles, but increase the spacial challenge by taking up so much of the board. An additional gameplay twist allows players to pop any bubble even if it doesn’t result in a match, but it costs the player one second per “useless” bubble popped. Taken altogether, these features make Poseidon’s Realm a more deliberate, strategic match-3 than other Facebook offerings in the same genre.

Players start each game session with 12 energy to spend on games at a rate of one energy per game. Energy regenerates one point every 15 minutes. At the end of each game, players pick one of three treasure chests that award different sets of gems which can be spent on power-ups for the game board such as exploding blowfish, extra mega bubbles and extra time. Gems can also be traded for rewards in any of Zabu Studio’s other games like Pickomino and Lost Cities Solo.

The game monetizes by selling power-ups and energy with Facebook Credits. Power-ups are bundled in packs of 3, 10, or 20 with the cheapest goods costing only one Credit and the most expensive costing 19 Credit. Social elements include the daily and weekly high scores rankings with your friends who also play the game, a daily bonus feature where players earn extra gems and power-ups by logging in daily, and an invite bonus feature where players can give introductory gems and power-ups to friends whom they send a game invite.

Poseidon’s Realm was released on March 28. Given its twist on a popular game genre, we’re curious to see how it will do on Facebook where arcade games sometimes struggle to monetize. Follow this game’s trends on AppData, our data service tracking application traffic and growth on social platforms.