Poker Blitz Deals the Winning Hand on This Week’s List of Emerging Facebook Games

Zynga’s latest game, Poker Blitz, leads the pack on this week’s list of emerging Facebook games still under a million monthly active users. As we mentioned in our review, it’s a cartoon-themed, simplified version of a more complex card game, Texas Hold’em Poker.

Blitz’s fast acquisition of three quarters of a million new players (the number below is delayed by a couple days) over a short time-span is impressive in a way; smaller companies can live off similar user numbers. But as we wrote yesterday, Zynga may be disappointed that the growth wasn’t higher. Unfortunately, technical issues appear to have stunted the game’s first days.

But that’s not likely to matter in the long run; Poker Blitz should be a fixture of our daily and monthly active user gain lists for some weeks. In the meantime, here’s today’s AppData list:

Top Gainers This Week – Games
Name MAU Gain↓ Gain, %
1. icon Poker Blitz 666,579 +665,684 +99.87
2. icon Bola 792,192 +271,796 +34.31
3. icon Glamble Poker 816,707 +179,410 +21.97
4. icon NanoTowns 242,795 +151,920 +62.57
5. icon 2010 Bracket Challenge 420,924 +137,036 +32.56
6. icon MMA Pro Fighter 971,147 +128,599 +13.24
7. icon PoxNora 271,115 +127,588 +47.06
8. icon Send Free Farmville Gifts 145,471 +125,176 +86.05
9. icon Aquarium Life 479,632 +120,364 +25.10
10. icon Puzzle Bobble 739,773 +110,857 +14.99
11. icon Top Stalkers 735,639 +98,160 +13.34
12. icon StreetRivals 532,215 +93,952 +17.65
13. icon Little Rock Pool 692,842 +92,667 +13.37
14. icon Island Life 424,696 +86,247 +20.31
15. icon Mousewheel Madness! 255,677 +80,528 +31.50
16. icon Ameba Pico 494,205 +78,131 +15.81
17. icon TinierMe 148,900 +74,541 +50.06
18. icon Klatsch der Hund 176,811 +74,390 +42.07
19. icon Armies 764,660 +56,234 +7.35
20. icon Funflow 860,783 +54,198 +6.30

Bola, as you can see from its icon, is a soccer team management game of the type beloved by Europeans. The developer behind it is Three Melons. American sports junkies have 2010 Bracket Challenge, by Watercooler, which centers around the spring college basketball season.

Glancing back up to number three, Glamble Poker is an independent developer challenge to Zynga’s Texas HoldEm Poker. Interestingly, while Zynga is betting on dumbed-down Texas Hold’em with Blitz, several companies are succeeding with fairly standard versions of the game.

NanoTowns is a quirky addition to the suddenly faddish city building genre, that launched before some of the others. One problem for the game: user retention is low, with only 13 percent of its MAU returning daily. But Digital Chocolate, the developer, has its eye on bigger and better games, anyway.

That covers the top five. A quick rundown of some other notables: PoxNora is a turn-based fantasy game (shown at right) from Sony Online Entertainment, while Send Free Farmville Gifts is a scam — it on’t survive for long. Both Aquarium Life and Little Rock Pool are busy proving that there’s still life in the virtual aquarium genre . Finally, there’s Island Life, the island farming game that is Metaplace’s first crack at Facebook development.