Strong Growth, Farming Surprises, Among This Week’s Facebook Games with the Most New Daily Actives

December was a slow traffic month for most social game developers, partly because users were busy with other activities during the holidays, and partly because Facebook started stricter enforcement of anti-viral policies at the beginning of the month. But traffic appears to be back on the rise, at least for the 20 games that gained the most new daily active users (DAU) in the past week, according to AppData.

For the week ending December 29, the top 20 games gained a combined total of 2.06 million DAU. This past week, ending on January 5, the top 20 games more than doubled their DAU, gaining 4.10 million.

Top Gainers This Week – Games

NameDAUGain Gain, %
1. FishVille6,638,656+534,335+8.05
2. Tiki Farm631,839+375,780+59.47
3. Happy Island1,791,959+344,312+19.21
4. FarmVille26,003,429+341,835+1.31
5. Country Life1,944,457+336,584+17.31
6. Café World9,347,792+296,031+3.17
7. PetVille4,027,286+262,436+6.52
8. Texas HoldEm Poker5,171,059+232,598+4.50
9. Island Paradise1,867,514+180,890+9.69
10. Garden World175,701+175,483+99.88
11. MindJolt Games2,110,615+147,850+7.01
12. Bubble Popp400,094+124,513+31.12
13. Mafia Wars6,169,734+115,258+1.87
14. Super Hugs♥117,923+114,434+97.04
15. Bejeweled Blitz2,886,107+104,712+3.63
16. Birthday Cards1,231,300+94,474+7.67
17. Fish World1,732,436+92,371+5.33
18. Zoo World1,261,711+79,399+6.29
19. Treasure Madness845,186+77,888+9.22
20. Tarjetitas239,759+69,637+29.04

A lot of the usual titles made today’s list, although not in the order one might expect.FishVille, Zynga’s virtual aquarium game launched last fall, is on top, gaining more than half a million new users.

Number two is a surprise, though — Playdom’s new game, Tiki Farm, which had previously been seeing slower growth since launching last month. This past week, it grew by nearly 60 percent, or 376,00 DAU. We’re interested to see how big this title can get.

CrowdStar’s new Happy Island game came in third, gaining 344,00 new DAU, having seen healthy growth over the course of the month.

And while its not surprising to see Zynga’s FarmVille at fourth, right behind it is a title called Country Life — also a farming simulation, but made by a small developer. It has been steadily climbing our leaderboards, and gained 337,000 DAU this past week.

We’ve covered most of the other titles on this list in detail before. A new one that stands out, though, is Garden World, a slick-looking garden-themed iteration of the farming genre. Made by a developer by the name of Tim Saberi Jr. it has rocketed up from nowhere at the start of the new year to reach 175,000 DAU by today. [Update: Tall Tree Games is the developer, and it is cross-promoting the game from its larger Fish World, which helps explain the traffic.]