FARKLE by Slovakian developer Viral Games has been steadily growing its user base since launching two years ago. Recently the dice game climbed to 1.5 million monthly active users on Facebook of which around 25 percent return every day – an indicator for the game’s stickiness.
Developer: Viral Games
Genre: Board game
Platform(s): Facebook, Web
Launch: January 2010
Active users (Facebook): 1,500,000 MAU, 350,000 DAU
Monetization: Free-to-play with paid premium currency
How to play
FARKLE is based on a classic board game (also known as Hot Dice) which is played with six dice that are rolled to start a turn. The player selects one or more dice to keep for points (e.g. ‘1′ equals 100 points, a ‘5′ is worth 50 points, three of a kind bring in extra bonuses); earned points are added to a temporary score.
After accumulating 300 points, the player can end a turn to save the score or roll any remaining dice that are not kept for points. If all dices can be cleared for points, players can roll all six dice again to increase their score. However, if no required dice combination falls, all points from this turn are lost. This is called a Farkle. Three Farkles in a row deduct an extra 500 points from the overall score.
Basically, there are two game modes: Simple and Duel (real-time multiplayer).
The simple version can be played alone or asynchronously against friends; ten rounds are played, the resulting score is reflected on leaderboards.
The multiplayer mode is played against Facebook friends or strangers (who can interact via live chat) for a stake of virtual chips – the first one to reach 10,000 points wins the stake. Winning a number of duels lets players level up and unlock new stages on a map of the US.
Additional chips can be won in bonus games or bought using Facebook Credits. Other premium virtual goods include avatar decorations and Power Dice which offer tactical advantages in a match.
FARKLES’ graphics and interface are clean, smooth and the game design is held as simple as possible – one example being the video tutorial which starts at first launch instead of the usual step by step in-game tutorial. The game’s appeal seems to stem from the competitive multiplayer mode combined with effective gambling mechanics.