Superball is Korean developer Cookapps’ most successful game. The company, founded by Andrew Park and Tylor Kim in 2009, has 9 apps on Facebook of which both Superball and the second ranked Buggle have seen massive growth within the last few weeks.
How to play
Superball (sometimes also spelled ‘Super Ball’) is a very accessible arcade game that lets users shoot a limited number of cannon balls at blue and red pegs. The balls bounce off the different obstacles, not unlike in a pinball machine, until they drop on the floor. If a ball lands in a constantly moving bucket on the ground, the player is granted another one. Only red pegs need to be cleared but blue ones are often in the way, making it harder to pass a level. Hitting multiple pegs at once unlocks various rewards and bonuses.
As usual in arcade games, players spend lives to play which refill over time or can be purchased using Facebook Credits. Other items available for hard currency are boosters like the Split Ball (splits up in mid-air to hit more pegs) – these boosts are only sparsely distributed as players advance through the different levels.
Leaderboards show how well each level was mastered compared to Facebook friends. A tournament mode is available from level 35 onwards.
Superball’s viral user acquisition strategy is quite aggressive for a contemporary social game. Upon launch, 50 random friends are selected to receive invites; users have to manually opt out if they’re not in favor of sending out unwanted requests. Users are later prompted to gift lives (energy) to other peers that are not yet players of the game even though it’s implied otherwise by calling them ‘Super Ball friends’.