Social is going mobile. Now that facebook is mostly dominated by a chosen few companies, new users have to be targeted. Wooga was setting foot in the mobile market with “Diamond Dash” brand. Diamond Dash was originally released at March 2011 on Facebook and has now 19 million monthly users and marks #20 of the top Apps on Facebook. In the App Store the games is generating solid numbers as well.
According to Wooga Diamond Dash has been downloaded over 11 million times since the release in December 2011. So what makes it so appealing that millions play it on a regular basis?
At its core Diamond Dash is a ‘Match-3’ arcade puzzle game. Your goal is to achieve points by clearing gems in an 8×7 field. Gems can only be cleared when at least 3 gems of the same type are next to each other (not diagonal). If the player taps on such a set of gems, they vanish and new gems fill up the field from the top changing the field and leading to a new set of gems in the field.
Every game is limited by 60 second, in which a new high score has to be set. The key to do so is to chain combos. If you swiftly clear several gems in a row you enter an overdrive mode, where not only the matching gems are cleared but also the surrounding ones, leading to more point for you. If you keep your run up, you stay longer in this boosted mode.
Another way to earn more points is clearing gems rapidly without tapping on wrong combinations. This will fill a meter, that when fully charged, lets a burning diamond appear in the field. Triggering it lets a meteor crush down on the field and clearing every gem in the row of the triggered diamond. Also playing the game for a longer period will get you advantages.
You get ‘experience stars’ with every game you play. Higher scores result in a higher amount of experience. Every level increases your score bonus. With level 12 you get access to magic spells that make it easier to get higher scores.But the true reason why this game is so addicting is the social part.
To play the game you need lives. They replenish every 7 min and stack up to a maximum of 5. You can increases your number of hearts by buying them with gold you gets for every level up. Gold can also be purchased via In-App purchase. The less costly way to be able keeping playing is to ask friends to send you lives. To do that you can connect with your Facebook account.
Diamond Dash was one of the first games that came with Facebook Connect. This allows users to log in with their Facebook accounts. This not only makes it able share their scores and achievements on Facebook, but also to play with the same profile as in the flash version on Facebook. This is important because you get a better chance to win weekly tournament.
Both versions are synchronized and scores are loaded into the same leader board in which you can compare your scores with those of your friends. Every week it is resented and the best player of the week gets a medal as a reward and the bragging right of being the best. This Facebook integration brings a whole new dynamic into the mobile game, because you are no longer competing with strangers in the game center but with your friends. You know who you have beaten and also who has surpassed you in the high score.
Diamond Dash is in many ways a success. It shows how cross-gaming is done right. Not only does it manages to translate a Facebook game on to the mobile platform but also adds to the whole experience of social games. You play on the same data base and every game matters. Even if you are not connected with your mobile device, scores are stored and the added to the database when you are connected again.
This game really shines if you connect it with your Facebook Account, a good example how social gaming is translated onto a mobile device. If more games of this kind enter the freemium mobile market, many have to reconsider their stand to social platforms.