Miner Speed is the first of King.com’s games to receive the cross-platform treatment from the developer on iOS. The match-3 title has grown steadily in the last 30 days to a high of over 1.3 million monthly active users and its numbers continue to climb.
Gameplay adheres to the match-3 formula of switching two tiles to create a match of three or more of the same color gems in a row. This game is played on an eight by eight board with a sixty second timer. Players can see where they rank on three different leader boards that are reset each week; their standing among their friends, their country and across all Facebook players that play the game. Friends can gift each other a bomb boost that clears the board completely and inform their friends when they surpass their scores by posting a message on their wall in a little friendly “trash talk” not unlike Bejeweled Blitz’s Jabber.
Players earn coins with each game they play with scores also earning experience points, and badges are awarded for high scores. With coins, players buy boosts which are unlocked by consecutive days playing the game. The final two boost types are earned by inviting friends to play the game.
The game monetizes via Facebook Credits which is used to buy coins and also to unlock a permanent fourth booster slot so that four boosters may be used at a time. Players can also spin a wheel to win a number of coins after watching a promotional video at the beginning of the game.
Because Miner Speed maintains a shallow mechanic and quick pace well-suited to mobile players, the game was a natural choice for King.com’s cross-platform strategy. At present, the only things that are shared between the Facebook game and the iOS game are top scores, which the iOS app tracks by syncing players with Facebook Connect. Wallets of coins are kept completely separate.
Miner Speed is a very fast game compared to other match-3 games like Poseidon’s Realm by Reiner Knizia, which is a decidedly deliberate game. It is also faster than Bejeweled Blitz or Fortune Stones’ Frenzy mode. The blasting and swooshing sound effects and upbeat music are also unique style choices, evoking images of classic cartoon shows like Looney Toons. This and a user base already familiar with King.com’s games likely contribute to the rapid growth of the game in an increasingly crowded match 3 space.
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