Zynga goes real time with arcade-style game

May 08, 2012 by Glenn Chapman
Facebook games star Zynga is launching an old-school, arcade-style title that will be free at its new website or at the world's biggest social network.

Facebook games star Zynga is launching an old-school, arcade-style title that will be free at its new website or at the world's biggest social network.

"Bubble Safari" crafted by a Zynga studio in the southern California city of San Diego will be the first title to debut simultaneously at zynga.com and at on Wednesday.

"This is a new style of for Zynga in that it is a straight-out game where people are going to lose," said studio creative director Mark Turmell, who left US videogame titan last year to join Zynga.

"I've been making arcade style games for 20 years... and the learning from old arcade days applies almost 100 percent to the social market today."

Unlike hit Zynga games such as "" and "FarmVille" in which people casually tend virtual crops or construct cartoon urban centers with occasional help of online friends, arcade games move quickly in real time.

"Bubble Safari" has an environmental theme, with players controlling an on-screen monkey out to defeat poachers by firing bubbles into an overhead rack to match colors and clear paths to higher levels, a preview revealed.

"The hero is Bubbles, a space drop-out monkey that has been living the good life in the jungle until poachers come and start taking his friends," Turmell said. "He has to rescue his friends and stop the poachers."

Zynga is considering partnering with a group such as the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Uganda in keeping with the game's nature-defending theme.

"It is always good in a game to have an arch enemy, and the concept of poachers running amok in the jungle is very real," Turmell said.

"It is something no one is happy with... We have been trying to figure out a way to partner with that community and try to help."

Zynga Networks posted a "Bubble Safari" video trailer at for those interested in a peek at the game.

Hazards and challenges heighten as players advance through the faux jungle and the 65 levels in the game. Online friends can pitch in by sending players needed bubbles or "power-ups" such as lightning bolts or bombs.

"For the first time in an arcade game, your friends can help you on a moment-to-moment basis right in the middle of a level," Turmell said.

"From a social standpoint in an , it breaks new ground."

Zynga also gave "Bubbles" a speedy frame rate for fast play.

The game will launch in 14 languages.

Players at zynga.com will be able to take advantage of tools that let them engage in matches with strangers as well as friends.

People can play through the game for free, or pay small amounts along the way for boosts or other benefits to beat levels faster.

"The free-to-play model is almost like the old quarter-to-play arcade model," Turmell said. "For me, after going through the arcade and console generations, social is like coming home."

Explore further: The new Candy Crush? Chinese language apps make learning a game

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Zynga sues French startup over "Ville" game

May 08, 2012

Zynga is out to strip "Ville" from the name of a social game made by French firm Kobojo on the grounds it piggybacks on a line of its titles including "CityVille" and "FarmVille."

Zynga sued over patent infringement

Aug 17, 2011

(AP) -- Zynga Inc., the maker of popular online games such as "FarmVille" and "CityVille," is being sued for patent infringement by a Texas gaming startup.

Recommended for you

New app first to use gesture for language learning

Jan 29, 2015

While you might think a person shaking her phone or tablet from side to side is having issues with the device, she might actually be playing a game that has her mimicking a steering wheel motion as part of ...

Linux distrib vendors make patches available for GHOST

Jan 29, 2015

Qualys said on Tuesday that there was a serious weakness in the Linux glibc library. During a code audit, Qualys researchers discovered a buffer overflow in the __nss_hostname_digits_dots() function of glibc. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.