Here's a big trend in Facebook gaming: Take a successful game, whittle down the gameplay, tack on some social elements and microtransactions -- then launch it on the social network and wait for coins to rain down from the heavens. At this point, we've seen socialized versions of everything from console classic Madden NFL Football to Pocket God for mobile and more recently, The Sims, one of the best selling PC games of all time.
Some of these retooled games fare better than others on Facebook, and that largely seems to depend on how the social elements are baked into the entire experience. The Sims Social does a good job at taking some basic social gaming mechanics and blending them seamlessly into a Sims experience, and I attribute its meteoric rise to the top of the social gaming charts to that (well, that plus a hefty advertising budget).
Q-Games PixelJunk Monsters Online has the potential to be a big Facebook hit, but after playing through the early version of the game, I couldn't help but wonder -- where's the social stuff? Right now, there is still no hint at what type of social elements will be included other than the marketing speak heavy "challenge other people on Facebook the world over for dominion over a stage." If that just means that your score will show up in a leaderboard next to your friends' scores, that would be a big disappointment. PixelJunk on its own is a gem of a game, but it could be that much better if the Facebook version included some form of innovative socialization. Let's hope this Facebook remix takes the path less traveled.
Play PixelJunk Monsters Online on Facebook >