UPDATED One reason casual game startups are still confident in these recessionary times is that the top titles attract millions of players. Our friends at casual game ad network Mochi Media have provided a list of the 10 most popular casual games hosted on its network, each of which is played millions of times every month on thousands of sites.
Update: “The most common theme that can be seen in the [most popular] games is that they are very simple to play and amenable to almost any demographic,” company founder Jameson Hsu told me by e-mail. “Most of the games have simple control mechanisms and can be confined to just the mouse.” Hsu won’t say how much each of these titles makes from advertising, but claims that the top developers on their network typically earn four to five figures a
year month in ad revenue. (Mochi emailed us to say they misspoke, so we’ve updated the figure accordingly.)
What’s the secret to their success? “First of all, these games are simply fun,” Hsu said. Beyond that, Hsu says games that are quick to hook users do well, as are games that do so in new, original ways. While Mochi sees a lot of knock-offs of popular games, “when something unique comes out, it tends to strike a chord with people looking for something new,” he said.
The list of top 10 games is below.
1. Bloons, created by Ninja Kiwi. A monkey and some darts versus an army of balloons.
2. Hotel Online, created by Realore Studios. Hotel management action game: keep your guests happy with room service, coffee, etc. or lose popularity.
3. Bubble Struggle 2, created by Krešimir Cvitanović. Can one heroic piglet with a speargun defeat waves of falling balls?
4. Papa’s Pizzeria, created by Flipline Studios. Baking action: make money by cooking your pies on time with the right ingredients.
5. Fancy Pants Adventures 2, created by Borne Games. Cool platformer action with appealing visuals and stick-drawing animation — and my personal favorite from this list.
6. Tower Bloxx, created by Digital Chocolate. Another fave: construct a city of skyscrapers by dropping ready-made floors from cranes, but beware wobbly towers.
7. Cube Crash, created by Ocean Breeze Games. Score points by scooping up connecting rows of like-colored cubes.
8. Bricks Breaking, created by Novel Games, distributed by MindJolt Games. Near identical to Cube Crash (above), just less visually attractive.
9. Paris Oh Paris, created by Shaun’s Flights. Possibly NSFW (and definitely cheesy), toss greasy food at the famously annoying, underfed celebrity.
10. Stunt Dirt Bike, created by YouGame.com. Jump cars and other obstacles with your dirt bike in this 2-D side-scrolling game.
Mochi Media, by the way, is spearheading a Flash Gaming Summit industry conference next Spring, which includes “The Mochis,” an awards show that’ll select the year’s best games. Which titles would you nominate?
Image credit: DigitalChocolate.com.