Waku Waku Blitz is a simple but highly customizable game that fits our definition of the match-3 arcade game genre. Most match-3 games on Facebook that aren’t Bejeweled Blitz or Diamond Dash struggle to retain an audience, but Waku Waku developer Pix Builders hopes to meet the challenge with highly customizable gameplay options. So far, 20 days after launch, the game sits at just 631 monthly active users and 106 daily active users, according to our data service tracking application AppData.
Pix Builders’ Yvan Taurines describes Waku Waku Blitz as a “puzzle/match 3 game like Bejeweled Blitz,” but in practice it’s more like “whack-a-mole.” Square, triangular and circular shapes of varying colors pop out of holes on the screen and it’s the player’s job to smack as many as possible with a hammer in one minute. Score multipliers are given every time the player achieves a “combo” of three identical shapes, colors or both, and as the multiplier increases the player has to work faster to maintain their high-scoring potential.
Taurines claims the game is “one of the simplest games ever,” but explains that a lot of the depth to gameplay comes from “meta gameplay” in the form of experience points, player levels, and unlockable content. As the player progresses through the experience levels, new sets of shapes become available from the in-game marketplace, and completing a set offers the player specific bonuses that will help them climb the leaderboards.
“We have a lot to add to Waku Waku Blitz over the coming months,” says Taurines. “We can’t reveal all the upcoming features, but for example, we would like to add localization, an updated leaderboard that will keep track of one’s highest score ever, and some cool gameplay additions. And of course, we will add new shapes, new weapons and new backgrounds! Actually, cool effects for weapons will be added very soon — if not today, tomorrow.”
The game only monetizes through the sale of its standard virtual currency, which can be spent on new shapes, weapons and backgrounds from the in-game shop to customize the play experience. More buying options are unlocked as the player proceeds through the experience levels, and each successfully completed game also rewards the player with coins, so there is no obligation for them to spend real money, but Taurines says that “paying a small quantity of real money will save [the player] a huge load of time, and will help him to collect all of his missing items.” Taurines is keen to ensure that monetization of the game is “not intrusive to the player” and emphasizes that Waku Waku Blitz is primarily a “free to play game.”
The game currently uses Social Gold to take payments, but this will not be supported for much longer, according to Taurines. The game will be changing over to Facebook Credits in accordance with Facebook’s policy by July, and Taurines believes that Facebook’s system is “a good one — even if [it is] pricey.”
Waku Waku Blitz launched on April 8. Both its MAU and DAU numbers are currently very low, but it’s early days for the game, yet. The next few months will be critical to determine whether it succeeds or fails based on what Pix Builders can do to support the game with new features — and whether Taurines and his team pursues future plans on Facebook or elsewhere.
You can follow Waku Waku Blitz’s progress on Facebook with AppData, our traffic tracking application for social games and developers.