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Facebook Games of the Year 2013

December 9, 2013ByAJ Glasser

As the Facebook games ecosystem continues to grow and diversify in 2013, we've seen strong performance from international game developers based out of Europe, the rise of cross-platform games on both web and mobile, and breakout hardcore game hits. Join us as we celebrate Facebook’s 2013 games of the year.

A few highlights from this year’s list of games. Out of a total 23 games:

  • 10 come from studios based in Europe or the Middle East
  • 8 are cross-platform, integrating with Facebook on web and mobile
  • 8 were developed by indie studios
  • 7 are mid or hardcore games
  • 5 are arcade games
  • 5 are casino or slots games

The games of the year were selected based on user ratings, Facebook implementation, growth, and overall quality. We’ve also introduced a Staff Favorites category to share some of the games most played around our offices, and a Hall of Fame category for the games that launched earlier than 2013, but continue to be immensely popular with Facebook gamers. Lastly, while we have singled out one game that stands above the rest by all measurements, we’ve also decided to leave the Best New Games of 2013 list unranked.

Game of the Year 2013

Criminal Case by Pretty Simple
This hidden object game from a French indie studio combines crime scene investigation with engaging sharing mechanics to create the most successful Facebook game of the year. As detailed in our case study of the game, Open Graph stories featuring visceral artwork drove organic growth for the game throughout the first half of the year. Content updates and additional cases drove more growth for the game in the second half of the year.

Best New Games of 2013

Bake Shop Drop by Broken Bulb Studios

An adorable match-3 game featuring delicious-looking pastries from the developers of the Miscrits, a long-running Facebook game franchise. Rather than switching or line-drawing match mechanics, players drop a single pastry from the top of a display case onto pastries of the same type below.
Farm Heroes Saga by King

A farm-themed match-3 game from the makers of the wildly successful Candy Crush Saga. The bright colors and rounded edges of the art style distinguish Farm Heroes Saga both from other match-3 games and from King’s previous successes in the genre.
Heart of Vegas by Product Madness/Aristocrat

This slots game is the first from this London developer since its acquisition late last year by land-based casino company Aristocrat. The high quality graphics and sound speak to the developer’s skill with the category.
Hit It Rich Casino Slots by Zynga

This beautifully designed slots simulation from the FarmVille developer features slot machines based on characters and themes from movies, television, and comic books.
Jelly Splash by Wooga

A richly animated line-drawing match-3 game from the developers of popular Facebook game Diamond Dash. Jelly Splash launched first on mobile before going cross platform on in summer of this year.
Kitchen Scramble by Disney Interactive

This cooking-themed time management sim puts players in a food truck and sends them to various food-themed “countries” to serve local cuisine. This is the first original IP developer for Facebook that feels like a Disney production, right down to the animated mixing bowl loading screen.
Monster Legends by Social Point

From the Barcelona-based developer of hit game Dragon City, Monster Legends lets players collect, raise and battle monsters of all kinds against each other. The “Pandalf” panda-wizard monster is an office favorite.
The Smurfs & Co.: Spellbound by Ubisoft

A sequel to 2011’s The Smurfs & Co, French game developer Ubisoft follows up with a more personalized village-building experience featuring the lovable blue Belgian comic characters. Spellbound proves that recognizable brands still carry a lot of weight with players on our platform.
Soldiers Inc. by Plarium

A real-time strategy game from an Israeli indie developer. This gritty war epic grew rapidly over the summer and still continues to draw a large audience of hardcore players.
Solitaire Tales by Qublix

From a Toronto indie studio, Tales is a steampunk-themed solitaire game that treats players with familiar gameplay in a rich fantasy setting.
Thunder Run War of Clans by SpinPunch Games

Another hardcore strategy game, this indie studio was founded out of a Stanford University dorm room just last year.
Vikings Gone Wild by EveryDayiPlay

A hardcore strategy game from a Polish indie studio built with the Unity 3D engine. Players build armies of Viking warriors to pillage one another’s homesteads for spoils of gold and beer.

Staff Favorites

DoubleU Casino by AFewGoodSoft

This high quality casino game from an indie developer launched in mid 2012 and provides real casino experiences with a unique virtual Vegas concept.
Game of Thrones Ascent by Disruptor Beam

A role-playing simulation based both on the megahit "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series and its HBO miniseries "Game of Thrones."
King's Bounty: Legions by Nival

A complex turn-based strategy game that has grown on a few of our staff over the last year.
Panda Jam by SGN

A cross-platform casual game where players collapse cubes of matching colors to free trapped baby pandas.
Wartune by 7Road/Proficient City

This is the English language version of a popular strategy massively multiplayer online game. Since its launch on Facebook by publisher Proficient City, the game has grown rapidly in size and is one of the most successful core games on the platform to date.
War Commander by Kixeye

One of the earliest real-time strategy titles on Facebook lets players build up armies, attack each other and compete for resources. It’s still played regularly by Facebook staff two years after leaving beta.

2013 Hall of Fame

Candy Crush Saga by King

The King match-3 game has been a phenomenal success this year entertaining audiences on and mobile devices alike.
DoubleDown Casino by DoubleDown Interactive/IGT

With a suite of engrossing casino games, DoubleDown keeps players hooked with lively themes and opportunities to compete with others.
FarmVille 2 by Zynga

Sequel to one of Facebook's earliest farm simulation games, FarmVille 2 features some of the slickest graphics on our platform. Exciting new content keeps players coming back and contributes to this game's remarkable performance.
Slotomania by Playtika/Caesar’s Interactive

Always fresh and fun, this slots game keeps delighting web and mobile players with its creative categories and engaging graphics.