Social media titan and popular online gaming platform Facebook has released its Games of the Year, with five social casino titles among the 23-name list. Based on user ratings, growth, overall quality and Facebook implementation, the best new social casino games of 2013 include Zynga’s Hit It Rich Casino Slots and Product Madness/Aristocrat’s Heart of Vegas. AFewGoodSoft’s DoubleU Casino made the Facebook Staff Favorites’ list, while Hall of Fame nods – games released earlier than 2013 but which had impressive staying power – went to IGT’s DoubleDown Casino and Playtika/Caesars Interactive’s Slotomania.
Earlier this month, High 5 Games announced the release of its latest social casino offering, Shake The Sky, the company’s “first comprehensive product for the social and mobile Asian markets.” High 5 CEO Anthony Singer said the new offering – technically a rebranded version of its popular High 5 Casino – will feature “more than 30 region-specific games to tap into the growing enthusiasm players have for real slot content.”
A far more radical rethink of social gaming’s parameters comes from TradeFight, which attempts to merge social gaming with financial trading. The UK-based, Curacao-licensed firm launched on Dec. 1 and currently offers two types of gameplay, Trade Fight and Speed Trade. Trade Fight involves two players going heads-up in a five-minute battle to see who can grow a $1,000 virtual bankroll into the biggest virtual pile using real live market data. Speed Trade is, as you might expect, an accelerated form of the game in which a player has only 30 seconds in which to guess which way the market’s moving. A third game (The Predictor) is waiting in the pipeline, featuring a three-reel, three-line slot with a progressive jackpot for social gamers who don’t have any friends and/or enemies with whom to do battle.
Social gaming platform developer ISIS Lab Corporation, last seen winning the Start-Up Launch Pad award at the 2013 GIGSE conference in San Francisco, has taken a further step toward realizing its goal of marrying social gaming with real-money online gambling. ISIS Lab has teamed with Isle of Man-licensed Cladstone Ltd. (RogersBingo.com) to prep the UK launch of ISIS Friends, “the first true social network built and regulated for the online gaming market.” ISIS Lab CEO Daniel Kajoule is “exceedingly excited” about the launch, which will feature “hundreds of games” when it makes its debut. The ISIS platform was intended to navigate both social and real-money gaming environments, offering clients in regulated markets a turnkey solution with a full commerce application and back office suite.