Which are the Winning Game Genres on Facebook?

Mark Stephens

The different social game genres are continually jostling for prized space on Facebook and the other main social gaming platforms. But which genres are winning the battle?


There are different definitions of genres. Big Fish Games recently claimed that they produced games in fourteen different genres in 2013, but elsewhere it is boiled down to about six or seven categories.

Despite gaming going more mobile in the past twelve months, Facebook remains an important benchmark for the market; there are several genres on Facebook that tend to dominate and we look at those below.

Arcade games

These are game types that have made the transition over from the old-style arcade games to PC and mobile. We all remember the games like Space Invaders and Pac Man from the days of gaming arcades: relatively simple, repetitive games that almost anyone can play, with many levels to keep players challenged. On Facebook we have seen tile-matching games like Diamond Dash, Angry Birds, Bejeweled, and Bubble Witch Saga emulating these characteristics with great success.

Casino games

Casino card games have been one of the mainstays of Facebook gaming since it started. Zynga’s Texas Hold’Em Poker has attracted many millions of players over the years, and new games have been added regularly – pretty much every popular casino card game can be played with ‘play money’. Other popular titles that expand on the casino theme include Slotomania Slot Machines and DoubleDown Casino Slots.

Puzzle solving games

A huge variety of puzzle-solving games are available on Facebook. One popular type is hidden object games where the player must find items from a list that are hidden within a picture. Other types include ‘reveal the picture’ games, as well as versions of traditional puzzles like Solitaire.

Mystery-solving games

Facebook games where players solve mysteries or crimes by following a series of clues are ever popular; they are designed for everyone from kids to adults and incorporate a huge variety of virtual settings to add interest. Games like Criminal Case and Pearl’s Peril have many millions of players searching for clues and trying to solve mysteries.

Quiz, Word and Board Games

One of the most popular games on Facebook is Words with Friends which is derived from the concept of Scrabble and tests your ability to form words. A similar concept is our game BoardRush & Friends, which is a classic board game where you have to match up symbols on tiles to win the most points. Other popular knowledge games test trivia or your knowledge of a particular genre like sport or music (SongPop for example).


Simulation games

An enduring feature of Facebook gaming has been the popularity of simulation games. Originating from the PC games of the 90s like The Sims and Sim City, these games place you in a virtual scenario that simulates a real environment, like a farm or zoo, where you have to perform all the duties to manage that environment. We have all seen or played FarmVille or CityVille for instance.

RPG Games

RPG means ‘Role Playing Game’. This has been a popular genre on consoles and PCs for a while, but with the advance of technology it has made the transition to social games and is becoming more popular on mobile devices. In these games you enter a fictitious world and take control of a character, who must usually overcome a series of challenges to complete missions or goals. A very popular example is Dragon City where you breed dragons to fight against other players’ dragons.

Love playing a particular Facebook game that doesn’t fit into any of these categories? Let us know in the Comments section below…