While a majority of us Facebook gamers can't be "Super Whales", if this study is right, we're going to have collectively spent $1.5 billion on social games by the year 2014. So with all the recent talk about spending, we were surprised to run into a self-described "social game" that promises to help players save money instead, and that game is Penny Drop.
First reported by Inside Social Games in March for its fundraising partnership with Kiva, Penny Drop, a Facebook app designed by the San Francisco-based Yazooli (formerly known as CircusPop), landed on our radar today after the founder of the global frozen yogurt business Red Mango, announced there was a "game" that could help froyo fans save money on food and drinks at the store.
Sounds like another advergame right? But Penny Drop is different from anything we've seen before. Because it doesn't target just one product. It accommodates them all. Moreover, Penny Drop doesn't simply promote products, it sells them via deals and "Gold Tokens", which are the game's premium currency.
Every three hours and five minutes, your regular currency, "Blue Tokens", will replenish itself like an energy bar. You need these tokens to click and spin down the price for an item you want. You can also get Blue Tokens by sending some to your friends via the "Send Tokens" page. Inviting friends will get you "Gold Tokens", which can be used to pay for shipping and handling charges or to increase the discount of your item. As you play on, you unlock the ability to send larger amounts of tokens.
Also, the more times people view an item, the lower the price of the item gets. But the price only drops a penny per person, hence, the name of the game. A live feed on the bottom of the game shows you exactly what other players are looking at. You also get a stats bar to check you progress.
So does Penny Drop deliver on its promise? All signs point to yes. It's certainly got the social aspect of addictive Facebook games down pat. But I think the gaming aspect is a bit dubious, unless you're a fan of slot machines. To check it out yourself, log into Facebook, click here, and allow the app. You may also have to fan the pages of your favorite products before you can to start playing.