Zynga Brings Arcade Play to Facebook With 'Bubble Safari'

Image credit: Zynga

Zynga, the maker of those popular Facebook games like "Farmville" and "Cityville," is moving into new gaming territory. Today it's launching its first arcade-like game - "Bubble Safari."

"'Bubble Safari' is a great marriage between social and an arcade game," Mark Turmell, Zynga's Senior Creative Director and the lead designer of "Bubble Safari," told ABC News.

The game is as simple as they come, and will look very familiar to anyone who has played Snood or bubble shooting games. The game does have a small plot which involves reconnecting Bubbles, a very cute monkey, with his friends, but it's mostly about shooting and popping bubbles. Match a pink bubble with another pink bubble and you'll pop them. You can also knock fruit into Bubble's food basket, which gives him energy.

However, there are some clever tricks in the game and some deep social elements. You can share bubbles with your other Facebook friends who are playing the game and soon you will be able to participate in a weekly tournament with friends and family.

Turmell also pulled on his early experience in game development, including his experience working as the lead developer and designer of "NBA Jam," a very popular video game in the 1990s. "On fire mode, is something I created in 'NBA Jam.' [In 'Bubble Safari,'] when you drop fruit three times in a row you see some of the fire action," he said.

"Bubble Safari" will be available through Zynga.com and Facebook starting tomorrow. The version on Zynga.com will allow people to play against each other in real time.

Zynga isn't announcing a mobile version of the game yet, but Turmell did say that "one of our cornerstones is to bring play to wherever the players are."