Zuma Blitz – Spin to Win Analysis

ZumaBlitz

I love playing Zuma Blitz on Facebook – I think it’s way more fun than Bejeweled Blitz. It’s a very carefully constructed game that I’m sure monetises very well as a result; well worth studying if you want to see a shining example of a competitive social game.

Recently they added a Daily Spin option where you can win mojo. Mojo is required if you want to use powerups which are great fun and often increase your score. You get one free daily spin and can buy more spins for Facebook credits. I’ve never bought any extra spins but this week there’s a promotion on where you can get extra spins for just one Facebook credit and also the payouts are much higher than normal.

So I wanted to compare the cost of buying mojo through the usual method versus gambling on the Daily Spin. Here are my findings:

Normal Cost

You can buy 100,000 mojo for 90 gold idols, and you can buy 100 gold idols for 19 Facebook credits. A little maths tells me that 90 gold idols (for 100K mojo) costs 17.1 Facebook credits.

Daily Spin Results

I decided to burn 20 Facebook credits in an experiment to see how much mojo I could amass and if I could get MORE mojo this way than from buying it the normal way. It’s easy to think that the payout is truly random, but I bet it is not – it should be carefully balanced to be a bit more than you would get buying it the normal method.

It should be pointed out that buying extra spins is actually a bit slow as each spin requires multiple clicks and delays whilst your Facebook credit is spent. It would be way better if you could buy a whole bunch of spins at once. So it feels a bit like “hard work” getting mojo using this method.

Here’s what I got (numbers are in thousands of mojo):

8,8,4,4,4,4,4,8,8,4,4,8,20,8,8,4,20,40,4,40

Total = 212,000 mojo

At first I thought it was going to be all 8Ks and 4Ks, with mostly 4s, which would have resulted in a poor yield. But the 20Ks and 40Ks really made a big different. I was sorely tempted to carry on after spending 20! Maybe tomorrow…

Conclusion

Buying mojo the normal route gives you 5847 mojo per Facebook credit.
Doing the Daily Spin gave me 10600 mojo per Facebook credit.

So roughly double the normal amount. Of course I could try again and get all 4Ks and 8Ks, or maybe some crazy high amounts. Based on this I might do another 20 spins before the promotion runs out as it does seem like a cheap way to get mojo.

If you try it out, let me know how you get on!

6 Responses to “Zuma Blitz – Spin to Win Analysis”

  1. Scott Brodie Says:

    Nice post Jake, I always enjoy these types of hyper-targeted articles. Having never paid beyond the first initial spin in a PopCap game, I was always curious if the payouts in their games were randomly generated, or tailored to the specific user (i.e. if the user would be more likely to keep playing or buy by giving more mojo, the app would recognize that and “fix” the results). It seems like, at least in the daily spin section, this is not the case.

  2. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Yes I had wondered the same Scott. Well it falls into two philosophies: a) User has paid for stuff, let’s not keep giving them easy free stuff so they spend more more, and b) user has paid for stuff let’s give them cool stuff so they play the game more and eventually spend more. I’ve no idea which generates most revenue, although the second one should retain users better of course. As a designer I’d love to properly test that stuff and see what works best (tailoring the experience based on user spend), but I suspect most people are just busy with the basics of running their social game to do that…

    Another thing I wondered about Zuma Blitz is: if you spend money during your session does the extra lives coin they give you when you run out of lives come up empty more often, so you spend a bit more to keep playing? Or do they reward spenders by giving them more lives as there’s more chance they’ll spend on other stuff in their extended play session? I bet you someone at Popcap knows! ;-)

  3. Rye Says:

    So what does that mean in real money?

  4. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Well 1 FB Credit is approx. $0.10. So I gambled $2 to get 212,000 mojo instead of $1.70 to get $100,000 in the shop.

  5. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Ok I had another go with 10 credits and got 4,20,20,20,4,40,8,8,2,20 = 146,000 mojo. Pretty good yield.

  6. permainan zuma Says:

    Good analysis, thanks for share it :D