By Jared Newman | Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 10:47 pm
Games for Amazon’s Kindle e-reader are trickling in. First came a pair of word games from Amazon itself, then came Solitaire and Scrabble from megapublisher Electronic Arts. Now, Spry Fox is stepping in with Triple Town, supposedly the first Kindle game from an independent studio.
Triple Town is a “match-three” game similar to Bejeweled, requiring the player to shuffle icons into rows of three or more. The twist is that each successful combo creates elements of a city, such as cathedrals and castles, which increase your score at the end of the game. Meanwhile, enemy icons can block you from making combinations.
Sure, Triple Town isn’t terribly innovative, but it’s definitely a sign of evolution for Kindle games. On any other platform, Triple Town would be another match-three game. On Kindle, it’s pretty unique. And that’s the point.
In a blog post, Spry Fox Chief Executive David Edery explained that Kindle gaming seemed like an untapped market. All of his developer pals either had no plans to create games for the device, or didn’t even know they could. He guessed that the Kindle has at least 2 million potential customers (Amazon doesn’t disclose sales figures), all of whom are inclined to spend lots of money on digital content, as demonstrated with e-books.
The question is whether a significant number of those customers view the Kindle as a device for anything besides reading. EA’s presence suggests that there’s a market, but Triple Town is the true test. If one indie game developer can make money on Kindle, expect lots of others to follow. I’ll be interested to see how this turns out.