Boomlagoon, the team of veteran game developers that came out of Rovio, have announced the release of their new game LINE Nutlings Tournament. A direct follow-up to their first successful release, Noble Nutlings, this outing see the Nutlings return in a form that puts social competitive gaming at the forefront and partners with a communications app that brings their game straight to the attention of over 200 million users.

LINE Nutlings Tournament takes the same form as Noble Nutlings and sees the player control the Nutlings, three cartoon squirrels in a cart, and try to perform wheelies and backflips off hills and cliffs to generate high scores while maintaining the balance of the cart all the way to each level’s finishing line.

The game is free to download and has all the usual features you’d expect, upgrades and options for the player to customise their Nutlings and vehicle as well as various power-ups. Its social element is emphasised as players can compete against each other in tournaments by performing tricks across the three stages available. These stages change weekly and mean that there are three fresh tournaments for players to compete in each week, and that’s where LINE comes in.

LINE is a communications app for free calls and messaging. It hit over 200 million registered users in July and its LINE GAME service crossed 200 million downloads in September. An app with such explosive growth, it ‘only’ exceeded 100 million users in January, collects its user base from Japan to as far as Taiwan, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, the Middle East, Spain, India, and South America.

You can see the instant appeal connecting a game to such a service has. Boomlagoon get to bring their game to a massive global audience and LINE hope that the game will bring in new users who will connect into LINE to compete against their friends and grow their service even further.

LINE provides the friends lists that the game uses to drive its competitive nature forward and lets players see how well or badly they are doing against their friends. I can see how the fact that the stages change weekly will keep players coming back each week to compete against one another. So even if a player struggles one week on a particular stage they can come back the next week and hope to stand a better chance on a new map.

It’s an interesting approach to this type of quick, simple, mobile game. Instead of throwing tens or hundreds of stages at a player for them to work through at their own pace, the player only gets three each week to master and the drive comes from trying to be the best each week instead of simply completing each stage available.

Have you found yourself caught in competition with friends in games like this? Let us know which really grabbed you in the comments below.