We depend on our mobile phones for almost every aspect of our lives nowadays. We work, we organize, we learn, we communicate and we entertain ourselves all via one device (and truthfully, sometimes the entertainment feature occupies more of our time than any other feature, many times unintentionally).
Zynga may be the one to blame for these little virtual distractions, but thankfully so. Zynga is a social network game development company, combining three of our generation’s most popular trends: social networking, mobile apps and video games. They create interactive games for a variety of platforms including iPhone, Android, iPad, Facebook, MySpace and Yahoo.
According to Zynga, “the best games encourage people to engage with others, fuel the imagination and bring out the joy that sometimes gets lost in the daily grind.”
Zynga’s games remind us to take a moment to escape from our demanding lives, and play.
Their buzzed-about line of “With Friends” games are taking over mobile phones around the world. “Words with Friends,” “Hanging with Friends” and “Scramble with Friends” allow “gamers” to connect with their friends from Facebook to play virtual versions of the classic games Scrabble, Hangman and Boggle.
The games are super easy to learn and use because they are games that most people are already familiar with; Scrabble, Hangman and Boggle are all games that many of us played as children. The rules are simple and easy to pick up on if you don’t know them already.
Warning: these games are borderline addictive. Actor Alec Baldwin would probably agree. Last month he refused orders from an American Airlines flight attendant to turn off his cell phone while in the middle of a game of “Words with Friends” which resulted in him getting kicked off his flight.
By incorporating Facebook, MySpace and other already established social networks, Zynga creates a social network for “gamers” within itself. When users download the app they have the option to integrate it with their Facebook so that they may choose opponents from their friend list who also have the app.
What keeps these apps from getting lost amongst all your others? Zynga’s secret is in the title of their games; with friends. You play these games with people you know which makes it worthwhile and keeps your competitive streak from fading. Don’t want to get any beef from your buddy about how many times he’s beaten you this week, do you? Didn’t think so. Better pick up your phone and challenge him to another game.
You don’t have to feel too guilty when you play Zynga’s “With Friends” games. They take a decent amount of intelligence. Not just anyone can come up with words to spell from the letters “Q”, “V”, “O”, “X”, and “I”. That takes a little brain power. Hint: the answer is “vox” and “qi”. Yes, those are legitimate words.
You may not file yourself in the category of “gamer”, but after a stab at any of Zynga’s “With Friends” games you may have to rethink that. These games are a sophisticated but simple kind of gaming.
“Words with Friends,” “Hanging with Friends” and “Scramble with Friends” are all free to download. So in appropriate “With Friends” lingo; it’s your move. Download a game and give it a T-R-Y. Got to go... just got a push notification that it’s my move.
Ease of Installation:
Ease of Use: 5
Ease of Utility: 5
“Keeper” Factor: 5
Overall rating: 5
Article by: Elizabeth Weeks, Imagineer || firstname.lastname@example.org