I know, I know. But I’ve been exploring the depths of Facebook’s ‘games’ (and I do use the term loosely) over the past few days and I have found a few playable gems amidst the (let’s face it) heaping piles of rubbishy rubbish.
Yes okay so it’s a match three game and thus terrible, except putting a 60 second time limit on things makes it all tense and exciting and brings that odd combination of ‘stupid, pointless, luck-based game’ and ‘oh my goodness four chain combo AND a five-gem link I TOTALLY just did that on purpose and not through a fluke at all’ to a satisfying and compelling focus. Usual silly Facebook ‘buy an advantage/annoy your friends’ rules apply but all they do is give you more bonuses, and you don’t need those to enjoy this.
Surprisingly competent version of Tetris. I … don’t really have anything much to say about this; it’s Tetris. (Again, irritating-but-easily-ignorable Facebook ‘buy your way to ADVANTAGE!’ stuff applies.)
Now we’re getting into the decent stuff. Taking a cue from the excellently frantic Pacman CE, this is a score attack game in which you tear around the maze trying to balance eating all four blue ghosts with gobbling pills and unlocking more pills and power-pills–goodness, taken out of context this would make me sound like an absolute loon. Anyway, it’s nicely balanced and gets really tense and fun in the final few seconds, and (refreshingly) there’s little of the ‘be irritating to your friends to get ahead!’ stuff that’s so prevalent in Facebook games–you can share your points winnings to get a bonus, I think, but there’s no real need considering you get thousands of the blessed things. I suppose you could conceivably run out, but to do that you’d have to play for hours and hours and hours.
So yes. Fun, compelling, and tightly designed. I’m currently stuck in a 400k – 500k rut but looking at the world leaderboards scores of over a million are quite possible. So. So so. Maybe I’ll just have a quick game now …
Fun strategic card-based tactics thing. I love card-based games so I’m a little biased, but this is actually pretty deep and offers a lot of different strategies–you get to place one card each turn, more powerful cards take multiple turns to ‘activate’, there are a bunch of different abilities that are simple and interesting rather than complicated and irritating (as is often the case), and generally it has the feeling of a game that has actually been designed rather than just thrown together. The earlier stages introduce mechanics at a comfortable pace, and later stages are challenging enough that you have to actually think about things to get through them. You can buy ‘war bonds’ to more easily get new cards, but that’s not really necessary. You earn enough money with each victory that saving up to buy a new pack is fun and exciting rather than a grind and progressing through the missions gives you cards, too.
All around a very decent game, well worth a look.
Welcome, delicious friend.
I have, in fact, saved the best for last. I’m not even sure if this could be considered a Facebook game, as the only connection seems to be the login (you can also do it through Twitter) and ‘people also playing’ lists.
It’s hard to think where to start with this one, so I’ll begin by saying that the writing is splendid, managing a tricky-but-excellent balance between charming and sinister, funny and really rather nightmarish. The game takes place in Fallen London, referred to as the Neath, a well-drawn setting that feels like a cross between Neverwhere and Call Of Cthulu. Mysteries abound and the game is filled with intriguing and delightful asides, and although the gameplay is essentially ‘choose an action then read what happens’ this doesn’t matter because, as mentioned, the writing is splendid. Delightfully charming and charmingly delightful, packed to the brim with wit and whimsy and nightmares and horror. Highly recommended.