Facebook Games Roundup • Page 2

Is there life beyond FarmVille?

Family Feud

With 1.3 million monthly active users, this is one of Facebook's fastest-growing games. It's based on a US TV quiz show and a concept which will be familiar if you've ever seen Family Fortunes - contestants try to guess the most popular answers given by respondents to a series of stupid surveys. A viewing of both programmes swiftly dispels the myth that Americans are thicker than English people.

The Facebook game works much as you'd expect. Survey questions appear at the top, answers are typed in a box at the bottom, and then you're shown how many people picked the same answer as you. An excitable man shouts "Survey says" all the time. At the end of the round the answers you didn't get are revealed, and after each one a huge crowd shouts "Oh yeah," again and again, in exactly the same way, until you feel like you're at a Stalinist rally.

It's hard to see the long-term appeal. The surveys are generally daft and dull. You can spend the "Feud Points" you win on a bizarre collection of virtual prizes, such as gorillas, sushi, AIDS ribbons, weasels, salt, the Sydney Opera House and the Canadian province of Manitoba. No idea.


Still not convinced about the Americans thing? Do a YouTube search for 7quot;TV Offal Gameshows".

There's a time delay system in place which means if you want to play more than two games every 20 minutes, you must pay for the privilege. Prices start at $1.99 for two episodes and go up to $39.99 for 100. Or you could just wait for more free episodes to become available. Or you could just do something more exciting and rewarding, like arranging all the tins in your kitchen cupboard in order of expiry date.

Worth it?

Maybe, if you really like Family Fortunes, and you're desperately bored and easily entertained. But only for the first two free goes.

Bejeweled Blitz

PopCap has just released a PC version of Bejeweled Blitz priced at 14.95. Which seems a bit odd, considering it's been available as a free Facebook and iPhone game since last year.

For those who aren't familiar, the gameplay works just like it does in regular Bejeweled - match adjacent gems of the same colour to make them explode and disappear. Extra points, multipliers and power-ups are awarded for racking up combos.


The trick is to go for the multipliers and never stop matching. NEVER.

The twist is that you only have one minute to score as many points as possible. The hook is that your scores are instantly uploaded to Facebook. You can see at a glance how you compare to other BB players on your Friends list, and spend the next six weeks desperately trying to outdo them all, before you give up because you can't work out how that person you went to school with who left with two GCSEs (Food Technology and Child Development) keeps scoring 432,000 points.

As an iPhone game, Bejeweled Blitz works brilliantly - it combines intuitive touch-screen controls with polished presentation and a classic gameplay mechanic, throws in the thrill of competition, and is perfect for short bursts of play.

All of the above applies to the Facebook version, except the controls are mouse-based. There's also the added bonus of Blitz Coins - virtual currency used to purchase unique power-ups. You can buy Blitz Coins with real money or earn them as you play. This feature doesn't change things dramatically, but it's a neat twist which adds an extra layer of depth to an already excellent game.

Worth it?

Yes, especially if you haven't yet exhausted the delights of Bejeweled Blitz on iPhone. And at 0, it's much better value than the 14.95 version.

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