Wednesday, June 12, 2013

More on Facebook Games

I've gotten rid of almost every Facebook game I play, once they started turning games off when they weren't popular enough.

But there are a few I've gotten sucked into, and I thought I'd do a quick review of a couple of them and why they can't really seem to bring me back into the fold.

First, there's everybody's favorite Words With Friends. The problem with that one for me is that their mobile app is terrible, I turn off the notifications and everything weird it does and they find more. And another application by Zynga has started giving a friend of mine weird notifications every day and there's no way to turn them off. It's like asking for spam and malware to put them on your phone. So I don't.

Which means that I only have it on Facebook, and I keep myself from playing it too often. The game itself is fine, it's well designed and works. It does what it says on the tin. I end up with nothing but vowels, or no vowels, all the time but that happens to me when I play Scrabble. And it gets rid of the part of Scrabble I hate the most, which is waiting for other people to play. When you're playing Scrabble with somebody who really knows the game and plays well it's BORING AS ALL GET OUT. I'd rather play Monopoly.

The problem, as it is with most games like this, is what they're doing to try to get real money out of you. The ads used to be pretty easily tolerable, but now suddenly they've got audio that you can't mute or pause. And you can't predict when the ad will have sound and when it won't. I play my games while I'm watching other things, so I'd rather be able to pause the ad until I can find a good place to pause the show I'm watching, but no.

But in the end, it's probably the best designed of the ones I play still. Though I usually forget to play it and end up losing because it auto-resigns my games. But I don't want to turn the notifications back on, they're way too intrusive.

I also used to play Songpop but I've mostly given that up now for one main reason - because I'd rather just guess songs until I'm bored with it than play in their rigid structure and deal with their scoring system.

The basic idea is that you have to be playing against a friend, and each round you have to guess five song clips. Then whoever guesses the most right the fastest wins the round. Or at least, it should work that way, each one is worth a certain number of points and the points decrease as you take longer to guess. But they add in this ridiculous thing where the points double as you get more in a row. So if the first one was worth 1000, the second is 2000, etc. So if I got four right and faster than the other person, they could get three right and win because they got them in a row and I missed the middle question.

That's ridiculous, and stupid, and I have no idea why they would bother. I haven't done the math (because it's impossible to figure out their exact system) but I bet somebody could win getting two right and beat somebody who got four. They already have a system in place where you unlock extra songs as you get more questions in a row. So why add this extra scoring thing? It's ridiculous.

And because there's no mode where you can play on your own, once you play all your open challenges against your friends, there's just nothing for you to do, except maybe challenge strangers. But if you get paired up with strangers who don't have similar tastes then you basically trade challenges because you have no clue what they're choosing for their categories.

Overall, it's a fun idea but they really need a free-play mode to go along with the challenge mode so that if I want to just guess some songs I can. Otherwise it's too easy to get bored and then forget to play for six months.