Over the years, social gaming has become a huge part of the gaming industry. Zynga currently leads the market with over 240 million monthly active users with its relatively huge selection of social games to choose from.
It goes without saying that social games have quickly become the fastest growing games market outside of mobile entertainment, so far be it for us to ignore it.
While some of us hardcore gamers don't like to admit it, we all have at one point or another played a social game on Facebook ending in -ville. So why don't we take a look at ten of the most popular Facebook games of 2012.
10. Zynga Slingo
Ah Zynga, you've got your claws around Slingo as well? I remember back in the day when I would play Slingo in browser on the Sling website. It was fun, addictive, and a blast chatting with other people who were playing as well. DD (dirty devil), LOL (lots of luck), and WTG (way to go) were some of the things I remember from playing the game.
Slingo is a mix of bingo and slots where you only have twenty turns to fill your card. Each turn you have to pull the lever to get a random selection of numbers in five columns. You must match each number to their respective column; unless you don't have any matching numbers then you just pull the lever again and go to the next turn. Jokers give you the ability to pick any number in the column, coins give you more points, and devils halve your coins while cherubs save you from the devil. During the last four turns you must pay 500, 1000, 1500, and 2000 points respectively to go to the next turn. That is unless you have free spins which pop up randomly during your game play. The player with the most points or the player with the most points and a full card wins.
Made by PopCap games, Bejeweled Blitz is the facebook adaptation to the popular Bejeweled franchise. The game plays similarly to the other Bejeweled games except in this version you have to race against the clock to match gems and beat your score. Although, you can get more time if you match three or more of the same gems, unique gems can be made by matching pairs of four or more, these gems have varying special effects which are quite beneficial to you.
Putting four or more gems together creates a flame gem which will destroy the gems around it when lined up with two more flame gems. A T shape created by gems will give you the star gem which send a bolt horizontally and vertically destroying all gems in the way. A hypercube can be formed when you put together five gems in a row or column. If you click on the hypercube and click on a gem adjacent (up, right, left, down) to said hypercube, it will destroy that gem and all gems like it on the board. The last special gem is the supernova which can be created when aligning six gems. It destroys most of the gems on the board which can also cause a chain reaction. Boom!
8. Cafe World
Another one of Zynga's simulation games, in Cafe World you are the owner of a restaurant. You can cook meals as well as coffee and other drinks and serve them to guests. Meals in the game vary from an ordinary hamburger to an octopus alien brain, yuck! Be warned though, leave your dishes alone too long and they'll rot.
In game currency are coins which can be used to purchase/cook meals as well as buy decorations for your restaurant and to expand it. Cafe Cash is the special currency which players can purchase with their own money to buy anything in the game including items that speed up the cooking process.
7. Angry Birds
Angry Birds has been a huge success for Rovio since its creation. Currently Angry Birds has been downloaded over one billion times. That's quite a lot! Recently the birds have come to spread their anger of the nasty egg snatching green pigs to Facebook. The game plays the same as it would on any iOS device except there are no touch controls. (Unless you have a touch screen monitor)
You fling your bird to the pigs and hope that the bird gods smile upon you. I myself have enjoyed some Angry Birds Space, the physics used in that game make it so much more enjoyable. Even you hard core gamers have to admit that Angry Birds can be and is addicting. Plus, why scream at your T.V. over a challenging boss when you can scream at a pig that just won't die?
6. Words with Friends
Words with Friends is the Scrabble of the digital world. It first came out for iOS and the Facebook version came along the way. In the game you are basically given seven randomly chosen letters. New letters keep coming as you play but they are finite; you only get 104 of them.
Player are able to rearrange their letters, switch them out for new letters, or even pass their turn entirely. After three successive passes the person with the highest score wins unless the score for both is zero. The other way to win the game is when players have exhausted all 104 letters given to them. When this is done the player with the highest score wins the game.
Also in the game are random opponent and chat features, unlike Scrabble where you can actually talk to the person sitting across from or next to you. What that doesn't do is give you the chance to hook up with the word nerd of your dreams. Couples have found love through the game and one player's husband's life was even saved indirectly due to the chat feature.
5. Treasure Isle
Treasure Isle is a game about collecting stuff, and it involves traveling to various different islands on search of buried treasure. Every player starts out with an avatar much like the one you get in FarmVille, an island, a hut, a n upgradable treasure chest, and a gem tree you can harvest each day. As you log in each day, you can upgrade your island, your hit, and your treasure chest with new goodies.
The game's social aspect comes into play with "neighbors", who are basically people on your friends list whose islands are adjacent to your own. You can visit your neighbors and collect stuff from their treasure chest, or even help them with their own quests.
Finally, your home island provides you with a variety of things to do--in the form of treasure hunting. You can acquire maps, tools and a backpack to find buried loot.
CastleVille was Zynga's attempt at a fairytale-esque type of social game which came out in November of last year. The game includes elements from the other “ville” games. You the player rule over your Kingdom and can craft armor, build upon your castle and land, and trade items. Along with yourself there are other protagonist NPCS as well as villains/enemies, pets, and other characters.
In the game you must use energy to do things such as cutting the grass and even taxing houses. If only the latter were true in the real world eh? Coins are the in game currency of CastleVill however you can use Crowns, the special currency, to purchase things you would not otherwise be able to. You can also get alliance and castle points in the game. The former you can get every time you do anything in your neighbor's kingdom and can go toward making buildings and items available. The latter is gained when constructing Royal Buildings and enables you to gain new land for your kingdom.
3. The Sims Social
The Sims Social is practically the ultimate form of social gaming... and simulating real life. It plays similar to the other Sims game except on a sort of smaller scale and the fact that you can move next door to your friends and visit them. The regular Sims games had multiplayer but not on this scale. In the game you can also see a faux Lady Gaga, Elvis Presley, and Sin Cara. What could be more exciting than reliving your life with your friends in a virtual world?
Traits are restricted to nine in the Sims Social. The traits are: slob, steel bladder, neat, super mechanic, insane, ogre, ninja, great kisser, and night owl. What a lovely selection. Unlike the other Sims games, these traits can be leveled up. Needs are something that really haven't changed in this game. You still need to feed, relieve the bladder of, have fun with, keep clean, socialize with, and get enough sleep for your Sim. Unlike Sims 3, you cannot kill your Sim in this Facebook version of the game. Crafting is another new addition to the Sims Social where you can make special potions which give benefits to your Sim. Don't let that get you excited because you may not like the limited career paths of Rocker, Chef, and Artist.
FarmVille, the game that enslaves...(ahem) I mean gives you the enjoyment of owning your own farm. FarmVille launched for Facebook in the middle of 2009 and social gamers have been farmvilling it up ever since. FarmVille allows players to plant different crops and farm said crops along with animals and trees. When harvesting crops, animals, or trees you gain coins.
Coins are your currency and allow you to buy things like decorations. Decorations come in all shapes and sizes from colored bales of hay to houses and the obvious barns which also serve as a storage space. Different events are held for various occasions including Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
It's a simple concept, but it's definitely an addictive one.
CityVille, made by Zynga, first came out on Facebook in late 2010 and was later released for Google+ on September 26th of last year. CityVille gives you the ability to become your own mayor. You start out with a small town that you have to build into a sprawling Metropolis.
Players have to perform tasks including: farming, construction, and collecting rent which uses energy points that increase every time you gain a level. The social aspect of this game is the basic visit your friends and do stuff for their city, farm, and so forth. Currently, there are 90 levels that you can gain in the game.