COMMENTARY: Games, and Game-Players, Are Getting More Mobile All the Time

Nowadays, everything seems to be changing, from communicating to ordering dinner to dating. The same goes with the way we’re playing games.

We’ve known for years that games were becoming social. People (ahem, Gen X-ers) still send out Candy Crush and Farmville requests on the ever-dissolving Facebook. However, instead of these communally competitive games, new mobile apps are actually bringing players together to compete in a face-to-face (or screen-to-screen?) arena. For the most part, these apps are free (or cheap) to own, filling up the game cabinet without the expense of buying new extensions and themes of the same games.

1017181_150945871760166_378131469_nCards Against Humanity—a spin-off of the much more tame Apples to Apples card game—is a crowd favorite among my hometown friends. So when Evil Apples, a mobile version loosely based on both games from Evil Studios Ltd., was released for iOS devices, my hometown friends and I were brought back together in a competitively disturbing way. Users can prompt friends to download the app and join the game. Once everyone signs on, the game begins as players try to come up with the funniest–and most disturbingly wrong–phrases. There’s even a chat feature in the game for players to comment–or to remind stragglers that the game is waiting on their card. [Read more...]

Zynga Partners with Toys for Tots for Giving Campaign

Zynga kicks off the Oh, What Fun! giving campaign just in time for the holiday season. The in-game charitable drive will benefit the Toys for Tots program that will bring toys and games to less fortunate children across the U.S. Players will be able to contribute directly through in-game purchases within participating games until December 31. 100 percent of the purchase price will go directly to Toys for Tots.

Seven of Zynga’s games, including Words With Friends, FarmVille, CityVille, CastleVille, Draw Something, Bubble Safari, and Pioneer Trail, will allow players to purchase certain items, complete quests, and send text message donations to benefit the fundraiser.

For more information, visit toysfortots.org or www.zynga.org

Hasbro Brings Zynga Brands to Life

Hasbro, Inc., in collaboration with Zynga, will bring some of the world’s most popular digital game brands to life with a new line of games based on Zynga’s Words With Friends, FarmVille, CityVille, and Draw Something brands. The line will hit store shelves this month at most major U.S. retailers and will also be available globally this fall in the U.K., Australia, and Canada.

With the new games, fans can choose from FarmVille inspired characters in the Hungry Hungry Herd game to see who can gobble up the most apples, race to build their dream cities in the CityVille Monopoly game, play their best word combinations in the Words With Friends game, and showcase their artistic abilities in the Draw Something game.

Each of Hasbro’s Zynga games takes features and game play from Zynga’s digital games and transforms them into an engaging experience for family and friends to share in person. Many of Hasbro’s Zynga games also include digital values to help enhance players’ online or mobile game play. With purchase of Hasbro’s Zynga Words With Friends or Words With Friends Luxe games, players get access to a bundle of digital features, including Word-O-Meter, The Count, and Tile Pile to boost their online or mobile Words With Friends experience. With purchase of Hasbro’s FarmVille or CityVille games, parents can redeem Farm Cash to keep their digital farms growing strong in Zynga’s FarmVille game or City Cash to continue their building adventures in Zynga’s CityVille game.

For more information, visit: www.hasbro.com/zynga.

Zynga Introduces FarmVille Plush Toys

Zynga, the world’s largest social game company, is introducing a line of FarmVille collectible plush toy game critters. A first for Zynga, these limited-edition toys are available now, exclusively at Best Buy.

The FarmVille plush is available for 99 cents with the purchase of a $25 game card or by itself for $9.99. Each purchase comes with a collectible “blind” barn-box that houses a surprise FarmVille animal decked in winter garb, 10 free Farm Cash redeemable for virtual items, and an exclusive in-game version of the plush toy. Players who fill their farm with eight animals receive a bonus, in-game Super Orchard.

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