You might have played birthday cookie puns all or one of these popular games. However, for those of you who haven’t, I play these casual games practically every day. That is why I can strongly recommend all of them. At any given time I will have several games downloaded to my two iOS devices from nearly every genre out there. However, there are just a couple of games that I return to nearly every day, and that is because these games are addictive, fun, and an excellent way to stay in contact with family and friends.
These are turn-based “casual” games. You must connect with a friend in order to play the game – this collection doesn’t come with a single-player option. These have been around for quite some time. However, that is the point: they are games I keep playing because they only take a few minutes for me to take my turn and then send it to one of my friends. Sometimes it can be a pain to go take my turn (especially whenever life is busy), however, overall the experience of competing with family and friends is good and helps you stay connected, even when life gets busy.
Scramble With Friends (99 cents – Android|iPhone), from Zynga, has been very successful in the iTunes App Store. It features classic Boggle-like gameplay. I go back to this game on a regular basis on my iPhone. The object of this game, like Boggle, is finding as many words as you possibly can within a scrambled of letters through connecting adjacent letters in order to form words. Words can be formed diagonally, horizontally, and vertically through touching a letter and swiping across other letters until a word is completed. You are given 2 minutes to find as many words as you can. For anybody who’s played the classic Boggle game, there is nothing new here. However, the familiar Zynga interface along with the social-networking connectivity allow s you to jump right and begin to play with friends no matter where you happen to be.
You can sign into Scramble with Friends through Faceback. Then you will be shown which of your friends has the game already. Next, you can invest a friend to play with you and take the first 2-minute round. After you are done, you just wait until your friend has played their turn and then it will be your turn again (just like how you play Word With Friends. Three rounds are played and whoever has the highest total score wins.
Scramble with Friends continues to evolve, with new extras being added in order to kick things up a notch in this game. Before you start a round of the game, there are four Power-Ups for you to choose from to get a leg. The same options are available to your opponent. Time is stopped by the freeze power-up, to give you more than your 2 minutes of your allotted time to find a couple of extra words. There is also the inspiration power-up where you are shown where three words are located that you have chosen yet. The Scramble power-up mixes all of the tiles up. Vision is the final power-up, where you are challenged to locate three words, and then you are given an extra 15 seconds once you find them. The bonus power-ups add something extra to the classic Boggle game and keep things interesting in the game.
With its starting point being the proven classic word game, along with easy game matching and an intuitive interface, it is not a surprise that Scramble and Friends have been so successful on my iPhone and the iTunes App Store. I think anybody who likes Boggle and other word games should download this title immediately.
This week’s app collection is all about playing casual games with your friends. The first game plays like the old classic table-top game, with some handy modern extras to give the game some added interest. The second one is a color-matching game that involves laying down three tile groups for points. Our third game is a dice game where you and your friend take turns rolling dice.
Matching with Friends (Free, ad-supported version, – $2.99, full version) is another Zynga app which is a turn-based game that you can play with a friend. It is available for iPhone only. However, rather than just playing a word game, you will be placing matching colored blocks strategically on a game board, and the send your move to your friend.
Matching with Friends, like with Scramble with Friends, makes it easy for you to connect with friends. When you launch the game, you will need to sign in via either your Twitter or Facebook account. After you are logged in, you either can be matched automatically with a player or search your friend’s list to find someone to play with.
After the release of Matching with Friends, I started a few games, and I’m still playing the game with the same people. As soon as I started playing fortune cookies, I thought the bonus alerts were self-explanatory, the controls very easy to understand, and the colors looked vibrant. When it comes to Matching with Friends the only hard thing is describing its gameplay.
At first, the game is a bit confusing, but it teaches you all of the basics and allows you to play a single-player short game to learn the fundamentals. The object of the game is using your three jelly cube sets and matching them with the jelly cube colors that are on the board. Your three cubes can be rotated to better match up with the cubes that are on the board (to touch more cubes that are the same color) and so you can land on the multiplier tiles to score big points. After you are done placing all three cube sets, and happy with their positioning, your turn is over, and you send moves to the person you are playing with.
Each turn is played in the same way. However, there are a couple of variables to add more fun to the game. Your jelly cubes can be swapped out for different color combinations that may work better with the colors that are on the board. There are bonus items as well, such as a bomb that can eliminate a color cube (or a whole group of cubes) if it doesn’t fit in with your overall strategy.
What the bonus items and overall gameplay added up to a very challenging strategy game which requires fast thinking, but it becomes second nature rather quickly as you try formulating the best possible move to score the most points on every turn.
If you have not played Matching with Friends yet, you should check out the ad-supported, free version. After you start to get used to matching colors up and increasing the multipliers, I think that you will be just as hooked as I am with this game.
Dice with Buddies ($1.99 – iPhone|Android) is another fun casual game. This time a turn-based game is played that is similar to the Hasbro Yahtzee game. Like the other games we have mentioned, you can either play with family, friend or be matched up with another random player throw minecraft book, but a single-player option is not available.
The plays very similar to the way Yahtzee does. There is a clear board at the beginning of the game that is slowly filled up with every turn.The dice rolls that are needed to finish your board along with the die numbers are laid out in the board’s upper section (for example, number of fives or threes), and more complex combinations are in the lower part of the board (large straight or four of a kind). You get three dice rolls with each turn. However, you can choose which dice you want to hold, and then to achieve a better hand you roll whatever remaining dice you have. Although it is kind of difficult to explain, those who have played Yahtzee will get the hang of it very quickly. It is a lot easier to simply start playing the game to get a good feel for it.
Dice with Buddies may be the least complex of the games we have discussed, you can get through your turns very fast after just a few games. However, there is something very addictive about rolling the dice and attempting to get the best scores on all of the categories. I believe most people would agree that this is one of the best turn-based casual games around.
Like I said in the very beginning, none of them are new games, but are old standbys instead that you continue to play almost every day. If you are searching for a great way to stay connected with a friend and play casual games together, then I highly recommend all of the games mentioned here.