One of the most fun features of mobile technology and social media platforms are the games that are available; fun and attractive they frequently allow the players to interact with other players regardless of geographical location. Two of the most playable games of the past year have been Words With Friends (which I rock at by the way) and CityVille.
Now Hasbro is responsible for bringing these two Zynga games to 'life' as board games, albeit in a familiar format to current games available.
WORDS WITH FRIENDS
Before I go any further, yes it is like Scrabble.
- The game includes a full-size board, four curved tile racks, tile bag and 104 tiles. And just like Scrabble, players choose the tiles, arrange them in the tile rack and take it in turns to place tiles onto the game board, building upon opponent’s word creations to score as high as possible. Bonus spaces such as Double Word or Triple Letters give opportunities for higher scores and the player with the highest word score at the end of the game wins. So no difference there then?
- However, purchase of the Words With Friends game also includes a bundle of digital features to enhance online or mobile play, including Word-O-Meter, The Count and Tile Pile. To access the digital features, players must be 13 years or older and have a valid WWF account on Zynga.com or Facebook.
This is a fun game, and while it works along the same theory as Scrabble, for me that's not a problem. The Words With Friends game is more attractive to younger players and anything that gets children enthusiastic about playing with language and broadening their vocabulary is a good thing in my book.
CITYVILLE Monopoly Game
There are loads of different versions of Monopoly out there (I'm pretty sure Mr. TBaM would point out the collection we have!) and variants of the game involving different methods of payments, or locations. Zynga’s CITYVILLE and Hasbro’s classic Monopoly game have joined forces to become the fast-play way to build your dream city! Which is great because, quite frankly, I have the attention span of a gnat nowadays!
- Become the first mayor to build four skyscrapers to win. Skyscrapers are built by building layers on properties, topping it off with the grey skycraper piece.
- Combines classic Monopolygameplay with new, creative ways to build:
- Buy and build a variety of locations like train stations, the toy shop and the bakery;
- Use stackable buildings to build houses, community buildings and businesses in the center of the board;
- Give and receive 'Mystery Gifts' to decorate neighborhoods and increase rent value (I don't completely 'get' this bit!).
- Each CITYVILLE Monopoly game includes a unique code to redeem 85 'city cash' of in-game currency for use in Zynga's CITYVILLE online game so the building adventures can continue online (this is where the age restriction of 13 comes in: Facebook 'members' should be 13+)
We played this last night with The Boy and while we had to adapt the rules quite a lot (fines with a three year old? No chance!) he absolutely loved the basic premis of buying the property and having the receipt for them.
Monopoly is a great game to play with children anyway (I can't play it by myself with Mr. TBaM due to an unfortunate incident about eight years ago where I took pity on him and then he bankrupted me!) and the concept of buying property which can they be built up high and set upon an attractively designed board is great fun. The properties are relevant for children; ice-cream parlour, toy shop, train stations, etc. and retain the original idea of Monopoly well to sustain adults interest.
It is worth noting that both of these games come with a certain amount of credit which can be used online with a Facebook account, and it clearly states on the front of each box that in order to use this players must be over 13 years old, in line with Facebook rules and legislation. I would urge parents to act responsibly and not purchase it for children under this age, e-safety and Internet awareness is an essential aspect of online activity nowadays and it is parents responsibility to ensure they know what their children are getting up to.
I was sent these products for the purpose of this review, my opinions are honest and unbiased.