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App Review: Games with Friends

Games with Friends

This is when I want a screen capture!  So you’ll just have to deal with a panda fail.

Games with Friends is currently in Alpha, and they ask that anyone who tries it comment on their forums at So if you enjoy trying new games and giving feedback, have at it!

The first thing that happens when you first bring it up is it gives you their Privacy Policy, saying that the app does need your location to receive location-based adds, and do you agree, yes or no? That’s nice, that they’ve made that pretty clear, even though you get that notice when you download the app from the Marketplace. I choose “Yes.” The ads are very small on the main menu, at the bottom and about 2/3 the width of the screen.

So the first thing in the menu I choose was “Notes.” They list their other games (currently only DelenarTD), Patch Notes (listing not only what’s in the current, but what is upcoming in the next release. Cool), Community/Contact information (the forums at, and programming, art, and sound credits.

Back to the main menu, and check out the “Options” button. This is music on/off, music volume, and the privacy policy again.

Okay, the “Practice” button. Wow, so far there are 14 games.
Tap Master: I haven’t quite figured this one out. It looks like you’re filling blocks (you don’t want any red ones – and they’re at the top), either 1 at a time or 4 at a time. So a strategy puzzle.
Hazzard: This one is played in landscape mode. It is timed. There are 5 items: 3 give you points, 2 take away points. They fade in and out. You want to tap on the “good” items and avoid the “bad” ones. I’m guessing in a live game, he with the most points, wins.
Item Catch: This one is played in landscape mode. Similar to Hazzard, and uses the same items, but this time you’re trying to catch the falling items in your bucket (looks like a trash can to me).
Number Bubbles: You want to pop bubbles in numerical order. Popping them quickly, correctly, gives you bonus points, but get out of order and your bonus is reset. It isn’t as easy as that sounds, because the bubbles move around. A lot.
Coin Ninja: This one is played in landscape mode. The same items as Hazzard (I’m sensing a pattern. Which is perfectly fine). Think Fruit Ninja: you need to cut the good items, and avoid the bad ones. And these items are small, fast, and there are A Lot of them! You’re GOING to cut bad items. You just need to cut more good ones.
Space Runner: This one is played in landscape mode. In this game, you’ve only got the good items. They increase your speed. You don’t want to hit blocks, and your goal is to get as far as you can. Although, if you hit a few diamonds (+5 speed) in a row, you might WANT to hit a block of two!
Memory Cards: It’s just what it sounds like: the card game Memory. You have a 4×4 grid and you’ll want to match as many pairs as you can before the timer runs out (once you clear a grid, it resets). I got through 3 boards plus 1 pair.
Coins in Space: This one is played in landscape mode. Another cutting game, but a little slower than Coin Ninja. The items simply drift from one edge to another, and again you want to cut the good items and avoid the bad ones, which is a little easier than Coin Ninja, but still takes a little skill. Cut 3 or more for bonues.
Space Flight: This one is played in landscape mode. Basically Space Runner with the added up and down dimension.
Brick Massacre: Basically, Ball Breaker, with its own twists. Now I’ve actually be playing a lot of BB games this last week (Arkkanoid7 and Blocks of Pyramid Breaker, specifically). In this version, you SEE the good items in the bricks, so you know where the power ups are. Each good item gives you either 1, 2, or 3 additional balls. This is a timed game (remember, you’re playing other people, so they’re all timed), so as you clear rows, the bricks move down with new rows added. Just break as many as you can before the timer runs out. I found myself watching ONLY the balls, and not worrying about the bricks, because I knew they’d just add new rows.
Whack A Baddie: It’s Whack A Mole. Again, the good and bad items, giving and removing points. No matter how fast I tried, I couldn’t get the 5 pointers! Oh, and of the bad items, the coin removes 1 point, but if the critter makes it BACK INTO THE HOLE, you lose 2. Nice twist.
Baddie Says: This one is played in landscape mode. Simon, with the 5 items. You start with a 3-item combination, and if you miss on, it starts back there.
Item Factory: This one is played in landscape mode. At the top is a conveyor belt, and the items go across from right to left. You have to press the correct items on your controls below before they get to the end. If you miss one, try to get the next one and pick up there. They get fast, and touch-typists will probably have a better time at this than hunt-and-peck typists.
Item Grab: This one is played in landscape mode. The directions for this are exactly the same as for Item Factory, and I think that’s an error. This is a claw machine game. You have 3 claws, and underneath them are a right-moving and a left-moving conveyor belt. You want to grab good items and avoid the bad ones.

So aside from the incorrect directions for Item Grab, this looks to be a fun, simple time-waster. Add the dimension of playing against other players, a la Wordament, and this could be a fun hit! It’s free, with very small, unobtrusive ads, so really it should be a no-brainer to get this one.