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Take a Spelling Journey Around the World with Words On Tour

Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 15th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Have you ever wanted to spell words in new and exotic places? Zynga thought so! They have released their newest game, Words On Tour, in which you will travel to places such as Tokyo, Cairo, and London. Unfortunately travel is not without its hazards. You'll have to overcome things like bad weather and roadblocks to get to your destination.

As a sort of successor to Words With Friends, Words On Tour is also a social game. You can play with your friends and help them out by giving them bonus lives. The game has hundreds of puzzles including Hidden Phrases where you find words to solve a phrase, Catch the Bus where you must get pas obstacles and find your bus, and ​Collection, which has you collecting passport stamps and tiles.

Words On Tour is available to download for free on the App Store now.

Let's Have a Look at Looney Tunes Dash, Zynga's New Runner

Posted by Rob Rich on December 18th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Eh... What's up, doc? Wanna talk about Looney Tunes Dash!, do ya?

Sorry. As a long-time Looney Tunes fan I couldn't resist. But Looney Tunes Dash! is a real game - a lane-based runner from Zynga - and it's really out now. We were able to watch an extended gameplay demo, courtesy of John vanSuchtelen (General Manager) and Michael Waite (Creative Director), so here's what you can expect.

It's not an endless runner, though. Instead, you'll be progressing through several levels with a definitive beginning and end. These levels are grouped together into 'episodes' that all involve specific themes, locales, and characters. For example, you can play as Bugs Bunny as he tries to outrun Elmer Fudd in an obvious homage to the classic "Wabbit Season/Duck Season" cartoon.

There's a lot of character variety, including favorites like Bugs, Daffy, Tweetie, and the Road Runner, with even more planned for future updates. And of course, in addition to the effects of all the different power-ups like coin magnets and the like, each character has their own unique abilities to make use of. My personal favorite from what I've seen has got to be Daffy donning his Duck Dodgers outfit and blasting obstacles in his path.

Recreating the Looney Tunes feel was one of the biggest goals with Looney Tunes Dash!, and I have to say that there definitely seems to have been a lot of TLC poured into Bugs & Co. The animations are fairly reminiscent of the classic show, many of the individual personalities of the characters come through in their behaviors, and many of the voices are supplied by Jeff Bergman himself.

The levels themselves also displayed a fair bit of variety. There are branching paths in each, and some of them offer far greater rewards but also increase the risk. So not only will you have to keep an eye on the path ahead, but at times you'll need to decide how you want to progress as you try to complete a level or maximize your score. And you'll probably want to maximize your score when you can as you'll be competing with your Game Center friends' scores on each stage.

Looney Tunes Dash! is available now as a free download. And a big thank you to John vanSuchtelen and Michael Waite for letting us take a look at their game!

Zynga Celebrates Five Years of Words With Friends By Making it New

Posted by Ellis Spice on October 10th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Zynga's Words with Friends will be hitting its fifth anniversary very soon, and to celebrate 7.7 billion games played (and many, many uses of the word "qi" over the past 1800ish days), the game has been refreshed into New Words With Friends - now with some much-requested features.

The most requested feature was Solo Play, which now makes its début in the updated version of the app. Solo play allows players to practice without an Internet connection or direct opponent, with the game adjusting to the level of the player to still provide them with a challenge.

Community Matches, meanwhile, allow players to opt-in, search through a series of profile cards, and find themselves potential new opponents to face off against. Profiles are also new, with stats including high score, number of games completed, and average word score now available to show off to both your friends and recent opponents.

New Words With Friends is available now on the App Store and is worth 99 points free to download.

Zynga Unveils First Look at Looney Tunes Dash!

Posted by Ellis Spice on September 16th, 2014

Be vewy, vewy qwiet. I'm hunting wunners featuwing wabbits, and luckily, it's duck season wunner season. Zynga has unveiled Looney Tunes Dash!: a runner featuring Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Road Runner, and more.

Following on from fan feedback, the developers have aimed to give players a game that has a sense of progression - meaning that, unlike many runners, levels do have a completion point. By completing levels, players can unlock new characters and landscapes iconic to fans of the animation classics.

Looney Tunes Dash! is set to release in select countries (and Tazmania?) this week in Acme's Apple's App Store. For those asking "What's up Doc?", more details are set to be announced in the coming months. Hopefully in the form of a note attached to a falling anvil.

Th-th-th-that's all folks!

FarmVille 2: Country Escape Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 22nd, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: STEADY FARMING
FarmVille is bigger and brighter than ever before, but don't expect it to sway you if you're a non believer.
Read The Full Review »

Zynga Launches Brand New Farmville Experience with Farmville 2: Country Escape

Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: STEADY FARMING :: Read Review »

Zynga has launched Farmville 2: Country Escape for iOS devices, and with it, a re-imagined farming/crafting experience for mobile players.

The current app maintains most of the elements that make the game so popular: the ability to craft and manage output. Facebook is not required, and the game is careful to allow players to consume the game in time chunks that work for them. It also has a new social control mode, which allows users to play anonymously or connect on social networks, enjoy connected rewards, and even play in offline mode.

FarmVille pioneered social gaming on the web, and with FarmVille 2: Country Escape we’ve reimagined the franchise as a mobile experience to match how players want to connect with their farm and with their friends,” says Jonathan Knight, vice president of games at Zynga. “The foundation of the mobile game was built on listening to player feedback, so we’ve added features such as giving players the choice to play with friends or on their own, connectivity between the mobile game and FarmVille 2 on Facebook and the ability to play offline. We’ve created an experience where all FarmVille fans will feel right at home. As we focus on growing and sustaining this beloved franchise, we’re proud for FarmVille 2: Country Escape to usher in a new chapter of FarmVille on the go.”

Farmville 2: Country Escape is available for free on the App Store.

It Came From Canada: FarmVille 2: Country Escape

Posted by Carter Dotson on March 12th, 2014

It might sound crazy to say, but Farmville is one of the most influential games of this millennium, being perhaps the popular spark for the simulation genre that has become wildly popular through the rise of Facebook gaming and on mobile. There's probably no Clash of Clans without Farmville. While Zynga has seen better days, Farmville 2: Country Escape is still a big deal because it's one of the few free-to-play games with history and a sort of gravitas. Well, as much gravitas as a free-to-play game about farming can have. Right now, Zynga's soft-launched the game in Canada and we've gotten our straw hat and overalls on to lead a more rustic lifestyle on our non-rustic technology in this edition of It Came From Canada.

The game essentially follows a simple pattern: water crops and feed animals to get basic resources. Combine these resources into more complex resources and even specific products, and then sell them for gold and experience points in order to buy and unlock new crops and buildings, ultimately expanding one's farm through buying new plots of land. Repeat until satisfied. It's a classic formula, and one that Farmville 2 tries to set up early on with teases of online elements like selling to other players. Ultimately, it doesn't really rock the boat too much.

Interestingly, FarmVille 2 gives players a lot of keys (the game's hard currency), at least to start out with: a total of 90. Of course the game tries to get players to use them in a variety of fashions in small increments when starting out. Skip a pesky wait timer with a key? Well sure, why not, I have plenty of them! Be able to produce twice as much flour by paying five keys to unlock that option? Sure! It's easy to see those keys running out at some point.

That should be one of the interesting things to keep an eye on as the game nears its worldwide release: the keys could definitely be tweaked to give out more or fewer when starting and while playing - leveling up and buying new plots of land gives out more keys, for example. Another unanswered question is just how this game will fare in a world where simulation games have grown up to become Clash of Clans and its similar ilk: will people be willing to jump back in to Zynga's familiar rustic experience? We'll find out soon enough.

CastleVille Legends Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on September 23rd, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: MEDIEVAL BUILDING
Proving quite the slow burner, CastleVille Legends is a well-made but flawed freemium based realm building game.
Read The Full Review »

It Came From Canada: CastleVille Legends Previewed

Posted by Carter Dotson on August 28th, 2013

Zynga’s back with another game in their series of -Ville titles. This time, it’s all about building a magical kingdom in CastleVille Legends, currently available in Canada and Australia. I take it for a run in this episode of It Came From Canada!

There’s plenty of the initial hand-holding that many of these building games are prone to have: it starts off by showing everything that’s possible, and giving helpful hints as to what exactly the premium currency, crowns, can be spent on. Because of course that’s necessary. Items that serve as resources can be farmed and used to craft new items which can be sold for gold coins, which help make the castle’s land bigger, which necessitates more gold and more resource farming, and so on ad infinitum. The timers are thankfully short early on, though it’s hard to imagine them staying that way – these games depend on lengthy timers!

Heroes play a key role: they can be sent off on ‘quests’, which means “their avatar disappears for a period of time, after which the player gets a reward.” It’s not a very creative system – signs that anything beyond the idea of questing are not exactly present.

While the game’s mechanics tick off a lot of the “free-to-play gaming by numbers” that many titles have, at least Zynga is focusing on production values here: the art is highly-detailed and everything is well-animated, so it’s one of the nicer-looking experiences of the sort.

The game is currently in testing in Canada and Australia, and it’s likely that its monetization in particular is being put to the test – will this game make any money over time? It’ll be up to how Canadians, Australians, and those pretending to be from there decide it to be. Get a taste of the game now with our video footage.

KRE-O CityVille Invasion Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on July 25th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: LEGGO MY KRE-O
KRE-O CityVille Invasion is a Lego-like city management game that asks players to defend their creations from criminal mastermind, Dr. Mayhem
Read The Full Review »

Eden to Green Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on June 25th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: FLOWER DEFENSE
Eden to Green is probably the first tower defense CCG I've ever played. It's also set the bar pretty high.
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Eden to Green Grows A Battle Between Plants and Machines

Posted by Andrew Stevens on June 24th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: FLOWER DEFENSE :: Read Review »

Eden to Green is a new tower defense game about a group of plants defending their home planet from mechanical monsters. Pocket Gamer reports that the game features more than 40 plants and trees for players to unlock with over 70 levels to play through. Players can also share their mightily grown plants with friends through social features. Now go blast away those robo-monster creeps who are infringing on your land!

Solstice Arena Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on June 14th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: BRB
Solstice Arena is a very solid attempt at a mobile MOBA, but actually playing against other people can be a chore.
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Battlestone Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob LeFebvre on May 29th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: STARTS WELL
Zynga's latest free-to-play entry promises a fun ride full of fantasy tropes, gorgeous visuals, and plenty of achievable upgrades along the way.
Read The Full Review »

Zynga's Battlestone - Mobile Hack 'n' Slash Arcade Action

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on May 23rd, 2013

Casual game mega-publisher Zynga has just released a new arcade hack 'n' slash game called Battlestone. You'll get to swipe your way to victory, fighting off hordes of enemies in single player mode, while squaring up against others in PvP modes. Once you get into the game, you'll collect characters, summoning and upgrading heroes to beat ever-more difficult enemies and environments. Get your swipe on today with this free-to-play game on your iPad or iPhone.