Best (and Worst) Facebook Messenger Games

Best (and Worst) Facebook Messenger Games

Best (and Worst) Facebook Messenger Games

Android and iOS users can now select one of seventeen game apps from right within Messenger to pass the time while you’re waiting for a reply or to ultimately see who can rack up the highest Galaga score. It’s another reason never to stray too far from the messaging app — or at least, that’s the conclusion Facebook’s hoping you reach.

Now this is a classic game done right in Facebook Messenger. You’ve got only one chance to shoot the dive-bombing aliens and rack up the fattest score possible, but the controls are elementary to master: Just slide your continuously shooting spaceship back and forward with a finger. Galaga on Messenger even recreates the classic game’s Fighter Captured feature, providing you the chance to extract double-barreled destruction when you free your ship.

One would think Pac-Man would be a natural for a quick casual game, especially since this is pretty faithful recreation of the Bandi Namco original. But the controls aren’t very precise, so your little Pac-Man is likely to skid past all those power pellets and into a ghost’s waiting maw. There are better ways to pass your time.

Another arcade classic makes a successful hop to Messenger, thanks to ordinary controls — just slide your finger back and forward to fight the alien hordes — and a nostalgic look-and-feel. Bonus points to Taito for recreating the ’70s splash screen for the game, right up to the screen that invites you to insert a coin to play.

You’ve got a rack of letters that keeps packing up just as quick as you can empty it. Your challenge is to spell as many words as possible before all the tiles spill off your overstuffed rack. Words With Friends may like the challenge of coming up with brief and sweet words, but I found I quickly ran out of playing space while my tiles piled up. It doesn’t help that the game weighs you down with far too many vowels to truly ripple your word power.

I have many fond memories of 1980s afternoons playing Track & Field at my local arcade. I cannot say the same for this Messenger adaptation, which strips the game down to the 100-meter dash. All you do is tap frantically on your smartphone screen to send your sprinter toward the finish line. There’s very little replayability, which is most likely a good thing since I’d fear for the wear and rip on my phone’s display from excessive tapping.

It’s like Tetris, but held to a hexagon. You’ve got to cautiously place multicolored hexagons into a larger six-sided playing area. Pack in a row in any direction, and those game lumps vanish, letting you rack up points and bonuses. But plan things out cautiously, because once you can no longer lay down a chunk, the game’s over. It’s both challenging and addictive.

Messenger’s got a lot of matching games, and this is my least beloved. You’ve got match three or more of the same kind of animals to clear them off a grid, as more animals emerge to take their place. The controls are pretty wonky, even after you figure out that you’re supposed to slide an animal rather than tap it, however I do like the end of the game where the head of the zoo berates you for failing.

Philip Michaels is a senior editor at Tom's Guide. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics and old movies. Go after him at @PhilipMichaels.

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