Zynga Slingo

Okay, I admit it. I’m a Facebook game snob. I look down on most Facebook games. The few in the past that have captured my attention, like Packrat or The Sims Social, were the exceptions to Facebook games, not the rule.

The times, they are a-changing.

Facebook games are, more and more, stepping out of the Mafia Wars and Farmville mold. It’s getting to the point that if it’s a game, it CAN be on Facebook. Nothing is proving this fact more than traditional casual games, with titles like AdventureWorld or Hidden Chronicles being very popular. Zynga Slingo is another of those games.

For those not familiar with Slingo, it essentially combines Bingo (which I do play IRL) and Slots (which I do play IRL.) There’s a limited number of spins and players have to fill up a card of numbers by spinning slot reels for those numbers. There’s a variety of power-ups that will help fill the board, like one that marks everything in a line or wild jokers that will allow the marking of anything in a line (or my favorite one, anywhere on the board.) Objectives include completing a pattern, achieving certain high scores and filling a complete card.

Zynga Slingo takes all the best parts of Slingo and puts them on Facebook. It adds in help from friends and a limiting element. And all that comes together into a very addictive game. I feel like I can never get enough. I bought a full day’s worth of energy (something you can do with Slingo Cash, which you can purchase with real life money or earn by completing various offers) and thought by the time that day was over, I’d be done with my addiction and be able to move onto something else. I was wrong. If anything, I’m more addicted now.

Players start out with basic boards and a small amount of energy, and as they complete objectives, they will gain medals. These medals are essentially the leveling system. I currently have 226 and am number one on my friends list! *gloat off* To play a board, it requires energy and energy replenishes automatically, one every three and a half minutes. Energy can also be purchased in small increments or unlimited supplies for a limited time.

There’s a certain number of free balls a player gets when they purchase the board (using energy) and when those balls are gone, four extra balls that can be bought for two energy each. After that, players may have free balls they can use or they can purchase additional balls, either by spending coins, which are gained by filling up the coin bar, or by spending Slingo Cash. They can also spam all their friends and ask them to send additional balls (sorry friends!) and that’s where the social aspect comes in. Friends can help out by sending coins or balls or energy and players can return the favor. ┬áThere’s also something called Play With Friends, which is ‘coming soon’ and I can’t wait to see what that ends up being.

Zynga has separated the game into stages, with each stage having nine cards. These stages have unique and interesting artwork. The higher a player goes in stages, the more complicated the cards and patterns get, and the more energy it requires to start the game. Right now, I have six stages unlocked, with titles like Sugar Rush and Shooting Stars. I thought there were only five stages, but when I got to a certain point in the game, Shooting Stars just appeared.

I played the heck out of the Slingo games on the PC, although by the time I got to the last few, they had become tired and worn out. The developers tried to change things up by adding in an adventure element, but it ended up just annoying me. Zynga Slingo takes the Slingo format and puts it on a friendly platform. It hasn’t gotten tired yet, probably because I can only play it a limited number of times before I have to stop and wait for my energy to replenish, or choose to spend some money on it.

I need more Zynga Slingo friends. My current friends are great at sending me balls, but in this game, there’s no such thing as too many balls. So feel free to friend me for Slingo purposes.

Do you play Zynga Slingo or other Facebook casual games? What keeps you going back to a specific game day after day?

Tiny Tower – The Tower Sim That Sucks Your Life Away

I’ve been playing Tiny Tower, a Tower Sim I’ve downloaded on the iPad. It’s available for Android as well. It’s one of many apps from developer Nimblebit, one that I keep logging into day after day.

Let me make a few confessions before I talk anymore about this game. First, I hate Farmville and all the other ‘sim’ style games on Facebook. I did play The Sims Social for a while, but even that got boring pretty quickly for me. Second, I have a short attention span with games in general and once I step away from one for a couple of days, that’s it. It would be a rare thing for me to go back to a game I’ve stopped playing. Third, I played Sim Tower like a mad woman when I was in my twenties and I still think it’s the best Sim game ever. EVER.

The first few floors are built pretty quickly.

I downloaded Tiny Tower on a whim, because I was applying for jobs in casual games and, truth be told, the iPad was new to me and I hadn’t played too many of the games on it yet. On all the sites I applied to, every single one of them was raving about Tiny Tower, so I figured …

Sorry for the interruption, I had a VIP sitting there waiting for me. It was a realtor and I had some open spots in one apartment, so I wanted to get her to that floor. What was I saying? Oh, right.

I downloaded the game, and like most of the downloads on the iPad, it was quick. In seconds, I was up and running. I walked through the basic tutorial and it explained the elements of Tiny Tower. There are essentially four: build floors, construct businesses, stock inventory and move people (Bitizens) up the elevator. There’s some extra features that are fluff, like the Bitbook that is essentially Facebook for the Bitizens, and missions, which reward Bux, one of the two currencies in the game. Bux are used to upgrade systems in the game or take quick shortcuts, such as immediately stocking inventory or moving someone into an apartment. Bux are pretty easy to obtain by keeping shops stocked and by working the elevator. The entire point of the game is to build the next floor and the next floor and the next floor and … you get the point. If there’s an endgame, it’s not obvious.

As the Tiny Tower gets built up, and becomes not so tiny, everything starts to cost more coins (the other currency). But coins also become easier to earn and it evens out. My tower is currently at forty-nine levels and I’m itching for my fiftieth. I think there’s an achievement at fifty. I currently have eighty-nine Bitizens (I keep evicting anyone who doesn’t have at least one nine in their stats–I know, I’m terribly mean!) and twenty-nine businesses. I check my stock first thing in the morning, then periodically throughout the day, then make sure everything is as stocked as I can make it before I go to bed. I’ll also sit here while watching TV or even writing (this article) and pop people up to the floors they want to go to intermittently. I’m definitely hooked.

Keep at it and eventually, you'll be as big as me!

When playing Sim Tower, I wanted to build the biggest and broadest tower I could manage. That level one hundred tower was a thing of beauty. A part of me is hoping that when I get to one hundred, there’s some big fireworks show and then I can move on with my life. Another part of me hopes it’s the tower that never ends. It will just go on and on my friends. Some people started playing it not knowing what it was. And they’ll continue playing it forever just because this is the tower that never ends…

It’s also interesting to note that I spent the weekend at a convention (ChimaeraCon, which you can read about my weekend on my other blog) and didn’t have much time to just chill at home with my iPad and yet, I am still playing it. Meaning I put it down for a few days and came back, just as hooked.

If you are an overachiever who likes to take people up and down elevators all day long, then check out Tiny Tower. Huh. Maybe I missed my calling. Instead of a writer, I should have been an elevator person…what are they called anyway?

You can see my Tiny Tower at this link. Feel free to add me as a friend on Gamecenter on the iPad as well! I’m rosethornii.