Tuesday, Facebook launched its Instant Games on Messenger, an HTML5 gaming platform that allows FB users to play games on Messenger and in the Facebook Newsfeed, ensuring iOS 8 and Android 5 compatibility including later versions of the two as well. This new gaming experience enables users to easily discover, share, and play games without having to install new apps.
The main attraction of Instant Games is the speed with which you can start playing. All you need to do is tap the game controller icon in one of your message threads, choose a game from the available list – which will load in mere seconds – and play the game. Pretty simple, right!
And yes, your high score gets automatically updated on your private chat or group. Way to go, I would say!
Countries the Instant Messenger and Newsfeed Games have been launched in, effective Tuesday, are listed below in alphabetic order:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United States. Users in these thirty countries are already enjoying this well-accepted feature since Tuesday.
The good and the not so good of ‘Instant Games’ in Messenger and Newsfeed:
* No download of ungainly apps required – games load in seconds.
* 17 games available as of now from established developers like Bandai Namco, Konami, and Taito and even newer developers like Zynga and King.
* iOS 8 and Android 5 compatibility.
* Your high scores get automatically uploaded and you also have the leaderboards in case you’d care to challenge the leader.
* Games are easy to learn and a full round gets over in about 30 seconds
Call it an advantage or otherwise, the games are fun and addictive.
* Stylized high score screenshot that you can Doodle on top of to talk to opponents, a feature similar to Snapchat.
* You can share a game in the Newsfeed and a friend can enter that game from the FB app or the FB website.
* The graphics of the games are not exceptionally powerful but not bad either – it’s of acceptable quality and sharpness, and the games are pretty much engaging.
* As of now, there is no money to be made by FB or the developers but reports say plans of developing a business module are in the pipeline which could prove to be lucrative for all parties – Facebook and the developers.
* A dedicated Instant Games bookmark is also available on Facebook where people can view and instantly replay their favorite games.
Here’s an alphabetical list of the 17 game titles, as of now, with a short description of each:
1. Arkanoid (Taito) – Classic arcade brick-breaking paddle game with decent mobile controls.
2. Brick Pop (Game) – Dots-style puzzle game.
3. Bust-A-Move Blitz (Taito / Blackstorm) – Bubble-matching puzzle shooter.
4. Endless Lake (Spilgames) – Gorgeous Temple Run meets Monument Valley runner game.
5. EverWing (Blackstorm) – 1942-style vertical scrolling spaceship shooter.
6. Galaga (Bandai Namco) – Classic arcade vertical space ship shooter,
rebuilt so you only get one life for short sessions.
7. Hex FRVR (FRVR) – Tetris meets Candy Crush-style puzzler where you form lines until you’re out of moves.
8. Pac-Man (Bandai Namco): Classic arcade game.
9. Shuffle Cats Mini (King) – Card-flicking shooting gallery game that utilizes touch for speed and direction.
10. Space Invaders (Taito) – Classic arcade space shooter.
11. Templar 2048 (Vonvon) – Threes-style timed matching puzzle.
12. Track & Field 100M (Konami) – Alternating button mashing speed trial with computer opponents who are too fast.
13. The Tribez : Puzzle Rush (Game Insight) – Candy Crush Clone with the lame dinosaur theme.
14. Wordalot (MAG Interactive) – Scrabble meets crossword puzzle timed competition.
15. Words With Friends Frenzy (Zynga) – Rapid-fire Scrabble game.
16. ZooKeeper (Kiteretsu) – Timed Candy Crush with cute 8-bit graphics but too long of game sessions.
17. 2020 Connect (Softgames) – Candy Crush meets Threes puzzler.
As briefly mentioned earlier in this piece, Facebook will have to come up with a monetary benefit option for developers to keep them motivated for building newer and better games. They stand to lose money if they keep sending traffic to Instant Games Messenger rather than their own apps.
However, as reported by TechCrunch, Facebook’s head of Messenger, David Marcus, is of the opinion that “Over time we’ll find ways for game developers to monetize. That’s our commitment to them in the new year.”
Meanwhile, the developers have to be content with the exposure and publicity they are getting, reaching out to a huge audience base which can be enchased sooner rather than later.
As far as the users are concerned, nobody is complaining too much about it; however, if anyone has an issue with it, just don’t use it.