Game Reviews

Hanging With Friends

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Hanging With Friends

The hype around Zynga’s Hanging With Friends is palatable, especially since the social gaming superpower is making more money on Facebook and iPhone than most publishers.

Hanging With Friends falls into the Zynga standard of taking a classic idea – Hangman, in this case – and jazzing it up for the screen. The result? It’s pretty darn addictive and definitely worth your time.

Hot air

Hanging With Friends couldn’t have a more descriptive name. You and your 'buddy' are adrift with your own set of balloons. You two take turns guessing words. A balloon pops with each failed attempt. The game is over when one of you ends up on the ground.

It may sound violent – people falling from the sky – but the game is syrupy sweet. Vibrant and simple cartoon avatars represent you and your friend, and bright, exotic backgrounds flash in the distance. If anything, Hanging With Friends may drive you nuts with its cuteness.

The rules

The Hanging With Friends rules themselves follow Hangman closely. Using the in-game keyboard, you guess the letters in your opponent's word. The number of guesses you get is based on the length of the word, so an eight-letter word will provide more guesses than a four-letter one. There's no time limit.

When you’re creating a word for your friend, Hanging With Friends gives you a handful of random letters to use. You can use as many or as few as you’d like, but strategy comes into play: longer but more well-known words may be solved easier, while shorter but less-familiar words may get wins.

There are some other wrinkles, too. As in Scrabble, each tile is worth a certain number of points based on its rarity – so 'X' is worth more than 'A'. And there are bonus squares, allowing you to maximise your points by bringing them into play.

Back and forth

The turn-based gameplay is butter smooth. Finding friends through Facebook is the easiest, but you can also do game requests through Twitter, email, and other media. If you're with your friend, the pass-and-play method works, too. Zynga bumps a notice to you when it's your turn.

Best of all, the ad and freemium intrusions are minimal. The ad-free version is currently only £1.19/$1.99. You can purchase bonus items, but you can easily earn them by playing over time.

If there's any complaint with Hanging With Friends, it's the generic presentation. The sound effects and music are ethereal to the point of being virtually non-existent.

Otherwise, downloading Hanging With Friends is a no-brainer. It’s a great revamp of Hangman.

Hanging With Friends

While it sounds bare, Zynga's Hanging With Friends is a well-featured casual game that takes Hangman to new heights
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