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Zynga expands Mafia Wars to include SMS-based play

Two-way support compatible with almost any handset

Zynga expands Mafia Wars to include SMS-based play
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| Mafia Wars

It's certainly not the first developer to venture into the world of SMS games - the stripped-back approach enabling almost any mobile consumer to get their game on - but Zynga's decision to roll-out two-way SMS support for Mafia Wars is nonetheless worth noting.

Already available on some of the most accessible platforms of all time – Facebook and, more recently, iPhone – Mafia Wars players using the former platform can now perform a number of actions simply by texting in codes from their mobile handset.

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The set-up allows them to remain engaged in play even when away from the social network without diluting the game's pick-up-and-play appeal.

For example, you send 'F' to battle someone on your fight list, send 'J' to do a job, or send 'PE' to purchase energy refill points.

It marks a change of emphasis for the publisher too, with Zynga expanding on its initial round of testing back in December 2009 which restricted the service to notifications only.

The new SMS functionality, which is powered by text message alert specialist 4INFO, is only currently available in North America however.

Zynga won't charge for text messages, but message and data rates may apply from your carrier.

Those interested in signing up have to do so through the game's Facebook portal, with a more direct approach likely if it proves to be a success.

As such, TechCrunch reports the set-up could be expanded beyond Mafia Wars within the near future to take in scores of the company's games.

Zynga itself, however, says SMS play is being restricted to just the one title for the time being.