Developer: Zynga Inc.
Price: $2.99 Download on the App Store
Hanging with friends takes on a whole new meaning with Zynga’s latest app in the Games with Friends series. Hanging with Friends is classic hangman with a twist or two and the result is a solid multi-player online word game. Though in need of a few tweaks for full support, Hanging with Friends makes hanging with strangers entertaining and engaging.
Zynga makes good use of their experience with Words with Friends and offers up a different kind of word guessing game. Like hangman, players only have so many chances to guess the letters of the words their opponents make. The game characters representing players are in peril and each failed attempt at solving the word puts them closer to impending doom. Actually, they are quite innocent and whatever balloon-popping fate awaits them, it’s none so bad as hanging.
To shake things up a bit, Hanging with Friends includes lifelines that can be used to help solve a particularly difficult word. Use the lifelines to narrow down correct letters, but the wrong letter selection will still result in a strike. Once players have either solved the opponent’s word or struck out, the tables turn and players create their own word for their opponent. It’s a race to be the last man standing while trying to earn bonus points for the words you make. Take advantage of double or triple point spaces to rack up the points more quickly.
One of the advantages to the style of wordplay in Hanging with Friends is how suitable it is for turn-based play. Each game where it is “your turn” is a round that can be finished out by attempting to solve your opponent’s word and then creating a new word for them. This completes each game in larger chunks of play as opposed to some turn-based games where the game progresses slowly. During their turn, players can replay the guesses of their opponent or skip the replay and simply move on to guessing the next word. Hanging with Friends is also ideal for pass-and-play.
Hanging with Friends has a great layout without any obstructive buttons or text and with character animation and colorful backgrounds, it’s visually appealing. There are a few glitches when loading games as the screen sometimes briefly displays something else. I’ve had it show my inbox, but mostly just pixilated nonsense until it “catches up.” So far, the server is reliable even if not lightening fast. The current sale price for Hanging with Friends is $1.99, but as with the previous Games with Friends, there is a free version to try it first. Anyone who enjoys a good word game should definitely give Hanging a try.