Hanging With Friends App Review: A More Humane Hangman

Posted on June 13, 2011

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Zynga is at it again – they seem to have a knack for combining social gaming with wordplay. This time they’ve put their spin on the classic game of hangman and people are downloading it in droves. This classic game has become a bit less gory and is now called “Hanging With Friends.”

The basic concept of the game is much the same: come up with a word, have the other person guess. If they use up all their chances, they lose the match. There are also a few fun new twists. As you are composing a word for your opponent to guess, you are given randomly selected letter tiles. Then, a word score bonus is randomly added to the screen and if you compose a word long enough to hit that score bonus and you can keep your opponent from guessing the word, you can rack in the points.

Both you and your opponent are represented by cute avatars on the screen (which you have preselected). Your character is suspended in the air by several helium balloons. If you cannot guess your opponent’s word, one of your balloons pops. Pop enough balloons and you fall to your….well, death just seems to morbid and doesn’t fit the cuteness of the game, so we’ll just say you fall into some sort of volcanic liquid and get a few burns.

One of my favorite options in the game is to watch a replay of your opponent’s turn. You cannot watch them guess your word in real time (I do hope that is possible in a future update), but as soon as they finish their turn you can either skip straight to knowing if they got it right or you can watch an instant replay of what went down. This is a nice touch since you cannot currently watch them guess your clever word in real time.

Zynga uses their Facebook connect feature and allows you to play with people you already know, or get connected with a random opponent. For you socialites, there is also an in-game chat. Play up to a whopping 20 games at a time and get push notifications when it’s your turn.

Zynga has been around long enough that they know how to crank out a smooth game on the first try. I hope to see an iPad optimized version soon, but for now the iPhone version is plenty of fun.

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