But while companies like Zynga, Playdom and PopCap dominate the scene, some other big players are getting in on the act.
In fact, one of the biggest players ever, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, just launched a new Facebook game. Mr. Beyonce Knowles joins a growing group of celebrities who have taken the social network by storm, hoping to microtransact their fame into a few extra bucks. But all celeb games are not created equal. Which of these deserve a spot on your Facebook gaming A-list, and which should be kicked back down to casting?
But believe it or not, Margaritaville Online is actually a lot of fun, earning high praise from critics and even snagging 'Best Social Game' honors at the recent Canadian Video Game Awards. Designed by legit game developer types at THQ, it's one of the best celeb efforts you'll find on Facebook.
While he's pretty much on top of the world these days, life wasn't always parties with LeBron and vacays with Beyonce. You'll start out in the streets of Marcy Housing in Brooklyn, running thrilling missions like "Visit mom, write rhyme" and "Hustle someone on the basketball court" while incessantly clicking on things. Sure, it borrows liberally from Mafia Wars 2, but if anyone gets the green light to sample, it's Jay-Z.
And while his game (built by GSN Digital) doesn't exactly raise the roof or anything, it's a serviceable, live blackjack game with a few nice gameplay tweaks in the form of rule-altering 'Boosts'. The big gripe? It features generic, no-name hip hop tracks instead of music from, say, 50 Cent.
Basically the Facebook game version of 'TV Land' (the interface even mimicks an old television), it's an episodic trip back in time. You'll help Lucy and Ethel wrap chocolate in the famous 'Job Switching' episode, guide Marilyn Monroe through a detective yarn, and possibly play with The King himself. Though seriously lacking in social options, this mini-game packed trip down memory lane holds just enough nostalgic appeal to be worth a look. Besides, you can always just change the channel.
The point? Ostensibly, Gagaville, which is no longer online, was designed to promote her 2011 'Born this Way' album by featuring advance tracks from the record. But it also features all sorts of Gaga insanity, including farm staples like unicorns, electric chapels, crystals, and motorcylces. Huh? A little bit weird and little bit corporate — just like the Lady herself.
Snooki's Match Game? Well, it's not much of a game, either. Players first match up 'Guidos and Guidettes', then choose which partner is hotter, then presumably feel bad all day for being so judgmental. Wait, didn't Mark Zuckerberg do this already? Oh man, Snooki's going to make billions.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Beyonce Knowles