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Plugged In

5 Facebook games worth friending

Plugged In

Most gamers cringe at the thought of playing games on Facebook, and who can blame them? After years spent scrubbing their walls of incessant requests for bales of hay -- or doing the farm-spamming themselves -- they've grown wary of signing up for yet another Facebook clickfest.

The good news is that a handful of newer Facebook games deliver plenty of fun without requiring that you ruin your relationships. Better yet, some actually offer gameplay deep enough to warrant an hour or two of your time each day. If you're looking for new Facebook game pal, start with these five.

Marvel Avengers Alliance

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The only thing more shocking than the lack of a blockbuster console game based on 'The Avengers' is the fact that this Facebook take on the superhero squad is so good. (UPDATE: Ubisoft is now making an Avengers game, but it's only for Kinect and Wii U. That's kind of shocking, too.)

Built by Playdom, Marvel Avengers Alliance lets you create a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and recruit a team of heroes to battle a variety of threats from the Marvel universe. Boasting nearly 30 Marvel characters -- including The Avengers team members, Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four and a host of lesser known characters (Iron Fist, baby!) -- it's dripping with authenticity. While having friends certainly helps, the game's smart, turn-based strategy gameplay makes it plenty of fun to play alone. Some heroes work better that way, anyway.

Solitaire Blitz

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It's considered one of the most widely-played computer games of all time, so why bother with another version of Solitaire? Because this one's from the hitmakers at PopCap, who have a knack for turning seemingly simple ideas into wildly addictive experiences.

Solitaire Blitz is just that. Try to clear the cards as quickly as possible using your wits and a combination of clever power-ups, then try to not play it again, and again, and again.

Tetris Battle

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You've likely played your fair share of Tetris over the years, but this fast, competitive take on the puzzle great could very well revive your love for tetrominoes.

The idea is the same as it's always been — rotate and drop the blocky shapes to clear lines — but now you'll have to race against both the clock and a random live opponent.  The two-minute, bite-sized nature of the matches is a great fit for Facebook, and while you can spend real-world coin to buy upgrades and decorations, you really don't have to.

Armies of Magic

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You'll find a little bit of everything in this defensive-minded fantasy game, but first and foremost is side-scrolling strategy. Choose to play as humans, dwarves or elves, build armies, and send them marching off against rivals.

Tweaking a nifty gameplay system popularized in games like the mobile hit Trenches and the great, downloadable Swords and Soldiers, it's a pretty unique experience on Facebook…but there's more going on here than just strategy.  A full-blown city building game is in the mix as well, letting you spend the spoils of war on town upgrades, troop training and more.

Idle Worship

Forget noodging your friends for extra wood: in the innovative Idle Worship, you'll compete or cooperate with other would-be deities in real-time as you rule over a growing tribe of mud creatures. You'll have to perform miracles to impress them -- a happy tribe is a productive tribe, after all -- but where Idle Worship really makes it mark is in its good sense of humor and sheer technical potency. This is a funny, pretty game, and one that seamlessly lets you hinder or help other players without forcing you to beg friends to join in.

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