A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Matching With Friends is a match-three puzzle game in the tradition of Bejeweled. Players -- who must have a Facebook or Games With Friends account -- match three or more colored tiles, clearing as much of the board as possible before their opponents take a turn. You can play against random opponents, and messaging between two players is unmoderated. You can also play against Facebook friends, Twitter followers, or people in your contacts. The game comes in both a free and paid version. The paid version is ad free (although it does promote Zynga's own games).
What's it about?
Taking turns with another online player (friends or random opponents), players attempt to match similarly colored cubes by placing three together on a Scrabble-like board (complete with double and triple score bonuses) and rotating them as necessary. If opposing players block their intended move, or they need to create a space on the board to make a match, they can use in-game "bombs" that clear parts of the playing board. Games end after 11 rounds.
Is it any good?
Matching With Friends is certainly a time-suck of a game, but it doesn't have the obsessive qualities of other Games With Friends titles (like Words With Friends and Scramble With Friends). Perhaps that's because the match-three gameplay is so familiar in apps, or because of the relatively straightforward nature of the game; it doesn't feel like it has a "twist" we've come to expect from Zynga.
That's not to say it's bad, by any means. Playing with friends (or making new ones via the matching system) is as fun as ever -- and there's still a thrill that comes with a big score. But if you're on the fence, it's probably best to try the free version first before committing real money to the game.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, problem solving, solving puzzles
- Price: Free-$2.99
- Release date: June 26, 2012
- Category: Puzzle Games
- Size: 16.70 MB
- Publisher: Zynga
- Version: 4.10
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later