What parents need to know
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 kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- analyzing evidence
- problem solving
- solving puzzles
What Kids Can Learn
Matching With Friends isn't a game where you'll walk away a lot smarter, but it definitely can help kids form problem solving skills. While the match-three elements are straightforward, players can boost their score by using bonus stars and multiplier squares, and figuring out how to maneuver to group colors in those areas involves some strategy. Matching With Friends is a colorful way for teens to slightly improve their analytical skill set.
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.
Families can talk about...
Play a game of Scrabble to offer kids another example of double and triple scores (and subtly teach them spelling skills as well).
Encourage kids to play with their real-life friends rather than use random matchups. And join the fun by playing against your teen as well.