This week, Facebook announced its Instant Games platform that allows Messenger users to play games against one another via the chat app.
Currently only available in 30 countries and to the latest versions of Android and iOS, Instant Games is made using HTML5, which according to Facebook’s blog on the subject allows you to “play games without having to install new apps.”
Players tap on the controller icon in a chat conversation, and then choose from a list of games. Once a game is selected, it’s loaded and the fellow chat participant is challenged to beat your high score.
Once you’ve played your round of the game, your high score is shared with the other chat participants, and you can draw over a screenshot of the leaderboard to taunt your friends.
It seems that games are part of Facebook’s current strategy for engaging its users, with the social media giant launching its Gameroom platform and launcher earlier this year.
Instant Games currently offers the following list of games, sorted by quality by TechCrunch:
- Galaga (Bandai Namco) – Classic arcade vertical space ship shooter, rebuilt so you only get one life for short sessions
- Space Invaders (Taito) – Classic arcade space shooter
- EverWing (Blackstorm) – 1942-style vertical scrolling space ship shooter with impressive graphics and speed
- Endless Lake (Spilgames) – Gorgeous Temple Run meets Monument Valley runner game with funky art
- Arkanoid (Taito) – Classic arcade brick-breaking paddle game with decent mobile controls
- Words With Friends Frenzy (Zynga) – Rapid-fire Scrabble game that takes some practice
- Hex FRVR (FRVR) – Tetris meets Candy Crush-style puzzler where you form lines until you’re out of moves
- Pac-Man (Bandai Namco): Classic arcade game but with poor mobile swipe controls so you miss tunnels and die
- Shuffle Cats Mini (King) – Card-flicking shooting gallery game that utilizes touch for speed and direction
- Wordalot (MAG Interactive) – Scrabble meets crossword puzzle timed competition, fun and different though frustrating
- ZooKeeper (Kiteretsu) – Timed Candy Crush with cute 8-bit graphics but too long of game sessions
- Track & Field 100M (Konami) – Alternating button mashing speed trial with computer opponents who are too fast
- Brick Pop (Gamee) – Dots-style puzzle game that feels too random
- Bust-A-Move Blitz (Taito / Blackstorm) – Bubble-matching puzzle shooter that feels too slow
- 2020 Connect (Softgames) – Candy Crush meets Threes puzzler that feels too stodgy for Messenger
- Templar 2048 (Vonvon) – Threes-style timed matching puzzle that’s a bit confusing
- The Tribez: Puzzle Rush (Game Insight) – Candy Crush Clone with lame dinosaur theme