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iPhone App Video Review: Hanging with Friends

by Andrew Koziara

Zynga has come out with yet another app to play with your Facebook friends, entitled Hanging With Friends. Like Words With Friends and Chess With Friends before it, the app takes a popular ancient game and puts a social and mobile twist on it. The victim this time around is Hangman.

Rather than have little avatars spawn body parts as they hang from a noose, Zynga has decided to go with something a little less morbid. Instead, two people are hanging over a lava pit by a bunch of balloons. Every time a player fails to come up with the correct word, one of the balloons pops. This creates some great desperate and tense moments as you near the lava pit, and you start selecting letter much more carefully.

One player is given a random set of letters, and he must make a word out of them. The words are checked and have to be accepted by the games database, so no proper nouns or profanity. The guessing player simply guesses letters, and has a limited number of incorrect attempts before failing. There are “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” style lifelines, such as one which highlights four letters, one of which is a correct letter. Another immediately eliminates four wrong letters. After a the guessing player is finished, the original player gets to watch a simulation of all the letters that were guessed, creating more tense moments as the strikes count down.

The game allows you to bring in your Facebook and Twitter friends, and will allow you to search for friends based on username if they don’t belong to either network. You can also search for players completely at random if you are friendless. Since a lot of people are playing right now, it’s really easy to get into a game. Like the other “With Friends” games, people are notified of their turn through push notifications and games can take days or even weeks. I think this is a great addition to your app library. The art and music create a great sense of whimsy, despite the fact that people are still going to melt into nothing if they lose. This app comes in at $2, a full dollar less than “Chess” or “Words.” Check it out.

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