Have you ever dreamed of playing games in a messaging app without interrupting your chat? With Facebook's Instant Games, playing games in the Messenger app without leaving Facebook's instant messaging app is no longer a pipe dream.
Launched in closed beta in November 2016 with just 17 titles, and then globally in May 2017, Instant Games allows gamers on both Facebook and the Messenger app for iPhone or Android to play games against their friends -- without leaving these apps or the download of any additional ones.
Today, users who download Messenger for the Android phone or iPhone can discover and play over 200 Messenger Instant games on the Facebook or Messenger platform by tapping the Games category on Facebook on their desktop or mobile device.
To try one out in the Messenger for iPhone or Messenger for Android devices app, just tap the Games icon on the bottom rail and either search for a particular title or scroll down the extensive games list until you find one that seems fun. Invite friends to play with you from your friend list or, with some games, get matched with strangers.
If you're new to Instant Games, Everwing, Basketball FRVR, Uno, Words With Friends, 4 Pics 1 Word, and The Test are the six games you should try out first while enjoying your Messenger conversation.
The world of Blackstorm Labs' EverWing is under attack by a horde of dragons. Choose one of eight fairy guardians and a sidekick to start to take to the skies and battle these monstrous creatures. Your characters will shoot automatically, so just drag them from side to side as monsters and even dangerous fireballs approach and mow them down three or four at a time, while also collecting power-ups, coins, and trophies. Soon, you'll be sending guardians and sidekicks out on quests to earn even greater rewards.
2. Basketball FRVR
Facebook's basketball game, Basketball FRVR has you shooting a basketball into a hoop with a simple flicking movement. Each basket is worth more points than the one before, but if you miss one shot, you're out. Warning: the game gets progressively harder once the hoop's placement is moved to the left or the right, and you have to start angling your shots properly to make them.
Developed by NetEase and Mattel, Uno, the popular shedding card game, comes to Instant Games.
If you need a refresher on the basic rules, know that each player starts with seven cards, leaving the remaining cards face down in a draw pile. Turn over the first card in the draw pile to create a discard pile. Have the person to the dealer's left match that card's color, number, or symbol. Place this card face up on top of the discard pile. When you play a wild card, it tells the next person what color you want them to match. Draw one card from the top of the draw pile, if no match can be made with the card on the discard pile. It can be played if it matches the discard pile card. Then pass the play to the next person. Continue playing counterclockwise and shout, "Uno" when you only have one card left in your hand. Play till one player is out of cards.
You can also play where you tally up everyone else's points -- each card has a different value -- and keep playing till someone reaches 500 points.
In Instant Games' tap-to-play version, you can tap Quick Play to be matched with random players or Team 2 vs 2, in which duos can partner up against others, Room Mode, where players create their own rules, and Party Mode which is specially designed for offline gatherings.
4. Words With Friends
Zynga's hugely successful word-building game -- and one of the most popular turn-based games -- Words With Friends comes to Instant Games, tasking players with a Scrabble-like word creation competition where you can win coins and badges in the process. If you need help, you can shuffle your letters, swap them out (but lose a turn), or pass your turn. Words With Friends is especially great for sharpening vocabularies, spelling, and puzzle skills.
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5. 4 Pics 1 Word
As its name suggests, 4 Pics 1 Word displays a quartet of pictures and tasks you with guessing the word that they all have in common. You'll see a number of empty boxes under the pictures that you need to fill with letters, which shows you how long the word is. Once you feel confident that you know the answer, tap letters from the available pile to insert into the boxes. When you've got it, keep playing to keep that winning streak going. But beware that the game gets progressively trickier as you progress.
Bonus: The Test
In The Test, you'll test how well you know your friends. Select a friend and you will each be served a series of questions about yourselves to answer, such as, Do you like celebrating your birthday? How many children would you like to have? Who gets the most parking tickets?
Then you'll be asked the same questions, but this time it's about your friends. You'll have to anticipate which answers your friends will select, and they'll be forced to do the same about you. Whoever gets the most right, wins.
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