To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Kill your productivity with casual gaming on Facebook

Our latest round-up of the world’s most popular gaming platform includes the most recent release from the legendary PopCap Games, a film tie-in and several titles that don’t even end in ’ville’

Facebook gaming continues to be massively popular, despite attempts by major players such as Zynga – the company behind Mafia Wars and Farmville – to roll out their own platforms. As Facebook’s core purpose is to help us kill time, casual gaming is a natural bolt on, and demand for these simple titles shows no sign of waning. While Farmville and its relations still dominate the lists of most-played Facebook games, we’ve taken a look at some of their more intriguing rivals.

We’ve concentrated on those which are slightly less ruthless in their attempts to get you to shell out real cash; send constant and irritating requests to your friends; or encourage you to befriend random strangers simply to get in-game benefits.

Solitaire Blitz

Solitaire is the uber-game when it comes to computer-assisted procrastination – we’ve been wasting time on it since Windows 3.0 and even Wikipedia acknowledges that “lost business productivity by employees playing Solitaire has become a common concern since it became standard on Microsoft Windows.”

Bearing that in mind, the only surprise is that PopCap, maker of hits including Bejewelled Blitz and Plants vs. Zombies, has taken so long to release its own version of the card sorting classic. The basic game works just like every other version of solitaire – you remove cards from piles by stacking them on top of foundation cards. However, PopCap has added extra features to make it fast and high-scoring games, including wild jokers, bonuses for consecutive wins, extras such as time bonuses, bombs to detonate cards from your stack and score multipliers. You can buy these using coins won by completing games or purchased for actual money.

Like every version of solitaire ever, Solitaire Blitz is surprisingly addictive – winning multiple games in a row is particularly satisfying as you watch the bonuses rack up – while still leaving you with a lingering feeling that you really should be doing something useful with your life. Perfect for the tail-end of Friday afternoon, in other words.

Solitaire Blitz
We’re rather taken by the nautical theme, although the dancing worm is mildly disturbing for some reason

Bubble Witch Saga

Remember Puzzle Bobble? The bubble-matching game featuring the cute little ensorcelled dragons from Bubble Bobble has been cloned more times than we can count, but it never seems to get old. Bubble Witch Saga adds a slightly more thoughtful element to the standard gameplay by giving you a fixed field of bubbles which must be eliminated, but only a limited number of randomly chosen bubbles to do it with. The experience is slick and the levels are cunningly designed, making this our favourite bubble-oriented game of the moment. A weekly leaderboard encourages you to compete against your friends, too.

Bubble Witch Saga
Bubble popping: still fun after all these years

Pages: 1 2