Apps: Having Fun with Messenger

Facebook Messenger is technology’s gift to mankind. This platform seamlessly connects people regardless of distance in more ways than one. What started as a private messaging feature of Facebook has turned into a standalone service that goes beyond its initial capabilities.

Since its ‘independence’ from Facebook, the instant messaging platform has come out with plenty of updates that improve the communication experience. From video calling, sending gifs and stickers, customization options, to group chats, there’s no end to the fun things you can do with your friends and family on Messenger.

One feature rolled out recently, has friends turn against each other, in a sense. Instant Games is an integrated feature on both the Messenger app and its desktop version that allows you to play several HTML5 games—no need for a trip to or a redirect to certain websites, the Playstore, or the App store to gain access to games—and beat your friends for bragging rights or whatever purpose.

You can simply pick a game, choose a friend or a group of friends to challenge, or take on the
ultimate challenge of beating out your highest ranking friend on the leaderboard.

The list of currently available games is quite overwhelming. To get you started, we picked five titles you can easily jump into while waiting for a friend to message you back, looking to start a conversation, or plainly making a ruckus in your group chat.

Everwing

If you don’t know EverWing, you haven’t been scrolling through your Facebook feed enough to see your friends gushing over this game. This endless side-scrolling
shooter game is highly addictive due to its simple gameplay and easy rewards earning system. You start by playing the default Guardian Alice. There are five other Guardians to unlock which you can play as you level up and obtain coins. You get by defeating monsters and completing quests. In-game, you also have a dragon sidekick that will help you defeat monsters when the going gets tough.

NomCat

Some games have high replay value for their stimulating format, while there are games that rake in players plainly because they’re frustrating. Belonging to the latter is NomCat. This game combines one of the elements that rules the internet, cats and the single most important human activity, eating, in one endless feeding frenzy. The game sees you feeding fish to two cats. Easy, right? The challenge is in keeping up with the fishes flying rapidly all over the screen. If one of the cats misses a fish, the game is over. You also have to avoid the sporadic bombs that will appear just when you think you’ve got the game all figured out.

Pac-Man

What better way to trigger nostalgia than challenging your friends to a game of Pac-Man? This iconic game which most of us, and our parent’s parents, have played is back and is set to chomp its way to your chat window. Though there isn’t really a need to describe this game, we’ll do so in case you’ve been spending your years under a rock. Pac-Man is a no fuss game where you are tasked to munch all orbs and keep haunting ghosts at bay. The game pivots when you consume a power pellet. This reverses the Pac-Man and the ghosts’ roles–ghosts become edible for a limited time and you can chase after them instead of running away.

Endless Lake

Pleasant graphics and easy gameplay make Endless Lake stand out in a sea of auspicious games. You are a runner in an endless, complex maze, minding every step as one wrong move will have you falling into the lake. No worries, though, you can start the game all over again and do a better run. What makes the game exciting is the illusion of a narrow walkway and the unpredictable gaps you have to jump over to progress. It offers a similar experience to the famous runner game Temple Run, but with more colors and an adorable character to boot.

Basketball FRVR

In a country where there’s a basketball court in every corner, it’s only natural for people to love all forms of the sport, including a virtual version of it. When the basketball easter egg game on Facebook became known to many, it started a frenzy and there’s no questioning it. While the basketball emoji still prompts the game, Instant Games’ Basketball FRVR makes shooting hoops and playing against friends extra fun. The game presents a single basket that doesn’t look too menacing, albeit comes to life as you score points. Basketball FRVR, as with other Instant Games, offers a straightforward gameplay but will keep you playing repeatedly until you become the all-time points leader.

Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE July 2017

Words by Mia Carisse Barrientos

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