If you are looking for a decent word game for your iOS device, then you will surely find one with the Zynga title Hanging With Friends. This game is an attempt to use the successful Words With Friends formula with the tried and tested mechanics of the classic hangman. However, not a lot of iOS gamers are pleased with the result of this attempt—there are a number of bugs and flaws that hinder this game from becoming a really enjoyable title.
About the Game
As mentioned earlier, Hanging With Friends is the direct result of the combination of Words With Friends (developed by Newtoy, which was bought by Zynga) and hangman. The Newtoy title was very successful in its genre, and Zynga tried exploring the niche further by infusing its mechanics with hangman.
The Words With Friends influence is quite obvious—Hanging With Friends uses the same asynchronous game mechanics and the numbered tiles that resemble the ones used for Scrabble. Facebook integration and a coin-earning mechanic is all Zynga—game elements that might be familiar to Zynga Poker and FarmVille players.
In this title, you will be playing against human opponents. Hanging With Friends will send you a push notification when your turn comes up—and you can select to play the game at your own pace. As a result, the game has a very casual pace reminiscent of that in Words With Friends. With scrabble, such a slow pace is quite acceptable, but it can get problematic with a game of hangman. Zynga tried to compensate for this issue by allowing players to play multiple games simultaneously—in fact, Hanging With Friends can support up to 20 games happening all at once.
The hangman influence is obvious with the players’ avatars, which are floating over a lava pit with the help of five balloons. If you get a word wrong, one of the balloons will pop. Once you are out of balloons, you will go straight into the pit of red-hot death.
You will begin the game by picking a word from a dozen of randomly selected Scrabble-like tiles, which has a point value on each (following the same point system as that of Scrabble). These points can earn you bonus coins, which you can purchase additional lifelines with.
The interface is very similar to Words With Friends, and iPhone gamers who have played that game will not find any difficulty in learning how Hanging With Friends Work. The push notifications might take some time to get used to if you are new to the game, though.
Graphics and Sound Effects
The graphics and sound effects are nice and detailed, which are quite expected from a Newtoy and Zynga title. Once you get a word correctly, word correctly, our avatar will smile (it has been saved from certain death, after all); get something wrong and it will appear annoyed and even terrfied. Nevertheless, the cuteness of the illustrations sort of makes up for the many problems and issues in this title.
As mentioned earlier, the main issue with Hanging With Friends is that the leisurely pace does not work really well with a game of hangman. The replay function does not work as we have expected it to—the letters they have picked and the number of remaining strikes are shown, but not the word being solved. Animations are not so amusing either and the avatars are very much limited.
Screen space is wasted on Hanging With Friends, and if you download the free version of the game, this problem is more apparent (there are ads crammed into the game screen.) In Words With Friends, the screen space problem is quite understandable because the developers had to cram a Scrabble board into the small screen. Hanging With Friends, however, cannot be extended the same courtesy.
If you are looking for a new version of hangman to play, then Hanging With Friends might be for you. Otherwise, we recommend Words With Friends instead.
Hanging With Friends