Facebook Messenger – the world’s second most used chat app – announced the addition of Instant Games to its already impressive roaster of stickers, GIFs, AI chat bots, and other features meant to increase the stickiness of the platform. The addiction will be fueled by score-based leaderboards in single or group chats, and the ability to challenge friends with screenshots of your progress.
Initially, Instant Games will be rolled out to 30 countries only – Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Great Britain, Canada, United States, Japan, Netherlands, Australia, Austria, Latvia, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, New Zealand, France, Singapore, Finland, Hong Kong, Russian Federation, Estonia, Taiwan, Slovenia, Puerto Rico, Cyprus, Israel, Lithuania, Spain, and Italy.
With the latest app version of Facebook Messenger there you will have access to timewasters from current or legendary devs like Konami, Bandai Namco, King, Taito, and even Zynga (where would Instant Games be without Word with Friends, after all). Some games in the Facebook Messenger roaster are more alluring than the others, so take a look at what we have handpicked to start you off with chat gaming (it’s a thing!)
Best Facebook Messenger Instant Games and where you can play them
1. Space Invaders
If you don’t know Space Invaders, even better – this classic arcade space shoot’em up has been a favorite for young and old for a few generations now. Swipe a finger at the lower part of the display to move, and release to shoot – the game play is as simple as that, though it’s not as fast-paced for today’s standards as you might be used to. Still, you only have one life to give, so don’t get too hooked up, this one you wouldn’t want to share with friends that are potentially as high score-oriented as you.
2. Words with Friends
A chat window isn’t exactly conducive to action shooter or complex strategy games, so it is refreshing that Facebook has included the renowned Words with Friends Frenzy in the portfolio. This mobile Scrabble spinoff is a perfect game to play in a chat thread with friends and relatives, instead of mindlessly breaking stuff up. The Frenzy part comes from the fact that letter tiles present to make words with are ever changing, so you have to think fast on your feet, too.
3. Endless Lake
Besides the no-brainer big hits (hello, lack of legacy titles on iMessage), Facebook Messenger’s Instant Games roster includes some obscure titles that are very well executed for the nascent field of chat gaming. First off, it sports movement from the top, so your fingers at the bottom don’t get into the way of the visuals like on some other titles here. The game controls are very simple – tap once for a short jump, twice for a longer sommersault over a water gap, but the character can literally split, so you have to keep your mind occupied with following two of them and at the same time calculate in a split second where and when to jump a short or a long distance. Whew, heavy stuff.
Need we introduce Pac-Man? If you are stuck at the dentists office, and too in pain to concentrate on Words with Friends or uncoordinated for mindless shooters, Pac-Man will keep your mind occupied as it is trying to wiggle its way through the maze full of food without being devoured by those big bad dentist assistants. Another excellent Bandai Namco classic reincarnated for the chat age.
5. Zoo Keeper
Oh, look, it’s like Dots but with giraffes! Yep, it’s more fun this way, and Zoo Keeper can keep you entertained and occupied for hours at a time trying to match three of the savannah inhabitants present and avoid filling up the screen with a Noah’s Ark full of African mammals. It’s the chat era’s take on the Game Boy Advance’s Zooo classic, so it’s at once simple to master, and challenging as you progress.
6. Bonus: Galaga
Galaga is like Space Invaders but with more action and better graphics, that is why we are including it here. You’ve no doubt encountered it if you have ever played old arcades, and the fast-paced space shooter has kept you occupied for hours trying to conquer one more level and beat your next high score. Thankfully, the brainiacs from Bandai Namco have you shooting automatically at all times here, so essentially you simply need to slide at the bottom of the screen to move around – brilliant controls for a chat thread time waster.