Weekly News Wrap: When Cafe World Took Over Our Lives

Days seem shorter? Check. Weather getting cooler? Uh huh. Well now that autumn seems to be in full swing, we're hunting down new indoor activities to keep us warm and busy. Farming and playing with cute animals still rank highly versus the Friday night TV lineup but this week's arrival of Zynga's Cafe World seriously threw us for a loop. We've been playing since we first caught wind of the game.

But that's not all that happened this week as Mafia Wars players found new adventures in Moscow, Zuma's Revenge gets a new version and we discovered a buried box of FarmVille tips that you'll just have to read. So get warm, it's time for the week's best stories.

Farmville Crop Mastery Released - Earn Bonuses Just Like in Mafia Wars

Farming isn't hard and fans of FarmVille have repeatedly wondered if the game might be better if there were more depth. Now, the game that gets Facebookers out to the dirt has added mastery bonuses to the game. Borrowed from FarmVille's cousin Mafia Wars, players gain mastery bonuses for repeating the planting of seed based foods. The details on what players gain from the mastery bonus is still a bit of a mystery, but any way to add more action to Facebook's hotttest game isn't a bad thing.

Mafia Wars: Moscow Tips - You'll Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends

Notice how your Mafia Wars-addicted friends skipped any social events this week? You can blame Mafia Wars: Moscow, the newest city expansion that brings mafia managers to Mother Russia's capitol to do business. Like the previously released Cuba expansion, Moscow tasks players with using the pugilist egos of your friends to complete jobs. It's an interesting development that you too can experience, if you're level 70 or higher. If you're already there, you'll want to read our tip guide before you take you trip.

Zuma's Revenge Adventure: Ball-Busting at Half the Price

Mention any of PopCap's games (Bejeweled, Plants vs. Zombies, Peggle, etc) and you'll find that even people who wouldn't necessarily play games, sure do play a lot of them. The latest variation of PopCap's Zuma series, Zuma's Revenge, pits players against a series of colored orbs that move closer and closer, your role is to shoot similarly colored orbs to make triplets, thus causing them to explode. While the full game carries a $20 price tag for the PC, the company released a pared down version called Zuma's Revenge – Adventure. You still get 60 levels of play, six new bosses but will miss out on the competitive challenge mode. Our recommendation is to get more game for $20, but if you're only got $10, there's still a lot of game with Zuma's Revenge – Adventure.

Farmville Maker Debuts New Facebook Game, Café World

Zynga surprised everyone this week by releasing a beta version (testing) of its upcoming game, Café World. In it, you take on the roles of café manager, head chef and room designer. As chef, you buy a menu items which gives you all the ingredients you need to make a meal. Of course, with cooking times ranging from 5 minutes to two days (yes, 48 hours), you still need to manage the hungry crowds of eaters. If you're looking to take a break this weekend, or looking for a familiar break from FarmVille, Café World is the type of welcome distraction that will warm up your chilly nights.
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