Just when you thought Zynga might be through with HTML5 gaming for the time being, the developer has launched three of its most popular games to the mobile web. FarmVille Express, Words With Friends and Zynga Poker are all available now through either Facebook Mobile directly or on the mobile web.
Revealed earlier this week, the company announced the three games as part of its continued push into mobile gaming with the upcoming Dream Zoo and Mafia Wars Shakedown for iPhone and iPad. FarmVille Express is a stripped version of the native iOS game that's already available, but it allows players to plant crops on their main farm, send free gifts to their friends and respond to help requests.
There's no visual representation of your farm(s) in FarmVille Express--this is merely a companion app that's meant to let you keep up while on the go. While this is brilliant for those who don't own iPhones or other iOS devices, we can't see much reason for an iOS device owner to use this. And since the full Facebook Mobile platform is only available for iOS at the moment, that leaves Android and other smartphone users with just mobile web access to FarmVille Express.
Words With Friends and Zynga Poker were designed with users who have access to only the mobile web in mind, as attempting to launch either from Facebook for iOS either moves you into the native app, or isn't available at all. And Word With Friends for mobile web appears no different from its native mobile counterpart. The presentation looks nearly identical to its iOS and Android cousins, albeit with less than stunning polish.
However, the game has full sound effects and smooth animations as you navigate its menus. That said, this version of Words With Friends is probably the most impressive HTML5 game we've seen to date. It tracks your finger movements with great accuracy and little to no lag, and it even has advertisements--just like the original! But if you already have Words With Friends for either iOS or Android, there's not much reason to play this version.
Zynga Poker, which must be played in landscape mode, is a somewhat stripped down version of what you'll find on Facebook, but more features are promised to be on the way. However, this too is an impressive HTML5 outing for Zynga. The game lets players sit down for poker hands in real time with other players. Sure, you can send free gifts and will soon be able to buy chips from right within the browser game, but just seeing players interact in real time over HTML5 within a browser is remarkable.
These games are certainly an impressive improvement over recent HTML5 games we've seen, and will only become more robust over time. However, it's tough to recommend these versions over their iOS counterparts or even their Android cousins, when it applies. If anything, consider these games a smooth step in the direction nearly everyone else in the social games world is headed.
Click here to launch all three of Zynga's new HTML5 games Now >
Are you interested in HTML5 gaming more so than native, downloadable gaming apps for your smartphone? Do you think Zynga was smart in releasing these games before a majority of the competition did? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.