Hanging With Friends Android review

Hanging With Friends Android reviewIf the description “hangman from the makers of Words With Friends” has you rolling your eyes, don’t scroll past just yet you cynical bastard.

Y’see, that’s exactly the reaction I had when I first discovered Hanging With Friends, but it’s an entirely different game. Well, sort of. In a way. Read on.

There was a time when I was genuinely addicted to Words With Friends. You can read all about it in my 5/5 review and the subsequent article Still Addicted to Words With Friends.

But when the flame burns so bright… er, I’m not sure how the rest of that saying goes. The candle melts even quicker? In any case, my passionate love affair with Words With Friends came to a crashing halt and I’d gladly now never play it again.

Right, now I’ve got all that nonsense off my chest, let’s talk about Hanging With Friends, shall we?

This new chap will feel familiar to anyone who has spent any time with its Scrabble-based predecessor. It adopts the same yellow tiles, sound effects, and word/letter bonuses, and the interface is pretty much identical.

Oh, and you can match-make in exactly the same way (via Facebook, your contact list, or with a random opponent), and the Chat functionality remains intact. Is that it? Yes, I think so.

Hanging With Friends is a pretty interesting take on the hangman idea. You’re given a dozen tiles with which to make a word – up to eight letters long – for your friend to guess.

There’s a Scrabble-style scoring system, and for every 200 points you rack up, you earn 20 gold coins, which in turn buys you a lifeline. More on those later.

So, you both start out with five balloons each, balloons that keep you floating safely – or perhaps more accurately: precariously – above bubbling lava. Fail to guess a word, you lose a balloon; fail to guess five words, you’re in the soup.

You have a set number of “strikes” when it’s your turn to guess. The longer the word, the fewer guesses you have. Makes perfect sense when you think about it.

Going back to those lifelines, there are three different types. You get one of each for free each time you start a new match, and you can only use one per word. Still with me? If you want to use one of ‘em again later in the match, that’s where the gold coinage comes into play.

Suspects highlights four letters, one of which is in the word; Extinguish gets rid of four dud letters; Revive gets rid of one of your strikes, essentially buying you an extra guess.

There’s a neat feature where you can watch your opponent attempt to guess your word in a sort of concise replay type thingy. It can be quite exciting, particularly if you’re both down to one or two balloons.

Visually, it’s nice and bright. Does the job. There’s a decent tune in the background too, adding a little tension to those all-important guesses.

Of course, it’s available for iOS too. I just figured it’d benefit from the extra 0.8in of display on my HTC Desire HD.

Pros

  • It’s free
  • Ideal for word junkies
  • Nice and bright

Cons

  • Ads (meh)
  • Treads some familiar Words With Friends ground

Summary: Hanging With Friends combines elements of hangman, and – bizarrely – Scrabble. It’s a surprisingly effective mix.

Developer: Zynga

Requires Android: 2.1 - 2.3.3 (Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread)

Price: free @ Android Market

Hanging With Friends Android review

Read more about: AndroidiOS

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