Google+ Games launched in limited testing a few days ago but it took only 24 hours for testing to go live to a wider and global audience. Here’s a quick look at G+ Games and my short review.
Currently, there are three sections in the Google+ Games tab - Featured games, All games, and Game notifications. The Featured games section is the default landing page when going to plus.google.com/games (no forward slash), this is what you will see…
As you can see from the screenshot above, there is a “Games stream” sub-section below the featured games slide. This is where all the achievements your Circles are shown. No notifications (more on that later), and no spamming yours and your friends’ main stream. Neat eh?
Next section is: All games. As the name suggests, this is where all available games are listed or presented. The beta (or should I say alpha) version only have sixteen (16) games playable at launch.
These are (in alphabetical order):
- Angry Birds by Rovio
- Bejeweled Blitz Beta by PopCap Games
- Bubble Island by wooga
- City of Wonder by Playdom
- Collapse! Blast by gamehouse®
- Crime City by Funzio
- Diamond Dash by wooga
- Dragon Age™ Legends by BioWare™
- Dragons of Atlantis by Kabam
- Edgeworld by Kabam
- Flood-It! by LabPixies (a Google Company)
- Monster World by wooga
- Sudoku Puzzles by LabPixies (a Google Company)
- Wild Ones by Playdom
- Zombie Lane by Digital Chocolate
- Zynga Poker by Zynga®
It is too simple right now since there are only a handful of games that are currently available. Once the collection grows, we can expect categorization of the games into different shelves.
I’d like to throw in a feature suggestion here, the ability for the end-users to create their own shelves or “Circles for games". In the long run, it will help in keeping the players playing Google+ Games.
Game notifications. If you are familiar (and hate) the game spam in Facebook, you will not hate what the Google+ team did, putting all game notifications in its own section. These notifications are not even part of the “Games stream” sub-section of the Featured games as was shown earlier.
Once you are ready to play a game, simlpy click the game of your choice to launch it. If it is your first time to play that particular game, the following pop-ups or steps will show up.
And if you want to play again later, as of this phase of G+G testing, you can quickly launch your game by clicking it on the left side of your screen - under the Recently played section. As simple as that.
I am happy with the ideas and how the Google Plus team implemented their games feature. It is very evident in the design that they took the lessons learned from other social networks particularly Facebook - the game information spam.
From here, they can expand the service and add other features their competitors can not or will not offer. Games “Circles” (categorization) for one. The freedom for the game providers to offer and use their own virtual currency system. And who knows, maybe a G+G ladder/ranking system.