Farmville 2: Country Escape review

Farmville 2: Country Escape is a new episode in the Farmville saga, and it's sure to provide hours of entertainment for new and experienced players, alike. It all begins when your grandparents leave you their old farm, and a friendly neighbor starts to show you the ropes. Once you're hooked, there will be crops to harvest, animals to tend, and friends to visit at all hours of the day and night.


Anonymous play: With this version of Farmville, you don't have to connect through Facebook to play. Instead, you can choose to play anonymously and still … Read more

Zynga's Farmville coming to a television near you

Growing corn, tending chickens, and amassing a fortune of golden coins can be fun as a social media game, but how about watching a TV show about it?

Director Brett Ratner is taking a stab at exactly this. He is following in the footsteps of Angry Birds and producing a half-hour animated television series based on Zynga's Farmville, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Farmville is one of the most exciting brands out there today and its cross-platform opportunities are endless," Ratner said in a statement. "I am thrilled to be expanding the brand with existing … Read more

Direct your own story -- through baking

Bakery Story (iOS, Android) is a cute and simple interactive social networking game along the same lines as FarmVille. It's part of a series of "story" games made by the same studio (TeamLava), and just like FarmVille, it can become extremely addicting.

In Bakery Story, players open their own bakery where they can create and sell an assortment of sweets, desserts, and beverages in exchange for money (coins). The process of creating a confection is nothing more than a few taps, after which the player must wait a certain amount of time before the item is ready. … Read more

Shining light on new Kindle Paperwhite

Monday's CNET Update has a glow about it:

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite e-reader is now shipping, and CNET has given it the Editors Choice award. You can read the full review here. The Nook GlowLight dropped its price to $119 to match the Paperwhite.

Apple has released a Wi-Fi bug fix for the iPhone 5 on Verizon. The bug caused the iPhone 5 to use data even when the device was connected to a Wi-Fi network. Verizon won't charge iPhone 5 customers for any excess data as a result of the bug, but customers should download the fix … Read more

Zynga tries to resuscitate virtual farming with FarmVille 2

If you're one of the tens of millions of former FarmVille players who gave up the old homestead, Zynga hopes it has a way to coax you back.

The game maker unveiled FarmVille 2 today, with the aim of bringing back former addicts as well as attracting new players.

The game was designed to more completely emulate farming with a stronger storyline and a virtual ecosystem. This means that when you grow crops, they're harvested to be used in a kitchen to make baked goods or sold on the roadside for coins. The coins can then be used … Read more

Zombie Lane is FarmVille meets 'The Walking Dead'

Zombie Lane is a freemium simulator-style game that's part FarmVille (iOS) and part "The Walking Dead." It's got the addictive elements of an empire-building simulator, plus all the undead charm of a zombie apocalypse. In other words, it's something of a dream come true for me, minus one major element (I'll get to that later).

In Zombie Lane you are one of a handful of survivors, fending for your life as zombies rip your neighborhood to shreds. Armed with only a shovel and a few shotgun shells to start, your goal is to reunite … Read more

Zombie Lane is FarmVille meets 'The Walking Dead'

I don't know about you, but I love games that let me build and maintain some type of empire. Whether it's a farm, island, city, resort, or even a simple restaurant, I take pleasure in starting an enterprise from scratch, growing it, unlocking items, and completing missions. But as much as I've enjoyed playing these types of games over the years, I've always felt there was one element missing: zombies. Until now, that is.

Meet Zombie Lane for Android (download), a freemium simulator-style game that's part FarmVille (iOS) and part "The Walking Dead." … Read more

Zynga adds four mobile game companies to roster

Zynga, the San Francisco-based maker of FarmVille and other social games, has upped its gaming lineup, saying today that it bought four mobile gaming companies during the past five months, according to Reuters.

Among the companies Zynga acquired is German-based Gamedoctors, which created the game ZombieSmash; San Francisco-based Page44 Studios, which developed the "World of Goo;" HipLogic that is also based in San Francisco; and New York-based Astro Ape Studios. Zynga declined to say how much it paid for the companies.

As the top maker of Facebook games, Zynga acknowledges that it has been looking to increase its presence across multiple devices, … Read more

Zynga's CityVille arrives on Google+

CityVille, Zynga's hottest game on Facebook, is now on Google+.

Today Zynga announced CityVille's arrival on Google's new social-gaming platform. "Ultimately, we want to make our games accessible to everyone, everywhere--no matter where they play or what platform they play on."

This is really good news for Google. Getting into games in a big way with popular titles should help drive engagement on its fledgling social network. Launched as a "limited field test" in June, Google+ recently opened up publicly and has attracted 43.4 million members, AllThingsD is reporting. To really fly, … Read more

Video game spending ticks up in 1st quarter, NPD says

FarmVille, virtual guns, and Angry Birds helped drive a slight increase in total video game spending in the first quarter, according to NPD Group.

The market researcher said today that gamers poured $5.9 billion into hardware, content, and accessories in the period, a 1.5 percent increase from a year ago. The main catalysts include digital game downloads, mobile games, downloadable content, and social network games.

The new forms of content accounted for $1.85 billion in the period, underscoring the growing importance of games on smartphones and social networks.

The increase comes as Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter … Read more