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Archive for the 'Just For Fun' Category

Who Has The Biggest Brain?

Dec 23, 2007 in 5 Stars, Facebook, Gaming, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★★★★

Who Has The Biggest Brain? Facebook Application

Facebook is finally starting to attract real companies that make real commercial quality applications. Playfish is one of those companies and Who Has The Biggest Brain? is one of those applications.

Playfish has raised the bar quite high for all Facebook apps with their new Who Has The Biggest Brain? game.

This game’s cute style, animation, graphics, music and sound not only add to the fun… they quickly demonstrate a Facebook application’s potential. Who Has The Biggest Brain? easily sets itself apart from the majority of Facebook apps that look like (and probably were) developed by high school kids.

Who Has The Biggest Brain Screenshot 1   Who Has The Biggest Brain Screenshot 2
Who Has The Biggest Brain Screenshot 3   Who Has The Biggest Brain Screenshot 4

They throw a few fun little brain tests at you, such as math or memory… You’re given a time limit and you must answer the questions as quickly as possible.

Who Has The Biggest Brain? Facebook Application That might not sound like much fun, but they way they do it… it is fun — a lot of fun.

At the end of the game your results will be tallied up and your score will be compared to your friends.

Hrmm… I think I socred somewhere around “Neanderthal”. BRB, I’m gonna have to go play some more…

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My Personality

Dec 13, 2007 in 5 Stars, Dating, Facebook, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★★★★

My Personality by David Stillwell administers a brief psychological exam that is based off of a real psychological personality questionnaire used in actual scientific research. It offers a brief explanation of your results and allows you to compare your personality to your friends. I answered a minimal amount of questions to get an idea for how it works. You can answer over a hundred questions to get a more accurate psychological profile. As with any app of this nature, treat it truly as Just for Fun. That said, I felt it made a pretty accurate assessment of my personality.

My Personality - Details

My Personality - Nav

When you’re done, it updates your profile with a nice little graph depicting elements of your personality. I really give them props for not spamming my profile page with unnecessaryily large banners. As their about page states,

MyPersonality is against Facebook spam and does not send any newsfeed stories or notifications without your prior approval. That means no mandatory “invite your friends” pages either!

You’re results are by default public and listed in their public diretory. Privacy settings can be changed to be more restrictive. Not only that, you can delete your personality profile, a feature most apps overlook.

Clicking on the “Compare to Friends” tab reveals my girlfriend is my soul mate! That’s a nice start. They apply a more involved formula for calculating your similarities, so it’s not just based on averages.

My Personality - Friend Comparison

What makes this app also useful for dating is they offer a comprehensive personality search engine. You can find personality twins or specify you’re own criteria such as selecting from different personality traits (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism) or various adjectives like calm, sensitive or reliable (many more). A quick search for my own personality twins pulled up 40 or so in my network.

I had a lot of fun playing with this app and would highly recommend it.

Installed

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AceBucks

Dec 11, 2007 in 3 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun, Money

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

AceBucks Facebook Application
AceBucks — “the largest underground currency for Facebook”.

The AceBucks is virtual currency and has no real value. It’s just that… virtual. So why would you want AceBucks? And what makes the 700,000+ people that have it installed want AceBucks?

Spending AceBucks

Acebucks PurchaseWith AceBucks you can buy things, both real and virtual, through their store. Sweet!

I like alcohol, so I bought the “Cheers!” champagne glasses. Well not really. I bought the virtual “Cheers!” champagne glasses which just adds a picture to the AceBucks box in my profile.

I liked the large picture and would have liked to show it off in my profile, but all I get in my profile is this tiny thumb. Hardly seems worth my $12 AceBucks :(

Ok. Screw the virtual items then. Lets find some real ones…

There are a few real items worth buying on there as well, like a Nintendo WII or this XBOX 360 I found…

AceBucks XBOX 360

Earning AceBucks

So now that you’ve found something you want… how do you earn AceBucks?

First signing up will get you $125 AceBucks, inviting friends will get you $5 AceBucks and $25 AceBucks if they actually join. There are also 11 different Faceboook games that reward you with AceBucks. (yes AceBucks has an API). You can earn additional AceBucks with 3rd party offers from companies like NetFlix, PetSmart, Disney, Walmart, etc. Signing up for newsletters will earn you AceBucks. You can also sell your own items for AceBucks.

AceBucks Problems

The AceBucks application is pretty cool, but it’s not without it’s flaws.

You cannot convert your AceBucks into dollars or dollars into AceBucks. This makes it incredibly difficult to ever afford the expensive stuff.

People do auction off US Dollars (USD). So you could “buy” $50 USD for X amount of AceBucks. But this brings me to yet another problem.

There’s no way to tell what is a real tangible item that will be shipped to my door. All auctions are marked with either “real” or “virtual”. But I’ve found way too many virtual items being sold as real items.

AceBucks Ferrari
I can afford 2 REAL Ferrari’s With my current AceBucks balance!

It’s easy to tell that this Ferrari is not a real Ferrari just by looking at the price. But other items that have their AceBucks price closer to their actual value are not so easy to identify.

It’s very possible you will end up buying a “real” item and receive just a picture of it.

There are also a few “questionable” auctions. Auctions for AceBucks lottery or AceBucks raffles where you could “win” more AceBucks should be banned.

Summary

These problems prevent AceBucks from earning any rating higher than 3 stars. It probably even should have earned a 2 star rating. Though I gave it a 3 star because I feel like this application has potential. And maybe you can buy some neat stuff with the AceBucks you earn from playing games. Just don’t cry when all your AceBucks get scammed away from you.

You can work around the real/virtual problem by contacting the buyer about the item (still no guarantee that you’ll be scammed). But eventually AceBucks needs to offer some sort of guarantee on real items if they want this to be legit.

AceBucks also needs to figure out a way to convert AceBucks into USD and vice-versa. I can’t think of anything I’d want to sell for a currency only used to buy pictures.

If they do nothing else but resolve these issues, AceBucks would easily be a 5 star application with the potential of growing larger than their current Facebook scope.

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Pillow Fight

Dec 10, 2007 in 2 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★☆☆☆

It looks like Facebook has four different pillow fight applications. Though I’m only going to review the one that has 84,635 daily active users. That many users means it’s good, right?

Unfortunately, no. The only thing you can do is invite friends (of course) or throw a pillow at your friends.

Pillow Fight! could have been cool if they did something like display an animation of you getting hit with a pillow or anything at all really.

Sadly, all your friends will get is a bland message like the one below…

Facebook Pillow Fight Application

blah

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Twisted Christmas

Dec 10, 2007 in 3 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Twisted Christmas Facebook Application (Choclatto) Twisted Christmas is yet another one of those “send virtual gifts to your friends” applications… but of course, with a twist.

You select a character that best represents you. I chose Choclato.

This app doesn’t have an “invite friends” feature like the others… you go Christmas caroling. You select your from a couple dozen different Christmas carols (Christmas YouTube videos), select your friends and it will blast out the video to them with their invitation.

There are also a few dozen different gifts you can give to your friends. They vary from the standard candy cane to the gift I sent my girlfriend — yep… poop in a box. I’m expecting something special in return.

Poop in a box
poop in a box

There’s not a whole lot of depth to this application and you’ll most-likely uninstall it after xmas. But the cute graphics they have make it fun and hey… it’s almost Christmas.

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TopNetPix

Dec 10, 2007 in 2 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun, Utility

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Rating: ★★☆☆☆

TopNetPix provides a way of efficiently displaying all your favorite links on your profile as a cluster of Favicons. When you click on any one of the icons, it takes you to the site. Another feature is that you can link all social networking profiles to your Facebook profile (e.g. Friendster, LinkedIn, MySpace, Hi5).

The interface is real easy to use. They also provide a lot of preconfigured links like (Google News, CNN, The Onion, etc.).

image

If this is all it did, I would be happy with the application. The problem is they automatically add 3 of their own links as my favorites. But they aren’t my favorites. What’s worse, they don’t even let me remove them. I really, really don’t like any application misrepresenting my endorsements.

image

See those first 3 links? I didn’t chose those. More over, I don’t endorse them. Also, I’d love if they got rid of their top banner, which just takes up unnecessary space. If a person likes the app, they can click on the link below the icons.

It looks like this app was just designed to drive traffic to their other properties and not to enhance the Facebook user experience. For this reason, I promptly uninstalled the application.

Uninstalled

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Smarty Pants

Dec 10, 2007 in 5 Stars, Facebook, Gaming, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★★★★

From Console to Social Application

Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”), publishers of praticly every major video game released in the past few years have recently set their sights on Facebook. Could this spell trouble for the little guys or is EA just dipping their toes in hoping to pick up a few more sales?

I had the pleasure of playing a new trivia game for the Nintendo Wii called Smarty Pants over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Developed by EA, with over 22,000 questions and interesting game play that involves such gestures as actually having to raise your hand with the Wii remote to buzz in answers, Smarty Pants is a definite party pleaser. Arguably not the best video game, not even close, it does have the distinct advantage of being the only game in the trivia genre for the Nintendo Wii at the time being. These two factors alone tend to earn it an average 6.5/10 rating by most console video game reviewers.

Smarty Pants for the Wii was released on November 15th and retails for around $49.99 but can be picked up for as low as $24.99 if you’re a Black Friday bargain hunter. Not a bad deal until you discover that you can play Smarty Pants on Facebook with all of your friends for free!

Smarty Pants

Smarty Pants for Facebook is not quite the entire game, but depending on who you ask this may be an advantage. The somewhat repetitive and annoying intermissions that you religiously pound the A-button to skip through on the Wii are lacking on its Facebook clone. Instead it gets right down to the nitty gritty of serving up a buffet of trivia questions at a heart pounding pace that will make you pull your hair out.

In the Facebook version of Smarty Pants you start a new game by inviting all of your friends that you wish to challenge. Each game consists of 10 random trivia questions from several categories that include; art, books, entertainment, fashion, games, places and people, science, and sports. Each player takes his or her turn answering the same set of 10 questions conveniently on their own time. Once you start answering though there is a very fast clock that counts down each question. The longer you take the answer each question, the difficulty of the question, and the correctness of your answer all contribute towards the points you earn. The player with the most points per game is the winner.

The Smarty Pants Facebook port was developed by social application development house, Context Optional, Inc. for EA. The “smarty pants” over at Context Optional, Inc. are well versed in developing viral applications for Facebook and their expertise is very noticeable in Smarty Pants. One such viral feature involves upgrading a pair of so called smarty pants that each player starts off. As players earn more points they level up and acquire upgraded pants and “bling” to match them. The higher the level of pants you possess the more bragging rights you have. Your pants are proudly on display in your Smarty Pants Profile Box and every upgrade is broadcast to your Mini-Feed. Discovering the different pairs of pants you can earn, like clown pants, can be entertaining at first but eventually feels too aggressive at the pace in which they are earned and broadcast.

Smarty Pants Mini-Feed

The Result

Overall as a trivia game Smarty Pants for Facebook is very entertaining, the clock is fast and sends your heart racing trying to compete against your friends scores. Some users have complained on the forums that the questions were too targeted towards US residents, especially the sports related questions, so they have made an effort to strike a better balance for foreigners by reducing the number of sports related questions. This is just one of the many issues that Context Optional, Inc. had to overcome while porting Smarty Pants from the Wii to Facebook.

The game obviously serves as one giant advertisement for the Wii version with its noticible banner on every page but I would have to say that I’ve probably had more fun competing with all of my friends on Facebook than I have playing it on the Wii. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Facebook version does more harm than good for EA by cannabilizing sales of Smarty Pants. Not an uncommon problem for third party services who try to draw Facebook users onto their own services only to find out that their Facebook application performs better than their standalone application. Context Optional, Inc. did a beautiful job in porting Smarty Pants to Facebook, perhaps too good of a job.

With the recent formation of Social Gaming Network (SGN) by Webs to focus entirely on creating games for the social graph will we start to see behemoths like EA entering this space soon? With the success of Smarty Pants for Facebook I think the game is about to change.

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Poke vs. SuperPoke! vs. X Me

Dec 06, 2007 in 3 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun, Messaging

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Poke

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Facebook’s Poke isn’t even considered an application though you’ll find it under all of your friend’s profile pictures. It has only one option: Poke.

Facebook Poke

Nobody really uses it because it’s not worth using.

 

SuperPoke!

Rating: ★★★½☆

SuperPoke! Facebook Application SuperPoke! is an application written to replace Facebook’s Poke.

It has some cool features like “Type Mode” (lets you type your friends names) and “Select Mode” (shows you a list of all your friends).

SuperPoke! Facebook Application Screenshot If you have Top Friends installed, you can “mass SuperPoke!” your top friends with an quick click.

Some of the actions offer additional functionality like the “give flowers” screenshot on the right.

SuperPoke! also lets you disable email notifications in their settings. This is a very nice feature since most apps don’t ask you your preferences and just blast notifications out to you every way possible.

SuperPoke! has 60 actions (and some premium) that come with cute little icons for you to annoy your friends with.

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X Me

Rating: ★★★☆☆

X Me Facebook Application X Me is another Poke replacement.

X Me functions similarly to SuperPoke!. X Me has less default actions compared to SuperPoke!, but they let you type in your own action. So if you wanna knee-bite somebody, you can.

They also let your set your poke as private so it won’t show in your friends mini-feed.

I still don’t like applications that default send to ALL your friends, and this app is one of them. They provide you with an “unselect all” button, but I’d rather have it default to none and give me the option to ‘select all’.

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Summary

I liked SuperPoke! slightly more than X Me, which is why I gave it an extra half star rating. I liked the features it had and also liked that SuperPoke! didn’t default check all my friends. They’re both pretty similar and worth checking out.

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Family Tree

Dec 06, 2007 in 3 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun, Utility

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

iFamily_1196839640937

Family Tree by iFamily, Inc. is a native Facebook application for managing your family tree. Family memebers need not have Facebook accounts unlike some other similar apps for Facebook.

Facebook - Family Tree_1196840232078

They offer a simple interface to add family members. As you see, in addition to adding existing Facebook members, you can create placeholders for those that don’t yet have Facebook accounts (seems like everyone will someday!) Every time you add a family member, it sends out a notice to your news feed.

Facebook - Erik Osterman_1196900253435

I did run into a problem, however, after entering in my father using the above form. The Family Tree tab still didn’t recognize that I added my father. I suspect this is because they asked me to enter the relation (free form text) as opposed to selecting the relation from some sort of Drop Down list.

Instead, I should probably have used this form to enter my father, but I don’t see why they have 2 different forms as it leaves room for confusion.

Facebook - Family Tree_1196840360140

My suggestion is that the checkbox “Check here if the relative is deceased” should only display the Death input boxes when checked. Death is such a negative word, the less it appears when talking about family, the better.

Family members you add appear under a the “Family Tree” tab in a nice tree that you can drag around (Flash). You can elect to have 6 of your family members prominently featured on your profile.

image

As a bonus, I think it also supports multiple concurrent wives.

There are some more community centric features as well, such as posting family news, browsing family albums, public/private groups for discussion, and a search engine that lets you search for other family members by name and heritage.The application is actively being developed, so expect more features to come. Also, they’re growing incredibly fast so expect some hiccups.

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What Type of Person do you Attract?

Dec 06, 2007 in 2 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★☆☆☆

What Type of Person do you Attract by Froonie fills you in on the kind of person attracted to you based on your likes and dislikes. Simply fill out 9 questions and it will tell you who you attract.

Facebook - What Type of Person do you Attract-_1196971449926

It turns out, I attract Artsy Fartsy people. Perhaps, but never really dated that many.

Facebook - What Type of Person do you Attract-_1196971138983

Overall, I am disappointed with the app. I expected it to work more like a Hot or Not app, but for characteristics. For example, you would specify if you’re a Nerdy or Artsy person, then view profiles of other members and rank if you find them attractive or not. When you check back after a couple of days, you could then see who finds you attractive. What I like about this idea is there’s nothing overly negative with it. Unlike Hot or Not, where you’re most likely voted ugly, an app of this nature will just give you positive feedback of the types of people you attract. Unfortunately, the app did not work this way, so I find the classifications entirely arbitrary, which isn’t as fun to me.

 

Uninstalled

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