Facebook’s Just-Launched HTML5 Platform Needs More Polish

Facebook may be ready to roll with its newly-launched mobile version, but the HTML5 games are slower to get the ball rolling. Of the launch games planned for the platform, only three are live today with select titles from Zynga launching tomorrow and reportedly a forthcoming Sims Social game from EA.

To access the games from a mobile device, players must log in to Facebook’s new mobile site and enter the game titles into the search tool. Clicking on the game name opens a separate browser widow for the game that then invites the player to log in with Facebook, which opens a third window for the verification and permissions approval. Interestingly, some titles label the permissions screen as “Add to Timeline,” whereas accessing the same app from a web browser on a PC brings up the standard Facebook permissions pop-up window. Once the player has accepted, this window closes and the player is returned to the window in which the game is now running.

How each of the currently available games plays depends on the title. Games from mobile Storm8 like Vampires Live and iMobsters are very similar to the menus-driven gameplay of Facebook classics like Mob Wars or Mafia Wars. Wooga’s Magic Land spin-off, Magic Land: Island, meanwhile features click-and-drag gameplay comparable to the full Facebook version.

Note that these games post stories to players’ news feeds in exactly the same ways as traditional Facebook games. If a player clicks on a story generated by an HTML5 mobile game, that player will either be taken to the game in a new browser window or dumped into a canvas app like this one:

>> Read more on Inside Social Games.