Nimbus Games Launches Two New Facebook Titles

News GeekIt’s been a little while since we’ve seen anything new out of the folks at Nimbus Games, with their last app, Bounty Quest Mystery, having come out in early May. Recently, however, the company has launched two new titles for Facebook of a rather different variety: News Geek and Jackpot Poker Slots.

While the latter is a Facebook rendition of actual video poker, the former is far more “useful” in that it’s a quiz app centered around current events. Both games are fine, but have a somewhat clunky feel, and the premise of each seems somewhat dated. Regardless, of the two, News Geek seems the app with the greater promise.

News Geek

Typically speaking, social games tend to only absorb a couple of minutes a day with each play through. News Geek is no different, as every day, users are presented with a quiz of ten questions. The catch is that each one is from the last 48 hours of breaking news. For anyone following the going-ons in this world, these run the gamut from the recession, to company announcements, to technology.

As players play, they earn points which, obviously, are the basis of the game’s leaderboards. Along with this, players are said to be capable of playing against friends and other random strangers. However, this prompt may be a bit misleading and only refer to the leaderboards, as there is no apparent way to directly challenge anyone.

Bonus InfoThis is one of the usability issues with News Geek. The game plops you down into a quiz and there is never a menu of any sort in order to search for these things (which are presented in a sort of intro/tutorial page at the start). The closest is a “News Room” that contains past quizzes from the last month, yet one has to finish the daily quiz to access it. Nonetheless, with no evident challenge mode, a menu is not necessarily needed.

On the upside, News Geek feels like it has a good bit of potential due to its core concept. Many of the questions are very relevant, and beyond just keeping users more informed, grants them with a little bit of knowledge that can be useful in social outings. Additionally, the “educational” value of each answered question comes with an added bonus blurb of extra information.

Jackpot Poker Slots

Jackpot Poker SlotsUnlike normal video poker, this Facebook rendition seeks to make itself social by incorporating synchronous play. However, unlike real poker, this is hardly competitive. Essentially, users enter a room with six other users, and place bets in the same way they would a real video poker game. Depending on the hand they end up with, they will receive a payout.

This is problem #1, as the presentation is rather underwhelming. Sure, when the user gets a hand that will pay out, the machine makes some noises and performs minor effects, but the winnings are unnoticeable, consisting of a tiny bit of text in the lower left-hand corner of the video poker screen. To makes matters worse, no matter how many times the button “Cash Credit” was pushed, nothing happened. What is the point of winning, if the player can’t cash out? Overall, it just felt like pushing buttons with no real feeling of reward. Moreover, each game starts with 100 credits, making these elusive “winnings” all the more irrelevant.

Even should the winnings be more prevalent, the lack of competition takes a great deal away from the fun. Sure, there are leaderboards, but part of the reward o real poker is winning the other users’ “money.” In Jackpot Poker Slots, each bet made adds to a jackpot pool, but even then, a player must win a “Jackpot Hand” — the hand varies based on the game room — to win it. Should someone manage to hit the jackpot, they don’t even get it all. It’s all divided up evenly. Long story short, this app has neither the significant cash out rewards of traditional video poker, nor the competitiveness of real poker.