Zynga's Gems With Friends Trades Words for Gem Matching

Zynga image.

Zynga just can't stop playing. Despite financial difficulties and a new copyright infringement suit, the social gaming company has, in just the last week, released board games in partnership with Hasbro and launched its new CityVille. And it's not done yet - today it is announcing Gems with Friends.

While Zynga has Matching with Friends, Gems with Friends is one of the first with-friends games that is non-word based.

"We are trying to create games that fit in with the With Friends framework. People have loved this matching style of games for many years," Paul Bettner, Vice President and General Manager of Zynga, told ABC News.

The game is a combination of Bejeweled, Matching With Friends, and Sudoku. You match gems (or tiles) in color and number to the ones already positioned on the board, but you only have two minutes until your turn is up. You are scored and then it's time for your friend to play. Best out of three rounds wins! You get more points if you match three sequential numbered gems.

We got a chance to play with an early build of the game and couldn't have found it easier. And for those just looking for a brain break at the end of the day, it also doesn't require as much thought as some of the With Friends word games, like Words with Friends or Scrabble with Friends.

Zynga recently launched another gem-based game called Ruby Blast. That game is centered around a web experience and shooting gems.

Friends with Gems is launching in the coming days for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) only. Bettner said that the team is currently working on an Android version. It uses Facebook connect so you can play with your Facebook friends, but you cannot play through the Facebook website.