Add Facebook to the list of companies offering a gaming service for iPhone. There’s a lengthy list of titles available on day one, including strategy, role playing, trivia and other types of games.
But don’t look for these in the App Store — Apple’s stringent rules on gaming services caused Facebook Gaming to be introduced as a web app instead.
Facebook Gaming now on iPhone, not just Android
Anyone looking for a way to kill a few minutes should be able to find something they like. The initial slate of games offers RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch, Tetris, Angry Birds, Vikings: War of Clans, Classic Slots, The Walking Dead Life, Cribbage and many, many more. Most are better suited for a phone screen than a tablet.
To play, just go to the Facebook Gaming home page.
Friday is the debut of the full service on iPhone and iPad, but it’s been available on Android for over a year.
Had to go with cloud gaming
There’s a version of the Facebook Gaming application for iPhone that debuted in the App Store back in 2020. But, unlike the Android version, it doesn’t include any games. It only allows users to livestream their play, much like Twitch. That’s because Apple won‘t let anyone create an application that’s essentially a rival for the App Store.
So Facebook made its service into a web app. This is available to anyone with a web browser, and avoids most App Store restrictions. But the Facebook Gaming application in the App Store isn’t allowed to link to or even mention the web app.
As a web app, games don’t run on users’ local computers. Instead, they’re running on remote servers, with a video of the action being streamed to players.
This is a popular option. Microsoft recently released Xbox Cloud Gaming as a web app for iPad and iPhone. The rival Google Stadia cloud-gaming service runs through a web app, as does Amazon Luna.