Three Twitter games you must try

We take a look at three titles that use the microblogging service to help you get your gaming fix.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
4 min read

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a hardcore gamer. I play games as often as possible. But for the most part, I play those games on consoles. But over the past couple days, I've started playing some Twitter-based games on the Web. Many of them aren't very good, but I found three titles that I really enjoyed playing.

Because of that, I've decided to share those with you in this roundup. Each title is offered on its own site, but requires your Twitter credentials to work. Whenever you achieve things within a game, it notifies your Twitter followers. The experience is fantastic. Let's check them out.

Twitter-based gaming

140 Mafia: If you're a fan of "The Godfather," you might be attracted to 140 Mafia. Although it doesn't follow that movie closely, it does a great job of keeping you engaged in the title.

When you sign up for 140 Mafia, the game gives you the option of choosing what can be sent to your followers from the title and what cannot. I liked having that option. From there, you find out that you've been asked by "The Godfather" to start your own mafia crime family. You need to recruit other Twitter users into your family, while engaging in criminal activities to build your coffers and notoriety.

140 Mafia determines your effectiveness based on your attack ability, your energy, your ability to defend yourself, and a few other metrics. To build those up, you'll need to go on missions that involve illegal activities, like burglary or theft. The point of the game is to build a big, strong mafia family that you can control. It's no simple task and it will take a while. I should also note that the more followers you have, the greater the chances that you'll be able to succeed at this game, since a key component is to recruit other Twitter users.

Overall, 140 Mafia is a really fun game. It won't get your blood pumping like Grand Theft Auto, but it should help you pass the time.

140 Mafia
140 Mafia allows you to create a mafia family and run it. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

SNODS: Social Networks Online Defense Squad has so many addicting features that you'll want to play whenever you boot up your PC.

SNODS has a pretty basic premise: "capture and hold as captive the highest value twitterers." In other words, your job is to find the most popular celebrity Twitter users on the social network and attempt to kidnap them. There's just one problem: doing so is extremely difficult until you build yourself up within the community. To do so, you'll need to complete missions that increase your ability to capture Twitter users, steal virtual cash from other players, and hold on to both the captives and the cash as other players attempt to take them from you.

To build your prestige and ability, the game provides all kinds of interesting missions to try out. Those missions require you to complete tasks, like capturing a certain number of Twitter users or increasing your bankroll. A great design makes it easy to jump around from the "attacks" pane to a menu that lets you view who you've captured so far.

SNODS is a really neat game. Think of it as a social role-playing game that, at first glance, might not make a lot of sense, but after you try it out, it'll take up the lion's share of your time.

Try to capture some of these high-profile Twitter users. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Spymaster: Spymaster is similar to SNODS, though Spymaster was first on the Twitter-based social-gaming scene. Spymaster requires you to engage in espionage, build your spy-ring, and become a "great spymaster" with your Twitter (or Facebook) friends.

Spymaster gives you the option of what you want shared with your Twitter profile. The more you share, the more cash you'll start with. But since I didn't want to annoy my Twitter followers, I decided against sharing anything. Once that's complete, you can start digging into the game. Since the point of the game is to create a powerful spy-ring, the goal is to recruit as many Twitter followers as possible.

But if you really want to dig into the game, you can start performing tasks, like coercing criminals, collect intel, and much more. The game also requires you to assassinate "high-profile targets." Those targets are other Twitter users who are playing the game. Depending on their spy level, you might be able to assassinate them or you might not. If you succeed in assassinating another player, you can collect the bounty attached to it.

I should also note that Spymaster has one of the best in-game commerce systems of any game in this roundup. You can buy items, track your cash, deposit funds into a Swiss account, and much more. It's really an impressive title.

Spymaster lets you perform tasks to become a spymaster. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET