The Hunger Games Adventures for iOS: Playtime in Panem

Or: Katniss goes to FarmVille! Originally a Facebook game, this updated iOS version brings new content based on the upcoming movie sequel, "Catching Fire."

"What are you doing here, Gale? I'm trying to impress Katniss with my bow skills!"
Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Can't get enough Katniss Everdeen? The next movie, "Catching Fire," won't hit theaters until November, but you don't have to wait until then to return to Panem.

The Hunger Games Adventures takes you there, after a fashion, challenging you to explore, battle, and, well, make money. It's kind of a quest-oriented FarmVille, and in fact the game originated on Facebook.

If that's not your thing, or you prefer more action, check out Hunger Games: Girl on Fire. It's an endless runner that's all about running, jumping, and shooting.

Here, you need to really want to experience the world of Panem -- and have lots of patience. After creating your character (with your choice of face, hair, clothes, etc.), you learn the ropes alongside Katniss by doing things like setting traps, trading meat, buying bread, and so on. This teaches you the game's resource system, which consists of money, credits, energy, and experience points.

Sound familiar? The game reminds me a lot of resource-oriented sims like The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Men in Black 3, and, to a lesser extent, Ghostbusters.

But the Hunger Games Adventures really is more FarmVille-like, as your primary goal seems to be little more than explore, build, and collect. Occasionally there's some combat, but there's no real peril because you can't actually die; you may run out of energy, but that's about it.

The 2.0 version that debuted a couple days ago brings over 100 new quests to the game, new districts and characters, Retina graphics, and Game Center support. It remains a freemium title; you can buy packs of goods and/or credits using real-world cash, or spend time earning them within the game.

One important note: As with The Simpsons: Tapped Out, you need a live Internet connection to play. And for the moment, the game runs only on the iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, and iPod Touch 5.

Much as I enjoyed the Hunger Games books, I can't profess a huge love for all the tapping and waiting that goes on in The Hunger Games Adventures. But if you enjoy this kind of game, you're sure to enjoy your time in, um, PanemVille.