For pure time burning stats, PC based Solitaire may still reign supreme, the staple of on line games from Zynga has certainly taken its toll on computerized productivity in the Western world.

Zynga games, which began in 2007, went from Silicon Valley start up to Stock Market Blockbuster to ‘Gee, what happened to them?’ in just 8 short years. But during that roller coaster ride, which is still rolling as we speak, some of the most familiar names in mindless entertainment were introduced to the computer public.

Even though Zynga designed for a number of platforms, it is probably most famous for its social network games which worked in and with services like Facebook and Google+. Here are a few of the most well-known and popular Zynga games played on Facebook.

FarmVille

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Although not the oldest Zynga game, it may be the most famous, and is often the first Zynga game most people can remember playing. The concept is simple. You get a farm, a patch of screen associated with your account. You also start with a small balance of Farm Coins, which you use to work your farm. In a move reminiscent of the Tamagotchi craze of the 1990’s, the crops must be ‘tended’ by the user or they will wither and die before harvest, and you lose your investment.

You can speed the process along by engaging the help of fellow FarmVille players, and in turn, helping them out on their own farms. Unsurprisingly there is also a way to use real world cash to enhance your farm and the game play.

FarmVille held the title for ‘Most Popular Game on Facebook’ from 2009 through 2011, an impressive record in a very volatile marketplace.

While no longer a contender for the top spot, it is still in use on Facebook and is available in stand-alone versions. And for many, it was the ‘Gateway Game’ to the world of on line social gaming.

Mafia Wars

A much more interactive and competitive offering from 2009 was Mafia Wars, where each player builds his or her own Mafia Empire. Game location could vary, but usually centered around New York or Chicago.

Unlike FarmVille, which could be played in almost complete Solitaire like isolation, Mafia Wars required you to interact, often ‘violently’ with other members of the on line community. At least in the context of the game. Each player had certain levels Energy, Stamina and Health, which was expended doing battle with other players. While alliances were sometimes created, in the end it was Don eat Don for Mafia supremacy.

Real world cash enhancements are more prevalent in this game than in its rural predecessor.

CityVille

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Often viewed as a cross between FarmVille and Simms, this goal oriented game scored big numbers after its introduction in 2010, where it recorded a record setting 100,000 registered users on the first day of play. In less than 2 months, the game recorded over 51 Million users, pushing sibling game FarmVille to 2nd place status in most monthly active users ever in a Facebook game.

The goal of the game, as you would expect, is to build a city by performing various tasks. Like most Zynga games, you can enlist the help of other players and can gain advantages by helping others yourself. Real world cash, of course, can be used to enhance your position or to buy bling for your cityscape.

Though initially very popular, CityVille was one of the casualties of the Zynga financial decline and was shut down in April of 2013.

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