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I have written about my current addiction to playing online backgammon, so I now I thought its time to share my opinion about the site where I normally play.
The zone provides a cornucopia of free games, covering puzzles, trivia, casino,card&board, sports&sims and kids games. In addition to the free games, premium games including Asherons Call, Combat Flight Simulator 2, and bridge can be played.
*Card and Board * I will start here as this is where most of my spare time is wasted, sorry used. The games include Spades, cribbage, chess, hearts,checkers(draughts), bridge, reversi(othello), and of course my favourite backgammon. You need to make a short free download to play these games and then your off. There are many different rooms for each game offering casual, rated, ladder play, and competiton rooms.You can try the casual play room as a guest, but you need to register and log in with a user name to play in rated and competition rooms. There are also free tournaments to enter, they have several each day, to allow for people playing from different time zones.
*Puzzle and Trivia* These can also be quite addictive my choice here is atomica and alchemy a couple of strategy puzzles. You can record your scores for these and see how your efforts rate with others, but be warned it can be depressing.
*Casino* Some free games including blackjack and roulette, also premium casino games available.
*Sports and Sims* Free flight/train simulator games, dodge speedway and premium games such as Combat flight simulator 2.
*Zone KIds* Free games for the kids including Junkbot, Dinodig, RC Offroad Frenzy, Soccer Challenge and Lego Racers
I have found that for the two player games there is never a shortage of opponents, whatever the time of day. It is busier at weekends and late evenings, but there always seem to be at least a couple of thousand opponents available in each game area.
*Zone Names* When you register as with Ciao you will pick a username, it may take several attempts as there are already so many in use. You can change your name at anytime, but be careful , its not always a good idea to use your real name or part of it. If you do choose something like HotBiLady4U or slipperylips dont be surprised if you get propositioned all the time!
*Chatting* As a guest you cannot chat, but once you have joined you can chat to the room in general or just at your table. I find that in the competitive rooms, chat is friendly but minimal, just kept to comments on the game. The casual play rooms are different and for that reason I keep my kids out of them. Here you will have guys talking to the room asking for a hot female to join him at table 69, and you may also find that once in what seems like a straight forward match, you will get hit on for a little cybersex. Having discussed this with my friends, it appears that the men get hit on just as much as the women. Just remember that the cybering is not compulsory and you can find plenty of opponents who are only interested in a good board game.
*Zone Friends*You can also keep a list of your favourite opponents in your zone friends list, and keep track of when they are in the zone. Messages can also be sent when logged into zone friends and private chat rooms are available for catching up on the latest gossip, or whatever else you care to chat about. There is also a privacy facility to block anyone who is being causing you any annoyance.
So to sum up, the zone offers good quality free games, plenty of opponents of all standards, the chance to play and chat with people the world over, and to make lots of good friends that share a common interest.
The kids section is good for younger children, but dont let them use your name and go on the adult part of the site, as there is no filter on the chat and the language can be unsuitable.
So if you like online games this one cost nothing and is worth a try, if you are going purely to chat, I would say just use a chatroom instead.
I was so addicted to some of those games for a while! I haven't visited in ages, though. I did like the backgammon, but I found it quite daunting when I couldn't really remember how to play - and then I ended up playing against a guy who was more interested in the chat, ahem.
Eva 08.03.2002 18:34
This is where I think Microsoft really has the edge on Sony as far as consoles go. You'll be able to play X box games through the gaming zone or something similar, whereas the PS2 has nothing! Woohahaha! Sorry, great opinion. Never realised that there were free games too!