Built into BlackBerry 10 is a new app simply called Games. This is what has come out of the acquisition of Scoreloop, and offers a great way to see what your friends are playing and how well they're scoring. The app connects seamlessly to BlackBerry world and BBM, so you can flow out to those apps to download new content and connect with gamer buddies. Let's take a closer look.
The first tab in BlackBerry Games is a news feed of the games your friends have recently added as one of their top three favorites, what they've played, and which achievements they've unlocked. At the top of the feed, you'll see your profile picture and your current top three faves, which can be swapped out by tapping the little arrow to the right of your current list. You'll also find greyed-out stars elsewhere in the app where the game is listed so you can quickly add that game to your favories - just keep in mind that it will knock out your current number 3, so be picky. The news feed will also show when your friends add new friends, though there's a dedicated section for that...
The next tab along the bottom is for Friends. From here you can see all of your current buddies, their top three games, and any pending requests. Tapping through on a profile will show their dedicated update stream. You can change up your profile by tapping your avatar image on the news feed screen, though right now the options are limited to changing your display name and profile picture. You can also toggle off public accessibility if you don't want random friend invites.The overflow menu gives you quick access to searching for friends from BBM, inviting by e-mail, or searching by display name.
Finding new games is a breeze. The dedicated Games tab offers views for what's currently popular, what games have been favorited by your friends, and what's brand new in BlackBerry World. Many of these titles will show up along the top in a featured carousel, and tapping through on any of them will provide a description, a list of which of your friends have favorited them, a button to mark one as a favorite, and a link to BlackBerry World where you can view screenshots and get downloading. If you've already downloaded the game, you'll have access to a link to launch the game right away.
So that's Games on BlackBerry 10. It's not quite as robust as Game Center on iOS yet, but it's easy to see the possibilities with the framework in place. As the platform matures, hopefully we'll start seeing stuff like online leaderboards, challenges, and integrated multiplayer matchmaking. In the meantime, I've found Games as a great place to meet up with old friends and discover new games. If you've got a Z10 and haven't cracked open Games yet, what are you waiting for?