Here's a bit of a PSA, Facebook players. If you search the iTunes store for your favorite Facebook games, you'll likely be surprised to find that there are supposedly three available to play: Cafe World, Pet Society and CityVille. How is this the case, when neither developer (Zynga and Playfish) has released these games officially? It's simple - Splashtop Inc. has created misleading apps on the iTunes App Store to try and lure you into purchasing their remote desktop application for iPad.
The Splashtop Remote Desktop application allows you to connect to your home computer remotely, by sharing the same Wi-Fi network. The app's price frequently (almost daily) fluctuates between $0.99 and $9.99 (part one of their questionable activities), and while the application does technically work to allow you to play Facebook games on your iPad, it is a slow, and definitely not ideal setup. That's how these Facebook apps would work on your own iPad.
Splashtop's Pet Society, Cafe World and CityVille apps are just extensions of this paid service (they even offer a FarmVille version, but that real, official app is free anyway!). The apps range in price from free to $1.99, depending on the day (rotating constantly to catch unsuspecting shoppers), and to make matters worse, you'll be limited to five minutes in each session. By the time you wait for your games to load over the agonizingly slow connection, you'll be left with no time to play the games at all. That leaves you to... guess what? Buy Splashtop's full Remote Desktop app. Please gamers, don't fall for this scheme!
Playfish and Zynga would be the first to announce when and if they were developing versions of these games for use on portable systems (in fact, EA has announced Pet Society Vacation for iPhone), and in the meantime you're better off sitting down at a real computer to play your games as normal. Sure, Splashtop isn't technically scamming anyone out of money, but their methods are questionable at best (each of these apps' reviews are clearly fake) and they shouldn't be rewarded for their efforts.
Are there other fake Facebook gaming applications that we should know about? Help your fellow gamers avoid wasting money and time by sharing them with us in the comments!