FarmVille may be the biggest game on Facebook, with over 75 million active users, but you don't necessarily have to be on the social network to play anymore. Utilizing Facebook Connect, developer Zynga has made the farming phenomenon accessible both from its own website and MSN.com. You still need a Facebook account to play, but these options let you experience FarmVille without having to be on Facebook, perfect for computers where the social network might be blocked.
Here's how you can sneak in a little farming while you're stuck at work or school.
Starting recently, the game is now playable at MSN.com. Again, you still have to have a Facebook account to play. First, you have to access MSN's game portal, which can be found at www.zone.msn.com. It's important to note that games on the MSN game portal are only playable if you're using Internet Explorer, so users of other web browsers like Chrome or Firefox will have to switch to IE if they want to play. You can access FarmVille either by clicking one of the links on the homepage, or simply searching for it via the search bar at the top of the page. This will bring you to the game's page where you'll be logging in over Facebook connect. Once logged in the game looks just like the Facebook version, with the only added frill being the Game Feed, which appears directly below the game itself.
In the future, Zynga has also said that it will be bringing more of its popular games -- like Cafe World, FishVille, and Mafia Wars -- to MSN Games, as well as the company's popular instant messenger program Windows Live Messenger.
Playing the game from FarmVille's dedicated website is about as simple as you would imagine. You simply go to www.farmville.com and log into Facebook by providing your email address and password. The game itself looks and plays exactly as it does in Facebook, only without the social networking trimmings. These have been replaced with a variety of FarmVille specific features. There's a Game Feed, which provides you with all of the latest updates from your in-game friends, letting you know everything they've been up to. You can also check out all of your current requests and stay up-to-date with a Farmville news feed, which keeps track of all the latest developments in the game. You'll also find links to Zynga's other popular games and the Game Bar: a toolbar for your web browser that lets you take FarmVille with you no matter where you are on the web.