Best Electric Tankless Water Heater Reviews 2019!

Electric Tankless Water Heaters

Does the freezing cold weather prevents you from indulging in a long and relaxing bath? Do you wish to escape the lowest temperatures when you go to take a shower? All of us know how peaceful it feels when you step into a bathtub full of hot water after a long and tiring day at work.

This is where the new age electric tankless water heater comes into play. From providing you with instant hot water as soon as you open your faucet, to a compact and energy efficient design. These tankless water heaters solve all your hot water problems, making your daily routine easy, less time consuming and more convenient. Here are the top picks!

Best Electric Tankless Water Heater in 2019

Below are the reviews of 10 best electric tankless water heaters in 2019. We have mentioned the product features and listed out pros and cons to let you know everything in detail.

1.  Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus 24kW Electric Tankless Water Heater

Features:

Advanced Flow Control Technology

This Tempra Plus model has a German patented Advanced Flow Control technology that automatically reduces output flow to maintain the temperature ensuring a constant supply of hot water.

Digital Display

This unit comes with a high-resolution digital display, allowing you to monitor the changes in temperature with ease.

Dynamic Design

It has a compact and dynamic design which makes it fit to be installed at any place you want. It also occupies much lesser space than any other conventional model, making it a perfect small electric water heater.

Reduced Energy Usage

This model minimizes the energy consumption up to 20% when compared to the standard tank type, and due to the on-demand heating, standby heat loss is eliminated, making its energy efficiency close to 100%.

Pros
  • Doesn’t take up huge space
  • Provides savings on electricity bills
  • Easy to use and allows precise adjustment of temperature
  • Quiet working condition
Cons
  • Difficult to install this water heater yourself as it requires heavy duty wiring
  • Needs a 240v power supply

 

2.  EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater Review

Sale
EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 27 KW at 240 Volts, 112.5 Amps with Patented Self Modulating Technology
2,421 Reviews
EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 27 KW at 240 Volts, 112.5 Amps with Patented Self Modulating Technology
  • Savings of up to 50% on water heating costs. Dimensions :17H x 17W x 3.625D inches ;Pipes fittings :3/4 inch NPT
  • Digital temperature control in 1-degree increments allows control of hot water; Activation Flow: 0.3 GPM

Features:

Digital Control Panel

This model comes with a digital control panel which allows you to adjust the temperature of the water output in 1-degree increments, giving precise control.

Saves 50% Heating Cost

Coming with a self-modulating flow sensor technology, this model heats the water only when it senses a flow, which in turn saves electricity consumption 50 times more than any normal water heater.

Best Electric Tankless Water Heaters

80-140 Degree F Temperature Range

In areas where the incoming water temperature can drop to 37 degrees Fahrenheit, the Eco 27 can heat up to 3 gallons of water per minute (GPM) which should accommodate up to 2 of your family members showering at the same time without running out of hot water.

Pros
  • Saves 50% water heating cost
  • Endless hot water supply even in cold climates
  • Easily replaceable heating elements
Cons
  • Can’t pipe hot water at high flow rates
  • Strict policy of warranty

 

3.  Rheem 240V 2 Heating Chambers RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater

Rheem 240V 2 Heating Chambers RTEX-18 Residential Tankless Water Heater, small, GREY
51 Reviews
Rheem 240V 2 Heating Chambers RTEX-18 Residential Tankless Water Heater, small, GREY
  • External digital thermostatic control with LED display (+/1 degree accuracy)
  • Most advanced self-modulation, adjust power to meet hot water demand

Features:

Thermostatic Control

It comes with an external thermostatic control which is adjustable with raises of 1 degree Fahrenheit range. It also has a stylish design with digital LED display.

Durable Heating Elements

It has long-lasting copper immersion elements and self-modulating power control with a serviceable field.

Short Waiting Time

This unit heats the water so instantly that it does not take even a minute for hot water to come out of your faucet or shower.

Small Flow Rate

With a flow rate of 4 gallons per minute (GPM), this unit makes it perfect for a small house or a studio apartment with limited people, as they can enjoy endless hot water.

Energy Efficient

This heater is 99.8% energy efficient and also comes with a budget-friendly price.

Easy installation

The multiple stranded wire makes its installation much easier and it takes approximately an hour to install it completely.

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Budget-friendly
  • Great for a small house
  • Energy-efficient
  • Easy installation
Cons
  • Not suitable for a big family, as it supports only one shower-head or a faucet at a time.

 

4.  EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater Reviews

Sale
EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 13KW at 240 Volts with Patented Self Modulating Technology
2,421 Reviews
EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 13KW at 240 Volts with Patented Self Modulating Technology
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Save up to 60-percent on your water heating cost with an ECOSMART electric tankless water heater

Features:

Constant Hot Water Supply

This unit heats water up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit and is most suitable for areas with incoming water temperatures above 67 degrees.

Small Size

This is a small electric water heater, and it can fit easily in your cabinet or can be mounted on any wall. It won’t take up huge spaces.

Easy Installation and use

In order to install this heater, all you need is a 60 Amp power supply and a #6 copper gauge wire. The automatic and resettable thermostat makes it easier to use as well.

Lifetime Warranty

The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty for all EcoSmart electric tankless water heaters, which covers the electronic elements, and the heat exchanger on the water heater. Please keep in mind that this warranty is provided only for the water heaters which are used for residential purposes and are installed by a licensed professional.

Pros
  • Compact size
  • Consistent hot water
  • Easy installation and use
  • Energy efficient
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • The flow rate has to be lower in colder climates to ensure constant hot water supply especially with more than one pipe running.
  • In order to get a lifetime warranty, the unit must be installed by a licensed professional.

 

5.  Titan SCR2 N-120 Tankless Electric Water Heater Review

Features:

Hard Water Resistance

Many good brands cannot deal with hard water condition and often breakdown, but this unit is hard enough to deal with it.

Self-Modulating Flow Sensor Technology

This model heats water only when it senses flow and has a minimum of 0.5 GPM of flow rate. Thus it adjusts power consumption in harmony with the hot water demand making it smart and cost-effective.

10 Year Warranty

This unit has a 10-year warranty on the water carrying component and a 1-year warranty on other components which makes it a safer choice in the long run.

Pros
  • Works on hard water
  • A great deal of warranty
  • Compact size
  • Cost effective and energy efficient
  • Quick and easy installation
Cons
  • High inlet water temperature makes it almost useless in colder climates
  • For colder countries, the heating may take a bit longer as compared to the warmer countries

 

6.  Eemax EEM24018 Tankless Water Heater

Eemax EEM24018 Electric Tankless Water Heater, Blue
36 Reviews
Eemax EEM24018 Electric Tankless Water Heater, Blue
  • Tankless water heaters provide a continuous Supply of hot water and only heats the water you need, when you need it
  • Instant, consistent and endless hot water

Features:

Easy Installation

The 3-foot electric cable and ½” CF water connectors make the installation of this water heater easier.

Durable and Easily Replaceable Components

Copper immersion heating elements with brass top increase the durability of the water heater and they are threaded for easy replacement as well.

Compact and Stylish

This model is compact in size and looks stylish which allows it to fit well at any place in your house. It is also resistant enough with digital temperature control in increments of 1 degree Fahrenheit ranging from 80 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can run 3 things simultaneously

This water heater produces hot water for running 3 things simultaneously, depending on the climate.

Pros
  • Self-modulating technology
  • Compact and stylish design
  • Easy to use and install
  • Cost-saving and energy efficient
  • Endless supply of hot water
Cons
  • May show some amount of sensitivity to flow rate and water temperature depending on whether you live in a colder or warmer climate.

 

7.  Marey ECO150 Tankless Water Heater with Smart Technology

Sale
Marey ECO150 220V/240V-14.6kW Tankless Water Heater with Smart Technology, Small, White
33 Reviews
Marey ECO150 220V/240V-14.6kW Tankless Water Heater with Smart Technology, Small, White
  • Unit requires 220v~240v and (1) 70 amp double pole breaker
  • ETL approved

Features:

Smart Technology

This water heater comes with an LCD display panel allowing you to set the exact desired water temperature thereby optimizing energy consumption.

Stylish and Compact

It supports two faucets or one shower at the same time, while occupying little space and looking stylish at the same time.

Corrosion Resistant Elements

It includes a German-designed and patented heating element with a stainless steel water channel, making it highly corrosion resistant and it is also able to eliminate hard water.

Easy Installation

Its installation is pretty easy and you can use it for indoor point of use as well as outdoor travel use since it is extremely lightweight, weighing only 10.1 pounds.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Stylish, compact and lightweight
  • Corrosion resistant elements
  • Can eliminate hard water
  • Easy installation
  • Less energy consumption
Cons
  • Not suitable for whole house use

 

8.  Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T 7-Gallon (ES8)

Sale
Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T 7-Gallon (ES8)  - Eliminate Time for Hot Water - Shelf, Wall or Floor Mounted
1,131 Reviews
Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T 7-Gallon (ES8) - Eliminate Time for Hot Water - Shelf, Wall or Floor Mounted
  • CONVENIENT HOT WATER HEATER: 7 gallon point-of-use mini-tank fits under your sink to provide hot water right where you need it. Thermal efficiency is 98%. Dimensions : 17.5 W x 17.5 H x 14.5 D Inches
  • INSTALLED VERTICALLY OR HORIZONTALLY: This larger model can be mounted vertically (7 gal. of water supply) or horizontally (5.1 gal. of water supply)- vertical orientation is installed with the cold and hot lines on top of the unit

Features:

Fits right under your sink

This 7 Gallon mini tank fits right under your sink where you need it.

2-year Warranty

You get a 2-year warranty on its components.

Glass lined tank

It has a glass lined tank which offers great insulation, with 94% thermal efficiency and prevents rusting.

Compact design

It comes with a compact, lightweight and space-saving design which makes it easier to be installed in small spaces. It can be mounted on the wall either vertically or horizontally.

Temperature and Pressure relief valve

It comes with a temperature and pressure relief valve which enhances the safety this water heater provides you with.

Pros
  • Compact, lightweight and space-saving
  • 2-year warranty on its parts
  • Glass lined tank for better insulation
  • Temperature and pressure relief valve for enhanced safety
  • Vertical or horizontal mounting options
Cons
  • Not able to provide continuous hot water due to small tank size
  • Since it needs to be hard-wired into the house’s electrical system, an experienced professional is required for installation.

 

9.  iHeat Tankless S-14 Tankless Water Heater

Sale
iHeat Tankless S-12 240V 54A 12KW Stainless Steel Enclosure 7.2' by 11' by 3' 1/2'CPT 36' AWG#6 Electric Water Heater, 7.5 lb
38 Reviews
iHeat Tankless S-12 240V 54A 12KW Stainless Steel Enclosure 7.2" by 11" by 3" 1/2"CPT 36' AWG#6 Electric Water Heater, 7.5 lb
  • The heat tank less stainless Steel construction is a perfect fit for any applications near the ocean, like beach front properties, yachts, small boats, resorts and outdoor kitchens
  • Heat tank less s series can also be used in highly sterile applications like commercial kitchens, hospitals, clinics, and even schools where cleanliness is of the highest importance

Features:

ixp-4 Water Proof construction

This water heater is manufactured in complete stainless steel promising an ixp-4 waterproof construction.

Can be used in highly sterile locations

It can be used in highly sterile applications as well such as commercial kitchens, hospitals, clinics and even schools where cleanliness is of the highest importance.

Waterproof interactive touchpad

Waterproof construction enables you to easily control the temperature using the waterproof interactive touchpad this model provides you with.

3 GPM heating capacity

This heater provides a 3 GPM heating capacity which is equivalent to 2 showers at 1.5 GPM each, or 1 shower and 3 sinks at 0.50 GPM each simultaneously, or any combination which equals to 3.0 GPM.

Pros
  • Waterproof construction
  • Can be used in highly sterile applications
  • 60% saving on water heating costs
  • 3 GPM heating capacity
  • Heats up water quickly and provides unlimited hot water
Cons
  • In colder climates, it heats a lesser volume of water which causes it to be used in point of use applications.

 

10. Bosch Tronic 6000 C Series Tankless Electric Water Heater

Sale
Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater - Eliminate Time for Hot Water - Easy Installation
195 Reviews
Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater - Eliminate Time for Hot Water - Easy Installation
  • CONVENIENT TANKLESS HOT WATER HEATER: 26.9 kW tankless whole house electric water heater provides hot water when needed, for as long as needed
  • EASY INSTALLATION: Can be installed virtually anywhere for commercial or residential applications

Features:

Convenient whole home water heater

This 26.9kW electric tankless water heater provides hot water when needed, for as long as needed instantly.

Can be used for both commercial and residential purposes

This water heater can be installed anywhere, indoors or outdoors for commercial or residential purposes.

Consistent temperature

This model comes with polymer encased elements and a built-in flow sensor which ensures constant output temperature even for 1-3 major applications at a time, even during peak use.

External temperature control knob

External temperature control knob provides temperature control and stability.

Pros
  • Whole house water heater
  • On-demand hot water
  • Constant output temperature
  • Temperature control knob
  • 20+ years life expectancy
Cons
  • Needs to be hard wired in the house’s electrical system and thus requires installation by a professional.

 

What is an Electric Tankless Water Heater?

As the name suggests, they are water heating machines powered by electricity which do not use a tank to store water each time you switch them on.

Also, as we all know how important it is becoming to minimize the use of any product which causes harm to the environment, these Electric Tankless Water Heaters are an eco-friendly solution! Since they do not require any ventilation facilities unlike the gas water heaters, no greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are emitted.

Types of Electric Tankless Water Heaters

If you are confused regarding which type of electric tankless water heater works for you, here we have divided them into three different categories to help you understand the different types of electric tankless water heaters available for your house:

Electric Tankless Water Heater Reviews

1. Whole House Electric Tankless Water Heaters

As the name suggests, these water heaters are meant to be sufficient for the needs of a whole house. If you have a house in which two bathrooms are used at the same time, while dishes are being washed in the dishwasher or clothes are being washed in the washing machine; you should opt for a whole house electric tankless water heater with 5 GPM to 8 GPM of flow rate, as it would meet the hot water demands of your entire house.

Also, depending on the size of your house, you can choose a large flow or a small flow type electric tankless water heater. If you have a house with three or four bathrooms, large flow type works the best for you; and if you have a small house with a single bathroom, a small flow type should be your pick.

2. Portable Electric Tankless Water Heaters

When looking for a water heater which you can carry anywhere with you easily while going out for camping or traveling, you should go for a portable electric tankless water heater which is lightweight and has a small flow rate making it easier to carry and can be even used on an RV (recreational vehicle). Thus, if you are a camper and you want an electric tankless water heater which can be conveniently carried along on any journey, look for a portable electric tankless water heater.

3. Outdoor Electric Tankless Water Heaters

These tankless water heaters are installed outdoors i.e. on the outside wall of the bathroom. Since they are installed outdoors, they are equipped with freeze protection system which protects the machine from being frozen during bad weather. Some of them also come with an enclosure such as the rain cap, in order to prolong their service life. The benefit that these electric tankless water heaters provide is that they don’t take up any space inside your house.

Electric Tankless Water Heater Costs

If you decide to buy an electric tankless water heater for your house, what are the costs it will incur?

Electric Tankless Water Heater Installation, MaintenanceCost and Buyer Guide 2019

1. Operational Costs

Basically, electric tankless water heaters are extremely low on operational costs. Since they work on the on-demand water heating principle, they save a lot of energy and ultimately a lot of money. Unlike the traditional tank water heaters which heat the water on standby. Thus you save a lot of money on the electricity bills by installing an electric tankless water heater.

2. Maintenance Costs

The traditional water heaters require a lot of maintenance despite having a lower lifespan. Also, they have to be completely replaced in case of any failure. But the electric tankless water heaters solve both these problems. They have a much longer lifespan. And although they require maintenance, most of them come with a warranty in case of any breakdown. The spare parts of these electric tankless water heaters are easily available and thus they can be easily replaced.

Electric vs. Gas Tankless Water Heaters

Let us now look at the major differences between an electric and a gas tankless water heater.

#1. Efficiency

The efficiency of a gas tankless water heater peaks at 80-85%, whereas electric tankless water heaters are 98+% efficient. This makes electric tankless water heaters more efficient than the gas models.

#2. Operating Cost

Generally, both electric and gas tankless water heaters cost approximately the same to operate, especially when you consider the recommended annual maintenance that gas appliances require. This will also depend on the cost of electricity and natural gas in your area since there are many regions where natural gas costs are extremely high due to lack of supply in the region. Thus, in such areas, an electric unit is significantly cheaper to operate.

Electric Vs Gas Tankless Water Heater

Moreover, prices of natural gas tend to fluctuate more dramatically than the prices of electricity and most of the economists agree that gas prices are expected to rise significantly in the coming years, whereas in most of the areas, electricity prices should be relatively stable or rise at a much slower pace. But you should also remember that electric tankless water heaters are more energy efficient, so much of the cost difference between the fuels will be nullified.

#3. Prices, Installation and Maintenance

When talking about initial product costs, electric tankless water heaters cost significantly less than the gas models.

Gas tankless water heaters have a complex venting and combustion air supply requirement, especially when installed in a confined space. Also because of their high gas consumption, the existing ventilation systems are rarely adequate. All of this can make their installation expensive. Electric tankless water heaters are quite small and do not require ventilation of any exhaust gases. Therefore, the installation of an electric tankless water heater is generally much cheaper than that of a gas tankless water heater.

Gas tankless heaters need to be inspected annually by a trained technician to ensure safe fuel combustion and performance and are often difficult to service because of their complex fuel controls and heat exchangers. Whereas, electric water heaters require very less maintenance, are simpler to troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair.

#4. Environmental Impact

Gas tankless water heaters emit greenhouse gases and increase the reliance on fossil fuels, whereas electric tankless heaters do not emit any greenhouse gases and their compact size also minimizes the environmental footprint in manufacturing and ultimate disposal. Thus, electric tankless water heaters are more environment-friendly than gas tankless heaters.

Electric vs. Propane Tankless Water Heater

Propane is another gas which is used as fuel. This makes propane tankless water heaters almost the same as natural gas tankless water heaters. Therefore, all the differences between the electric and gas tankless water heaters also make the differences between the electric and propane tankless water heaters.

Pros and Cons of an Electric Tankless Water Heater

Pros and Cons of Electric Tankless Water Heater with Ratings

Pros:

  • Most of the electric tankless water heaters are 98+% energy efficient.
  • These tankless water heaters are safe to operate.
  • Since they do not emit any greenhouse gases, they are environment-friendly as well.
  • Most of the electric tankless water heaters are compact in size and thus they save a lot of space.
  • Most models come with a digital display which makes them easier to be used by everyone.
  • The on-demand water heating technology which they use saves a lot of time and energy.
  • The electric tankless water heaters are easy to maintain as they have parts which are easily replaceable and often come with a warranty as well.
  • They have a life expectancy of more than 20 years.

Cons:

  • Since these water heaters are powered by electricity, they are susceptible to power outages. So you won’t have access to hot water in case of bad weather, storms, etc. whenever your power is out.
  • The initial cost incurred while the installation of an electric tankless water heater may be higher than that of other types of tankless water heaters.
  • These water heaters may not be able to provide enough hot water for an entire household or for multiple purposes at the same time. However, you can purchase a larger unit, but again, the costs would be increased.

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Tankless Electric Water Heater?

With all the information we provided you with, we hope that it became easier for you to narrow down your choice of the best water heater available in the market. However, each household has a different set of requirements and thus choosing a water heater which suits all the needs of your house becomes important. This is why we have laid out this perfect buying guide so that you can choose the best water heater according to your unique set of requirements. We have answered all the basic questions which must come to your mind while looking for buying an electric tankless water heater.

#1. Is it really worthwhile?

There are indeed enough reasons which make purchasing an electric tankless water heater worthwhile. With the number of advantages it has over any other water heater, is it even a valid question?

#2. What factors to keep in mind?

Some of the factors that you should keep in mind while buying it are-

  • Flow-Rate

Since these water heaters are tankless, you need not worry about the size or capacity of the tank, but you must estimate the amount of water you require for your daily use. Accordingly, you must choose a model with a suitable flow rate. For instance, a dishwasher requires 1-2.5 GPM of water, while a bathroom faucet requires 1.5 GPM of water. Therefore, you need to choose the model with a flow rate which matches your water usage needs.

  • Size

Depending upon the area in which you need to install your water heater, you must choose a model which is sized accordingly. If the area is small, you need to choose a model which is compact in size.

  • Energy Efficiency

There are models of water heaters which come with high energy efficiency percentages, and some are also equipped with condensing technology. So you must take a look at all the features a particular model promises to be equipped with.

  • Location of your House

The location of your house is an important factor to consider before buying any water heater. If you live in the southern part or the warm areas, you can choose the unit according to the exact flow rates, but if you live in colder climates, remember that the flow rate tends to lower down to 2-3 GPM. So you will have to choose a unit with a higher flow rate.

  • Price

One must always consider the price before buying anything. But this should not always be the primary concern. You must keep in mind your budget, but you should avoid buying the low priced, inferior quality water heaters as it risks the safety, performance and durability of the equipment.

  • Warranty

Before you purchase any model of water heater, make sure you know about the details regarding its warranty period and maintenance services.

Conclusion

We hope that we have done our best to provide you reviews of electric tankless water heaters, and now you know for sure which one suits your household needs. So what keeps you waiting? Get one of these best tankless electric water heater right now!

Magic: The Gathering Creator is Making Location-Based Game, Map Monsters

Via Kickstarter, we’ve learned that Richard Garfield, the creator of famed allowance-eater Magic: The Gathering is working on “a free-to-play location-based adventure game.” Entitled Map Monsters, the upcoming title attempts to use location gaming as a secondary mechanic, rather than a primary one: players will not be obligated to actually go anywhere to catch the many monsters out there roaming the map. You’ll simply do better at it if you’re willing to move, though.

In the Kickstarter’s own words:

  • Location done right. Unlike other attempts at location-based games, our approach is to make location a secondary, not primary, mechanic. In Map Monsters, it’s not necessary to travel physically, although players that do will advance in the game more quickly.
  • Earth as a game board. We take raw map data from the four corners of the globe and roll a fictional world that mirrors our own.
  • Virtual travel. You’re not limited to what you can find in your physical location; walk your character through a virtual world teaming with new things to discover.
  • Explore. You never know what you’ll find in the game by checking in to new physical locations, or walking your character throughout the world.
  • Scarcity. You’ll find an abundance of some items in your area, but you’ll have to travel further afield or trade with others from far away places to succeed.
  • Build. Like to build stuff? Build mileposts, roads, goldmines, farms and more.
  • Social. Trade with your friends, use their roads, collaborate to fight monsters.
  • Available platforms. Available on iPhone and iPad initially; we plan to work on porting the game to Android subsequently.

Mind you, other games have tried this sort of thing in various ways; Shadow Cities allows you to travel far afield inside the game by leaping through your faction’s portals, which is a nice bit of team-oriented meta-gaming. Still, we’re always curious to see new variations on the location mechanic. Here’s hoping Garfield and Friends can kick the rest of their starter!

FreeAppADay for 09/28/10: 100 Nazi Scalps

Today’s free iPhone app at FreeAppADay.com is 100 Nazi Scalps, from MYW Productions and Apalon.

You’ll play as a soldier in World War II, who, along with your squad, was sent to Paris with one goal in mind – kill Nazis. However, on the way your plane is shot down, and you must fight your way through various missions to not only escape, but also claim victory against your enemies.

The game is played from a side-scrolling perspective, with five levels to complete, each with their own mission. There are several different weapons to choose from, including a knife and a bat that can be used to claim scalps. Other weapons include a Shotgun, Flamethrower, Bazooka, and Grenade.

The game keeps track of your kill rate and your collected number of scalps, with OpenFeint integration allowing you to show off your stats online.

If you can make it to the end of the game, you’ll face a boss battle and a massive army of Nazis, but before you can fight them, you’ll first need to download the game – make sure you do so while it’s free today.

Download the Cafe World Game Bar, Receive 5 Cafe Cash and Spices!

It’s that time once again – time for Zynga to announce a promotion that will see users of one of their games receiving an instant prize for downloading the Zynga Game Bar. In this case, it’s Cafe World users who are receiving a bonus, in the form of free Cafe Cash.

For those that have never downloaded the Zynga Game Bar in the past, you’ll need to do so by clicking on this link. So long as you are running an updated version of either Internet Explorer or Firefox, you will be able to download the toolbar to your browser.

After doing so, simply enter the game from the toolbar, and you’ll receive 5 Cafe Cash, absolutely free. After this, for every eight hours that you use the bar (that is, if you use the bar to enter the game every eight hours), you’ll receive three premium spices, also for free. These could be spices that lower the remaining cooking time on dishes, ones that add extra mastery points or extra servings to a dish and so on.

As for the bar itself, it’s a handy little tool that will keep track of how many hours you have left before your dishes are ready to serve, and also grants you initial access to be one of the first to learn about new limited edition items or sales.

For those that have already downloaded the Zynga Game Bar for another of the developer’s games, like FarmVille, FrontierVille or Mafia Wars, you do not have to uninstall and re-download the bar for this to work. Simply choose Cafe World from the drop down menu of games on the far left side of the toolbar, and click on Cafe World. This loads in that particular toolbar, with that game’s specific stats, and should allow you to earn the 5 free Cafe Cash by entering the game.

What will you do with your free Cafe Cash?

CrowdStar Launches Pop Boom on Facebook – A Frisky Hands-On

While CrowdStar may be famous for Facebook games like Happy Pets, Happy Island, and Happy Aquarium, they aren’t content with simply resting on those games, as they have expanded their catalogue yet again, this time with a puzzle game in the same vein as PopCap’s Bejeweled Blitz, called Pop Boom.

Pop Boom is a unique take on the match three genre, that gives you 60 seconds to earn as many points as possible by popping bubbles. Gameplay is quite simple. You’ll be able to stare at your game board for as long as you’d like, to formulate a plan, and can then click on any bubble on the screen to begin the countdown from 60 seconds.

The bubble that you click on will be picked up from the game board, and can then be carried around (simply move your mouse around the screen) and dropped anywhere on the board that you’d like. This will swap the bubble you’re holding with the bubble you click on. The goal, then, would be to click on a bubble and then drop it next to two more bubbles of the same color, to create a match of three or more like-colored bubbles, thus making them explode, giving you points.

Pop-Boom-gameplay-1

Combos are created as bubbles move from the bottom of the screen towards the top to fill in the empty spaces created by explosions, and as you perform well, bomb bubbles appear at random that can be destroyed in the same way as a normal bubble, causing an explosion that takes out surrounding orbs. If the explosion happens to expand and hit a surrounding bomb, it too will explode, causing a ripple effect that can greatly increase your score.

Additionally, if you create a cross with your bubbles, or any match that includes bubbles going in both the horizontal and vertical directions, you’ll take out the entire row and column at the same time, regardless of whether or not all bubbles in that column or row matched.

After your 60 seconds are up, you’ll earn a certain amount of in-game coins, based on your score. These coins can be used to purchase two kinds of power-ups, including ones that make more bombs appear at the start of the game, or add five additional seconds to your clock, giving you 65 seconds in a game, rather than 60.

Your top score will be shown on a leaderboard on the right-hand side of the screen, which shows your progress against friends that have also played the app. You can click on any friends’ picture to challenge them to beat your score personally, or you can also publish a challenge item to your wall, offering an open challenge for all friends to play the game with you.

If you’d like to give Pop Boom a chance, head over to the game’s page on Facebook. Or, if you’d like to see the game in action, make sure to check out our Frisky Hands-On video of the game below to see the game’s unique twist on traditional match-three gameplay in action.

Purchase Oversized Items in Pet Society’s Newest Theme

No one can say that Playfish isn’t creative when it comes to new themes, as this week we see a creative new theme containing items that will make your pet feel as though they’ve shrunk! Oversized items are now available in several of the games stores, and come in the form of basic, everyday items that have been blown up to extraordinary sizes.

The theme starts off in the Living Room section of the Furniture Store, where you’ll find spools of thread, candles, dice and even a teacup that are entirely oversized. The items seem fairly affordable here, ranging from 350 coins for the Dice Seat to 600 coins for the Teacup Table.

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Also in the Furniture Store, but this time under the Kitchen and Bathroom section, you’ll find a polka-dotted cereal bowl filled with what appear to be Fruit Loops. This item is called the Cereal Bathtub, and it will allow your pet to take a bath in its cereal, for the cost of 3,000 coins to add it to your home.

Finally, in the Bedroom section of the Furniture Store, you’ll find a bed made from a book, and a nightstand made from matchboxes, costing 2,000 and 800 coins, respectively.

Over in the game’s Market, you’ll also find a few interesting items. Under Toys and Collectibles, you’ll find an Oversized Mayor Stamp for 500 coins, while under Party & Gifts you’ll see a new “community building” object in the form of a giant roller skate turned into a car. You’ll need the help of your friends in order to construct the car, as you’ll need 20 parts in order to build it. Each friend that helps will receive some coins as a reward, or if you’d rather simply purchase the car outright, you can do so for 25 Playfish Cash.

In the clothing store, rather than offering themed clothing items for your pets, the items here are accessory items, with an Overgrown Strawberry Hat and a Pet Soda Cap Hat being available for 700 coins each.

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Over in the D.I.Y. Shop, under the Windows & Doors section, you’ll find a Safetypin Window for 1,200 coins, while under Fixtures & Fittings, you’ll see a massive lightbulb called the Giant Ceiling Light, which is available for 600 coins. It glows in the dark, if that helps in your decision as to whether or not to purchase it.

Finally, in the game’s Food Store, you can find three oversized pieces of food in the form of a Pink Giant Candy for 100 coins, a Giant Chocolate Block for 250 coins, and a Giant Minicake for 160 coins.

With some of these items being available just for one week, you’ll want to make sure to head over to the game’s page on Facebook to start shopping for all that you’re interested in as soon as possible.

25 Brain Games: Essential Back-to-School Supplies

Back to school already? Here are 25 social, casual and mobile games that will get your brain in shape before you know it. They’ll also keep you entertained for hours, and (let’s be honest), distract you from all that pesky homework! Did your favorites make the list?

Facebook games:

Brain Buddies by wooga – Brain Buddies offers its users a playful way to determine their brain weight. The game is focusing on a contest among friends to find the one with the heaviest brain. A large set of mini games as well as entertaining graphics make the game fun to play for a long time.

Who Has the Biggest Brain by Playfish – In ‘Who Has The Biggest Brain?’ you are taken through a series of mini games where you test your abilities in 4 areas of your brain: Calculation, Memory, Logic and Visual. The combined score from each of these categories add up to your overall brain rating. A great opportunity to settle the debate, who really does have the biggest brain? After playing a game of ‘Who Has The Biggest Brain?’ you are awarded a ranking, or ‘Brain Type’. There are 27 different brain types that are used to rank you and your friends.

Two other studious selections to try from Playfish are Word Challenge and Geo Challenge.

poweRBrands by Reckitt Benckiser – “Reckitt Benckiser calls the title ‘the first Facebook game of its kind’, as it’s designed to test players’ marketing and business abilities, teach strategy and decision-making skills, and introduce users to the culture and challenges that face the company’s marketers every day.”

DumbVille by GSN – Designed to see just how many brain cells you have kicking around! Tackle quirky questions and puzzle your way through mindless mini-games to rise through the ranks from Village Idiot to Mayor of Dumbville. It’s your chance show your buddies what’s what, but that’s not all. Every time you succeed AND every time your friends fail, you’ll win Oodles – redeemable rewards that you can use to purchase sweepstakes entries and prizes on GSN.com.

Scrabble by Electronic Arts – A new version of the original board game includes built-in chat and dictionary, multiple word lists, dynamic animations, and multiple speed settings for public games. An easy-to-use interface lets you play with anyone who loves the game!

Online games:

Empire Avenue – Reap the benefits of expanding your online influence while buying and selling virtual shares in your best friend, your favorite blogger or that pizza joint down the road – anyone, for free. Connect with other people who like the same things as you, find interesting bloggers to follow, or unearth a cool new business in your home town! This Internet thing is pretty useful, you know, and Empire Avenue helps you find the people and businesses that are relevant to you.

Risk: The Game of Global Domination on Pogo.com – Based on the classic board game of strategic conquest from Hasbro, Risk comes to life online where the object of the game is simple: Global Domination! Establish your military objectives, take command of your army and begin your campaign to rule the world. Risk is a turn based game with each player starting with their own controllable army in an attempt to capture territories from opposing players and control the entire map.

Word Whomp on Pogo.com – This free Pogo.com favorite challenges you to whomp adorable gophers and spell as many words as you can from a given set of letters before the clock runs out. Gophers will dig up veggies and bonuses as you unscramble words. Reach the carrot to enter the bonus round and score big!

Jeopardy on GSN.com – Test your trivia knowledge, just like the actual game show. Select a question from one of the six game categories by clicking on a dollar value under the category of your choice. When the question appears, you may choose to either “Respond” or “Pass.” If you choose to respond, you will have 15 seconds to answer a multiple-choice question. The game will end when you don’t have enough money to play on.

Wheel of Fortune on GSN.com – You can compete for cash and prizes, just like contestants on the actual game show, with 5 turns to solve the word puzzle. Correctly identify consonants or “buy a vowel.” Each successful guess gives you an additional free spin, but the faster you solve the puzzle, the higher your time bonus! When you choose to solve the puzzle, if your answer is correct, you’ll play in the Bonus Round. If not, you’ll lose a turn.

Tiny Planets – “Targetting kids aged six to 14, this game is based on the Tiny Planets animated TV series, and offers six ‘planets’ for users to visit consisting of simple games, web videos, social networking, a virtual world, goods, and currency, and, of course, learning opportunities. Tiny Planets is rich with entertaining and educational activities that focus on space, conservation, science, creativity, and critical thinking skills.”

Fantage.com, a TriplePoint client – A next-generation destination site for children that offers games and adventures to entertain, delight, and promote positive social interaction in an engaging, exciting, safe environment that both kids and parents love. Fantage also provides an age-appropriate, safe social networking experience within a fun virtual world.

FitBrains.com – Provides scientifically developed brain games targeting the five major brain areas: memory, problem solving, concentration, visual spatial, Language. Focus on one brain area or play all the games to give your brain a complete workout. Brain games are a fun way to exercise your brain and an important pillar in living a healthy life. Try your luck and test your skills in games like Travel Quest, Sum Snap and Uber Brain.

iPhone & iPad games:

The Oregon Trail by Gameloft – Assume the role of a wagon leader in a side-view journey where your strategic decisions must ensure the safety of your party along the treacherous Oregon Trail. Overcome the perilous journey to Oregon in America’s Wild West. Just like the real pioneers, experience the decision-making, problem-solving, and role-playing fun of this historical event. A unique strategy/educational game relating the first pioneers’ journey to Western American.

THINK by TriplePoint client, Ravensburger Digital – 16 exercises spread across four distinct categories, all designed to give your mind a rigorous workout in different areas of thought. THINK is currently available in English, Spanish and German. Could your brain use a boost?

RedFish Puzzle by Fresh Planet – “Fun games for smart people.” Fresh Planet offers several brain games on various platforms, including the RedFish series of learning apps for young children on the iPad. RedFish Piano 4 Kids is another good one to check out.

Words with Friends by Newtoy Inc. – Turn-based crossword gaming in your pocket! Not much else to say, besides this game is Scrabble in your pocket, with your friends, in real time… and it’s as addictive as they come 😉

HexaLex by TriplePoint client Nathan Gray – Takes the classic, easy to learn but hard to master crossword game and adds a new dimension. Hexagonal tiles let you play words in three directions instead of two. Words interact in new and interesting ways. But have no fear, you’ll be up and playing in no time, thanks to the tutorial and detailed, built-in help. If you’ve ever played Scrabble, Lexulous, or Words With Friends you’ll feel right at home!

Word Warp by MobilityWare – Word game fans rejoice! If you’ve enjoyed countless hours playing games like TextTwist, Word Scramble, Jumble, Boggle, or Scrabble, then Word Warp is the game for you! Similar to Text Twist, Word Warp is a challenging anagram type of word game in which you try to form as many words as you can out of the six letters you are given before time runs out. You will receive points for each correct word you come up with, but in order to advance to the next level you must come up with at least one word that uses all six letters.

Word Scramble 2 by Zynga – Scramble is the fast fun game of finding words in a jumbled grid. Quickly slide your finder over letters next to each other to make words! Compete with friends and play live with fellow word game fans.

Nintendo games:

Big Brain Academy (Wii and DS) by Nintendo – Weigh Your Brain! With 15 activities that challenge your brain in single-player Test and Practice modes, Big Brain Academy Wii sees how you measure up in five categories: memory, analysis, number crunching, visual recognition, and quick thinking.

My Word Coach (DS) by Ubisoft – My Word Coach, developed in collaboration with linguists, helps players improve their verbal communication and vocabulary in a fun way. Practice need never get boring with six different exercises to choose between. Players can input missing letters from words, spell out the answers to various definitions, choose which word matches a particular definition, form specific words with Scrabble-like tiles, and more. Three levels of difficulty are available, and the game includes a built-in dictionary of over 17,000 words. Two of the games can be played multiplayer over wireless and the data of three different players can be saved.

Personal Trainer: Math (DS) by Nintendo – Makes learning fun with fast-paced, high-speed arithmetic problems that keep your math basics fresh, from addition to subtraction and multiplication to division. Daily math drills and an attendance record help keep you on track. As your calculation speed improves, earn medals in each exercise to prove your mathematical mastery! 40 different exercises, ranging in difficulty from simple to elaborate calculations, provide tons of ways to build on your knowledge and improve your arithmetic skills until all your math worries evaporate forever!

My Virtual Tutor: Reading Kindergarten to 1st Grade(DS) by Mentor Interactive – By combining the kid-friendly Nintendo DS with a proven reading curriculum developed and tested at the University of Colorado, My Virtual Tutor: Reading makes learning reading skills fun, affordable and portable. Through interactive books, school age and grade relevant phonics instruction and fun quiz modes, your child will learn the comprehension, phonics, fluency and vocabulary necessary to become an expert reader, all while having fun with their Nintendo DS.

Brain Age (DS) by Nintendo – The title is a series of minigames designed to give your brain a workout. The 17 engaging activities are all designed to help work your brain and increase blood flow to the prefrontal cortex. Whether you’re playing simple songs on a piano keyboard or monitoring the photo finish of a footrace, you’ll love your new mental workout!

Get Some Ink With Tattoo City on Facebook – A Frisky Hands-On

If the idea of running a clothing store, or a pet spa are just two bland for you, how does the idea of running a Tattoo Parlor sound to you? You can do just that in Wonderhill’s Tattoo City on Facebook.

The goal of the game is simple – create the biggest and best tattoo parlor in existence by tattooing your customers and earning money. The game requires more actual interaction on your part than other Facebook games, as you’ll earn money by taking “shifts,” which are active periods when your Tattoo Parlor is open.

You’ll be able to serve the customers who come in by deciphering their wants (very simplistic riddles of sorts), and choosing a tattoo pattern that matches their desires. For a couple of examples, someone might ask for a tattoo that is “red and yellow, on my arm,” and you would then look for a design that contained both yellow and red. Click on the design and you’re shown a particular area of the body, with arrows allowing you to choose different body parts. In this example, you would obviously choose the picture of the arm.

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Once the choice has been made, your avatar goes to work at tattooing the customer, with the job being done in a matter of seconds. You’ll gain coins and experience points for a job well done, and more customers will line up to be served next. If you take too long in making a decision, waiting customers can become impatient and leave the shop.

After each shift, you have a few options for gameplay. You can either start another shift immediately, or you can go about spending your newly earned coins by redecorating the parlor or customizing your avatar. Your parlor can be upgraded with different flooring, different wallpaper options, more tattoo chairs, new windows, doors, and accessory items – mostly everything about the tattoo parlor can be changed to fit your own tastes.

In addition, your avatar can be customized with various skin and hair colors (including the outlandish like pink or purple – this is a tattoo parlor after all), different eyes, mouths, hairstyles and of course clothing itself.

As you earn funds, you can expand your shop to hold more decorations, thereby allowing you to add more decorations, and eventually tattoo chairs, allowing you to serve more customers at once.

The game is currently in the beta stages, and isn’t without a few glitches, but if you’d like to try this unique simulation game out, head over to the game’s page on Facebook. Before you go, check out our video hands-on of the game to see exactly what to expect should you give this game a chance.

FreeAppADay for 07/29/10: Tappi Adventures

Today’s free iPhone app at FreeAppADay.com is Tappi Adventures, from Grabarchuk Puzzles.

The game is a tile sorting puzzle game that sees a brightly colored picture broken into an assortment of rectangular tiles. These tiles have been “jumbled,” and you’ll need to tap on them to put the original picture back together. This is achieved by swapping the positions of two tiles, by using two fingers to tap on the tiles you’d like to switch at the same time.

The game contains 108 puzzles, which can be solved in a matter of seconds on the normal difficulty level (there are multiple difficulty settings to choose from). The puzzles are spread throughout nine themes, including Vacation, Camping, “In Love,” and more.

The game contains a guest player option if you’d like to have your real-world friends join you in solving the puzzles, or, if you get stuck, you can take advantage of a hint system to help you out.

Technically, the game has already been updated for iOS4, allowing for multitasking and taking advantage of the iPhone 4 Retina Display, if that’s important in your decision as to whether or not to download the game.

Make sure to download Tappi Adventures while the game is free today.

Is There Anything Zynga Can Do to Reverse FarmVille’s Downturn?

While things may outwardly appear to be full of happiness and light in the world of Zynga’s FarmVille – the game celebrates its (official) first birthday this month, and is, by far, the largest Facebook game on the site, sitting at around 62 million users – when you compare these figures to those found last March, which saw the game peaking at over 83 million players (32 million of which played everyday), that happiness and light turns bleak with sadness. But what is it, exactly, that has caused the game to lose over 21 million players in the span of around four months?

We’ve speculated about the cause of FarmVille’s player loss – the game is, for the lack of a better term, hemorrhaging players, losing 4.4 million players in April, and 7.7 million users in May, as two recent examples – but no one, solid conclusion can be drawn for why players are leaving.

The downturn officially began in March, when Facebook cut-off third party notifications, meaning that, from that point forward, Zynga had to scramble to amass an email distribution list of every player that had ever added the game in order to be able to stay in constant contact with them. Aside from simply annoying players, who may feel that giving out their email address is an attack on their privacy, this meant that Zynga’s amount of “spam” messages to players was immediately, and drastically cut. For the most casual FarmVille players, perhaps this lack of constant “Play our game!” reminders was enough for them to forget about the game.

Other arguments could be made as to why players are leaving – FarmVille grew exponentially through the winter months, and dropped when the weather turned, so could the simple fact that people are spending more time outdoors have anything to do with it? Perhaps it was the previous level cap of level 70 that turned long-time players away, as they felt they had nothing left to accomplish in the game. Financially speaking, could it be Zynga’s seemingly growing reliance on Farm Cash – more and more limited edition items are being released that can only be purchased through such means – that has made players turn tail and run, rather than be tempted into spending real money on virtual items?

Whatever the reason, according to the latest AppData figures, the trend doesn’t really seem to be slowing, as the last month (from June 13 to July 13) shows the game at a loss of 3.7 million players. Granted, this is a far cry from the 7.7 million lost in May, but each time the app gains in users – FarmVille gained 300,000 users from July 5 to July 6, as an example – it drops just as many, or even more, within a matter of days. To our previous example, by July 8, the app had lost 400,000 players, more than 100,000 more than those that joined just days before.

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While we could spend hours speculating as to why players are leaving the game, perhaps the better question to ask is, “What can Zynga do to reverse the trend?” Surely the gaming developer has been thinking the same, but, outside of a promotion with 7-Eleven that put the game’s logo all over the convenience stores’ shelves (and offered free in-game items to those that purchased said branded products), it doesn’t really seem like they’re doing anything to stop it.

We don’t work for Zynga, but perhaps if they took a look at a few of our ideas – the ideas of folks who actively play the game – they may be able to stop the bleeding.

First, while it may be hard to prove scientifically, it’s common knowledge that people love free things. Offer users a free incentive, other than fuel (which can be found in numerous other ways, also for free), and perhaps they’ll take a few seconds to load the game to receive said free item. Make it a good freebie, like a free run of the FarmVille Biplane (which instantly makes crops ready to harvest), or even some free Farm Cash, and users will play the game long enough to perhaps fall in love with it all over again.

Speaking of Farm Cash, where other Zynga games (run by separate teams) like PetVille and Cafe World frequently offer sales or discounts on premium currency packages (“Buy Cafe World Cash and receive 20% more for free!”), FarmVille very rarely, if ever, discounts Farm Cash packages. Perhaps if users were able to receive a few more Farm Cash for their purchase, they would be more willing to pull out their real-world wallet to purchase Zynga’s virtual items.

If they chose not to go that route, one major thing Zynga could do would be to lower the cost of Farm Cash items in the first place. While they would end up spending the same amount of money in the long run, why would a player want to spend $10 on a single item, when they could spend $5 on two different items?

Additionally, the many, many features of the game that require a specific amount of neighbors, or to be a specific level need to be changed. A lower level player will find that the game can actually border on the boring side of things, as they haven’t leveled up to the point of being able to afford a Tractor, Seeder or Harvester, resulting in their clicking on each crop individually, which can take a substantial amount of time, especially on lower internet speeds. They can’t participate in Co-Op Farming, which means they won’t have a chance at that feature’s exclusive items. They can’t expand their farm without a specific amount of neighbors either, which means they can’t add enough crops to their farm to quicken their leveling up and thus get them closer to being able to participate in the aforementioned features (of which they are many more). It’s a vicious cycle, and it is perhaps the biggest argument a player could have about the game.

Another argument comes from the speed of leveling up, which is quite slow, compared to other Facebook games. While games like Social City and Restaurant City offer slow leveling cycles as well, they don’t have as many features locked to lower level players, so the impact is felt less. While, to Zynga’s credit, there has been a leveling tweak that was said to make leveling up an easier process in the game, unless a player has 24 hours of everyday to dedicate to the game, they will still find the process to be a slow one. Why spend the better part of a week trying to level up once in FarmVille, when you can level up three or four times in a competitor’s game in the same amount of time?

On a completely different note, the FarmVille for iPhone app has been incredibly successful amongst players who own iPhones and love the idea of being able to farm anywhere they go. But with its limited functionality, the novelty may very quickly wear off. Zynga needs to get people to play the game more, not less, as the less they play, the less desire they will have to play in the future, as they become distracted by other things. To that end, Zynga could (and probably should) add more exclusive, and even free, items to the iPhone app – items that can’t be found anywhere else, to give players (who, generally speaking, love to collect things by default) more incentive to keep playing, if only to make sure they have one of every new item available.

Speaking of which, while Zynga has already re-released some previously retired limited edition items as permanent additions to the game’s store, they would do well to release more of these items to the public. As the game grows, new players will visit their friends’ farms and will probably be quite jealous of the many limited edition (but now retired) items they see there. Once they find out that they can’t have them, they might be disappointed to the point of giving up on the game because “I’m being punished for not adding the game sooner.” Perhaps Zynga could create a “FarmVille LE Item Re-Release Extravaganza” in the game’s store, letting users spend coins on some of these items, like holiday items, and users will flock to the game in the hopes of completing collections they once thought were lost to them.

Just as we could discuss the reasons for FarmVille’s downturn for hours without end, so too could we develop ways that Zynga could reverse the trend. Will we see the developer take any of these actions in the future? Only time will tell, but for now, make sure to join in on the discussion in the comments below or in our forums. Whether you’re a long-time FarmVille player, a completely new player, or even if you’re one who used to play but has now given up – we want to hear from you. What do you think Zynga can do to stop the loss of players in the game? Or, better yet, if you quit the game, why did you do so, and is there anything Zynga can do to win you back.