I don't normally review Facebook applications. I also don't normally install too many on my profile unless I actually deem them useful.
This is an exception.
"Hangover," a Facebook application game created by invitation start-up MyPunchbowl, is utterly pointless and a bit convoluted, but I found it strangely appealing. Maybe that's because it's so off-the-wall.
Essentially, Hangover is like the Old School or Animal House version of kiddie card games like Pokemon. You start out with 10 virtual "cards," one of which you can display on your Facebook profile, and the point of the game is to amass a full hand of all 100 Hangover cards.
Each card represents an aspect of party-animal culture, from the "Walk of Shame" to "Quarters" (that's a drinking game) to "Wingman." Some cards are rarer than others. You can also wind up with multiples of the same card, and hence trade them with other friends who have installed the application. You can also buy cards with points, which you earn by sending friends invitations, or "partygrams." (Or by signing up for a MyPunchbowl account.)
In a funny little twist, you're more likely to get rare cards if you purchase them at "shadier" virtual outlets, which cost more. It takes 2,000 points to buy a pack of cards from a "supermarket," but 4,000 if you want to buy them in a "Chinatown back alley." Cute.
I'm sure Hangover will catch on among high school students who want to school themselves in the jargon of booze culture before going off to college. It's also one of the more amusing Facebook applications I've played with recently, but maybe that's just a symptom of how excited I am for those South by Southwest Interactive parties in a few weeks.