AOL revamps and tries to make it touch friendly

America Online pulled the curtain up Tuesday on a revamped edition of its entertainment site

In addition to offering online gamers a library of more than 5,000 free games, the new has some new features such as personalized game recommendations and full-screen gameplay. It also has a new Social Bar that gives gamers easy access to information like gaming history, badges, points and rankings.

AOL has built out its library of online games at the site through partnerships with major game developers and distributors, including Arkadium, Big Fish Games, GameHouse, Iplay, Masque Publishing, Mochi Media, and Tylted.

Games featured on the site's home page Tuesday included card games (Texas Hold'em, Classic Solitaire, Hearts and Welcome to Spades), word games (Just Words, Bookworm, Text Twist, Super Letter Linker, Word Zen and Universal Crossword) and family favorites like checkers, backgammon and bingo.

While you can play games at the site for free, you may have to endure a video advertisement before you can actually start playing. In addition, some of the games are only a preview of the commercial version of the product.

AOL is selling the new as a true cross-platform destination for gamers. Built on new technologies like HTML 5, AOL explained, the site is designed to give gamers a consistent and familiar experience regardless of the device they're playing a game on. "As mobile gaming traffic is expected to grow 65 percent year-over-year to 2016, the platform has been designed with a mobile-first mentality," AOL said in a statement.

Goofing around with

That mobile-first mentality wasn't entirely evident when I tried to play some of the games at the site on an iPad. Responsiveness to touch and gesture commands was inconsistent at best.

Nevertheless, AOL is promising big things for the future of the site. "This is just the start," general manager John Fox predicted in a statement. "We have an exciting roadmap of new features and enhancements which will roll out over the coming months -- including additional personalization and social features, opportunities for independent developers to work closely with us and many more games our users will love."

"The new is built with the future in mind," he wrote in the Huffington Post. "We believe that games are moving to be played across more devices than just computers, phones and tablets, but to TVs, new game consoles and pretty much anything with a screen."

"Users are playing on multiple devices and a powerful cross-device platform is needed," he continued. "We are not just building a new gaming site; we are setting a strategy for the future and a commitment to lead the way in the gaming space."

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