Browser Game of the Week: Who pays for games these days anyway?

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Browser Game of the Week: Who pays for games these days anyway?

Not sure what to get that special someone during this holiday time?  How about a link to a great free browser game?  They all stink?  I beg to differ…

During my university career, if I had an hour or so between classes I’d go to the nearest computer lab and hop on a browser based video game website.  Sure, I could’ve studied but it was more fun to play some cheesy racing game, tower defense game or essentially any other game that didn’t require me to push too many buttons and thereby stay under the radars of the computer lab staff.  We weren’t suppose to use the labs for games (that’s right folks, you’re reading the work of a rebel). After college, 2007/2008, I essentially stopped playing these browser based games.  Why?  They didn’t have much depth and were good to cure boredom, help me kill time or assist with my procrastination but drew the line there.

After college, as I can’t play games at work (a.k.a the “real world”), I’d sit down and want to play a game with a solid story, interesting gameplay, something multiplayer perhaps (plus I like pushing buttons)…so for the past three years I became a strictly PC/console guy.  I always was, but during this time never thought to myself, what neat browser game is out there now?  Until now…

Over the past month I’ve encountered some new or re-played some older games that if you haven’t checked out, I highly recommend doing so.  If you’re reading this, then you have a computer and access to the internet, and that’s all you really need, as all of these are gratis.  Here’s the quick breakdown of these amazing browser games (clicking on the title of the game will take you to the link):

Feign, Ian Snyder, 2010
Point of the game? Travel around in the first person, trying to “collect nine bodies”.  The navigation method, art, and music most definitely set the mood in a game that’s a tad eerie, in a good way.  I personally enjoy these type of games, where exploration is paramount.  It’s very easy to get lost in the mazes Snyder developed and I admit, had to really think to beat the game.  Pro tip: make sure you look up the word “feign” in the dictionary.

The Infinite Ocean, Jonas Kyratzes, 2003 (2010)
Originally made in 2003 and updated this year, Mr. Kyratzes brings us a great point and click “escape” game.  Like most indie games, and reminiscent of the before mentioned Feign, the way the game is presented accompanied by the chosen music not only immediately gets my heart racing, but actually has a good bit of depth to it.  Essentially, you wake up and see boxes, papers and cups half full laid out everywhere in a gray scale world with messages on the walls of “resistance is futile” and “all hope is lost”.  A tad suspenseful experience through great presentation.

One Chance, Awkward Silence Games, 2010
“One Chance” is not a shooter, action adventure game or RPG.  I don’t want to ruin the great story and dynamics this game encompasses but the brief synopsis is:  You are John.  You have found a way to cure cancer, but ‘OH NO’ everything goes all I AM LEGEND and the cure is ruining the world.  The decisions you make from then on will affect the outcome of how John will spend his remaining time alive.  After you play this game…remember the title. *hint*

ControlCraft, Massa Games, 2010
An action RTS game with Tron-esque like design.  You play against the computer with one base trying to gain checkpoints, expand your forces and eventually smother out your AI opponent(s).  This game may not have just general “depth” in regards to story or gameplay mechanics as others mentioned on this list, but what it lacks in those areas, it more than makes up for in pure action laced frustration (that’s a good thing) as this game seems to give you a representation of what would happen if there were to be Braveheart type battle “on the grid” that is the world of Tron.

Don’t Look Back, Terry Cavanagh/distractionware, 2009
Like sidescrolling, artsy shooters with platforming elements?  Then you’ll love DLB.  Terry Cavanagh, also responsible for Vvvvvv, creates a game that is not only a blast, but interestingly weird, odd, fun, grand and fast paced.  Going against big monsters with a small weapon is always fun, and this is a game that is definitely not beatable within the usual 5 minute browser game time.

The Neptune’s Pride cast…

Neptune’s Pride, Ironhelmet Games, 2010
And finally, the pièce de résistance. Neptune’s Pride is perhaps one of the greatest strategy games that I’ve ever played.  Simply put, your goal is to take over 51% of the galaxy.  You can upgrade your weapons, speed, and other facets making your galactic prowess that much stronger.  This game is played out over days, even weeks, and yes that sounds horrid but it’s so not.  Your ships start as miserable inter-stellar jalopies that over time are upgraded to super space Ferraris on steroids with planet blasters (ya, it’s that awesome) and, wait for it…you play against other REAL people, for free.  Alliances are created, broken, backstabbery enuses creating a Shakespearian mess.  Two quick notes, in the free game, you can’t really choose who you play (but pay about $5 and you can set up a custom game for you and your friends) and you need a Google account to play the game, which is free to create.

All in all, there are some great free browser games out there, you just have to sift through the garbage.  They can be artistic, fast paced, slow, cover a myriad of genres and are simply a fun time, the most important part of a video game, in my opinion.

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