There are few better ways to spend time that should be productive than browser games. These humble titles can often deliver hours of mild entertainment on a very simple premise, sometimes steeped in nostalgia for simpler times. Who among us back in the nineties didn’t spend our lives playing Flash games and daydreaming of bigger things?
In this post we’ll cover a few of the big names, alongside a smaller alternative you may not have heard of before.
Cookies of all kinds. World-ending threats by sweet old ladies. Extra-dimensional horror. Cookie Clicker has it all and is seen by many as the definitive idle game. What starts with clicking repetitively on a giant cookie ends in an apocalyptic nightmare, and it will do so again and again.
Cookie Clicker is so popular it’s actually made its way to Steam – that’s right, you can buy it as a game in its own right. Just how much fun you’ll have with it depends on what you’re looking for.
I’d describe it as an interactive screensaver. It ticks away in the background, racking up cookies, which you can then use to buy upgrades too, well, bake more cookies. And so it expands, endlessly into eternity, much like a TOOL song.
I really can’t overstate how perfect Cookie Clicker is as a way to do absolutely nothing. Anybody who tells you there are strategies or multiple ways to reach peak performance is lying to themselves. They’re just trying to feel better about spending three hundred hours clicking on cookies.
If you’re looking for a game to play more actively – and not just a boredom killer during those quiet moments at work – this might not be for you. Luckily we’ve got a few more suggestions up our sleeve, so peel it back and have a look.
You might not have heard of plays.org before, but it offers a rather impressive catalogue of browser games. The website itself is pretty simplistic, but functional – delivering hundreds of games with a simple interface. What I really like about plays.org is how widely compatible it seems to be – no matter which browser I use, it works effortlessly and loads quickly.
You can play variations of classic games like Mahjong and Tetris – one of my favourite simple pastimes was Blocky, a 3D puzzle based on Tetris. It starts out relatively simple – almost painfully so – but begins to offer some gentle brain-teasing rather quickly.
If you’re just looking for quick distractions, games like Avoid Dying offer a bit of engaging physics-based fun. I’m a sucker for archery games and Avoid Dying was perfect to kill a few minutes with here and there throughout the day.
Each game is rated on a number of factors like design and difficulty, so you can get a general idea of how good a game is before you engage with it. One thing I will say about plays.org – it’s not organised in the best way. Some of the category names are awkward and it doesn’t put its best foot forward. If the categories were simpler and less like overarching tags, it’d be easier to navigate.
This means you’ll have to wade through quite a lot of average or disappointing games before you find a winner a lot of the time. In a way though, that’s kinda nostalgic. It’s exactly the same experience you would have had browsing Newgrounds or any other browser game site of the nineties!
I’m sure the team behind plays.org didn’t really intend their website’s layout or assembly of games to simulate the browser game experience of the nineties, but I’m going to congratulate them on a nice touch nonetheless. Well done, you made me feel like a child again. And that normally only happens when my parents are disappointed in me.
Kongregate is one of the biggest browser game sites there is – and for good reason. It offers a massive selection of titles, playable literally anywhere you’ve got a web browser, and there are some really quality titles to be found. Sure, not all of them are winners – but the general level of quality is pretty reliable.
I found myself stuck on Realm Grinder for a little while. It’s an idle game, similar to Cookie Clicker, but it seems to have an emphasis on faster rewards. You’ll progress much faster, and can take multiple roads to success. Whether you want to run a good, peaceful kingdom or an evil, hellish one, you can pick your own path.
Kongregate offers a lot of ‘high-end’ browser games – titles you could very technically classify as MMOs, and a generous host of MTG-style card games.
Kongregate is also the home of some of the most classic browser games you can find – remember Bloons? It essentially kickstarted the entire tower defence genre. And you can play the whole series over on Kongregate for free!
The classic card game is available in a refreshing digitized format, for free via your browser. Cribbage Online is a two-player game where each player gets six cards and tries to score points by forming different combinations with their cards. The game is played over multiple rounds, and players take turns being the dealer. The goal is to be the first player to reach 121 points. It’s a fun and challenging game that requires strategy, skill, and a bit of luck.
The online version features Cribbage in easy, standard, and pro modes, making it ideal for players of all skill levels. Additionally, the site features a detailed rulebook and an excerpt explaining the rich history of the game. Give it a try and see if you have what it takes to win!
Try out one of the original computer games in a mobile-friendly format through your browser! Minesweeper is a single-player puzzle game where you are presented with a grid of squares, some of which contain hidden mines. The objective is to uncover all the empty squares without detonating any mines.
Play Minesweeper offers different difficulty levels to suit players of all skill levels, ranging from beginner to expert. You can choose the size of the grid and the number of mines you want to challenge yourself with.
The game itself is played by clicking on squares to reveal what’s underneath. If you uncover a mine, it’s game over. However, if you reveal an empty square, it will show a number indicating how many mines are adjacent to that square. The fast-paced gameplay makes this an excellent choice for gamers looking for something exciting.
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