Here’s a fun one. Does anyone remember the days of Newgrounds, of Armorgames, Addictinggames? I don’t know about you, but I spent much of my adolescence online, playing random games that popped up. Of course, many of these games are better, or worse, than others, and among the treasure trove that is the internet, there are many gems that stand out in a huge way, for one reason or another.
Some of these games become actual apps, such as Kingdom Rush or Gemcraft, and others gain their own crazy followings, such as Clicker Heroes, and still others remain unknown, but great if you can find them, hidden gems, if you will. There’s mountains of such games, and I’d just like to dedicate a post to those browser games that stuck out to me most.
As opposed to other lists or countdowns I have done, the order won’t reflect my opinion on what’s the BEST online game. Simply put, the games I list will be the ones that stuck out to me, and are experiences that I believe would be worth your time to check out. There are many genres of such games, and, to keep the list varied, any one genre will not appear more than once. Also, I’ll be putting links to the games after every entry, so if you have some free time, maybe you can check them out! With that out of the way, let’s get into it!
5. :the game: (series)
If I had to choose online games to represent the internet as a whole, it would be this series. What appears to be a game about being stuck on a grass platform, and moving on to the next level by walking off to your death, ended up being one of the most memetic, pop-culture parodying, just straight up WEIRD game series of all time. Released over the course of 2008-2011, :the game: trilogy took a satirical- a very, very satirical look, at relatively relevant real life concepts and events, ranging from jabs towards Communism and the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse, to a platformer involving Lady Gaga’s meat dress and Edward Cullen being an adolescent girl magnet.
It’s stupidly random, quite gory, and it’s almost certainly a waste of your time. But man, what a great way to waste your time. The concepts talked about, the minigames played, and the amount of absurdity vary greatly, held together only by the inclusion of a relatively simple character design, used for basically everyone. However, as stupid as :the game: might seem at times, it’s…well. I would just say it’s a rather smart kind of stupid.
Across the three games, nothing ever really gets old, it retains a sense of cleverness, and honestly, has to be one of the most creative things I’ve ever seen on the internet. If you’ve got an hour or two to spare, I recommend you check the series out: you can play the first one here, you can replay :the game: here, and reimagine :the game: here.
4. Rebuild (series)
There’s a whole plethora of zombie games on the internet. As far as I know, many people know of The Last Stand, Boxhead, Infectonator and Road of the Dead, which are all great games in their own right. However, Rebuild takes the whole concept of a zombie apocalypse, and inserts a far more strategic twist. Rather than having to scrounge around yourself for supplies, shooting up zombies left and right, the Rebuild series focuses on the construction of a whole new civilization, starting from just a few blocks of a city, with all the challenges that entails. You assign people to scrounge for food, defend your borders, clean out blocks, and try your hardest to become self-sustaining.
The Rebuild series is one of my personal favorite online games, simply for the surprising amount of depth it has. Every single person you meet is important, and every single one of their individual skill sets ends up having a use. Balancing morale, food supply, expansion, manpower and more can, depending on your difficulty, be moderately challenging, to straight up impossible. However, the sense of growth you get from managing your new civilization cannot be understated- watching it grow from a pathetic 4 block radius, to a straight up self-sustaining city, is immensely satisfying.
Between dealing with sporadic zombie attacks, a rogue gang, traders, food shortages, morale shortages, and a plethora of unique events waiting to be explored, Rebuild is a game you could easily spend hours on. At its easiest, an interesting story to be built, and at it’s hardest, a game that surpasses the hardest Fire Emblem game in difficulty, there’s enough depth in the Rebuild series to keep you occupied for a longgg time. It’s a great time waster- one you can try for yourself by clicking this link!
3. Sonny (series)
On the web, there exist RPG games of varying quality: some come across as intriguing, but with no personality or charm to it, while others, despite being technically solid, just don’t have enough content to keep you engaged. Then you have Sonny: a turn-based strategy RPG that, despite being more than eight years old as of this moment, stands out for its charm, quality, and depth. The plot of the game goes something like this: you’re a Zombie. Well. Not in the traditional sense: you’ve died, by all means, you should be decaying, dead, and gone, but you’re not. Your body’s still walking, you’re still talking, and your thoughts are still your own. Confused and disoriented, you, going by the new name “Sonny,” begin your quest, hopeful to discover just what is going on in this world, and what your condition as a zombie has to do with it.
Sonny, and its sequel Sonny 2, are without a doubt some of the most engaging RPG’s you’re going to find online. Quality stuff has come out in the past few years, that’s true, but the complex gameplay, the relatively well-done voice acting, the music, the personality of the characters, and the surprisingly difficult, yet not unfair difficulty, it all comes together to create an experience that makes Sonny something special. Mind you, it certainly shows its age at points, but in my opinion, that doesn’t detract at all from its unique charm. If you’ve got some time on your hands- maybe during the upcoming Winter Break, then maybe give it a try!
2. One Chance
In the vast expanse of the internet, there is plenty of room for self-expression. Bloggers, artists, and game developers share their creative minds, resulting in gorgeous pieces of art, genuine messages and ideas, and of course, emotionally touching creations. There are many games that aim to share political, philosophical, and touching ideas, but out of all of them, none stood out more to me than One Chance.
The world is going to end in six days, and you have One Chance, both in the world of the game, and the game itself, to escape death. A cure gone wrong, leading to the deterioration of all physical matter on Earth, and only you, the scientist responsible, can potentially find a cure. What will you do?
Although a very simple game, it showcases to me what makes many indie browser games great. The art style, even if simplistic, is enough to get across its main points exceptionally well, and perhaps, emphasizes the emotional moments even more so because of it. All the details are there in the right places- small things over the course of six days become so much more emphasized thanks to the simplicity of the game. Couple this with a calm, haunting soundtrack that lends itself to great atmosphere, and a game that legitimately, honestly, only gives you One Chance to get it right, and you’ve got, in my opinion, one of the most emotional browser games on the internet: one that you can experience for yourself, in barely an hour.
1. Strike Force Heroes 2
To round out yet another genre you can find on the internet, you have shooter games. Normally played from a 2D perspective, although you CAN find the rare 3D game, most online shooters tend to be pretty popular. You’ve got Raze, the Thing-Thing series, Madness Combat, and far, far more, but among them all, the cream of the crop in my opinion, has to be Strike Force Heroes 2.
Its campaign is extremely simple in all honesty. There’s an evil organization using a bad technology, and you, as a newbie joining the Strike Force Heroes, must take them down before they destroy the world. However, what makes it stand out in my mind, is the surprising amount of polish it has. Make no mistake, it is a browser game, and very obviously shows it. The plot is corny, the voice acting is decent at best, and the animations are rather simple. Strike Force Heroes 2 then makes up for it by having some of the smoothest, yet simplistic 2D shooter gameplay I’ve ever seen, being unashamedly memetic and exaggerated at points, and providing a multitude of classes, guns, missions, and difficulties to play around with. Its music is intense and surprisingly good, its graphics are enough for what it is, and in terms of content and replayability, man, Strike Force Heroes 2 is one of the best browser games around.
Honestly, I’m not sure how well I can describe it: between the many different game modes, weapon types, and classes, all held together by the smooth gameplay, you could easily waste hours and hours on this game. At the very least, I have. That being said, if you’d like to try the game out, here’s a link!
Well. That was a fun little list to do. I hope you got introduced to some rather decent games! If I’ve missed any (which, I definitely have, the internet’s a freaking gold mine), please feel free to share! Do you have any favorite online browser games?