40. Crown Dungeon
Crown Dungeon is a cool, hand drawn flash game about a strange little creature that has to work theory way thorough a trap filled dungeon. Your aim is to find the crown, a goal dangled in front of you by a grasping hand at the end of each level.
The game was inspired by old flash puzzle games, yet has its own unique sense of style conveyed through its art direction. Its puzzles are also non-linear often requiring inventive solutions to reach the solution. If you’re looking for a creative game you can play in your browser whilst you should be working then this might just fit the bill.
If you’re in the mood for some free, high fantasy action then The Battle for Wesnoth might be right up your street. With a clear nod to games like Might and Magic this open source, turn-based strategy brings a deep world of intrigue and adventure to life.
In it you play a young prince on the run from the Lich Lords and their terrifying armies. It’s your noble quest to build an army and reclaim your lands from the nefarious traitors. And, that’s only one choice of dozens in this expansive RPG including online play in which you can battle online foes for control of the land. With a strong community creating custom maps and mods as well, there’s a wealth of content to get through. What better invitation to escape your everyday life do you need?
Hexagon is a highly addictive rhythm-action style game put together in one day in early 2012. You move a small object through a series of colourful hexagons all to a pumping soundtrack. Although that sounds quite simplistic, there’s that ‘one more try’ mentality to the fast paced gameplay that easily hooks you in. Next thing you know an hour has gone by and you’re none the wiser.
Its charm is really in its minimalist design and strong connection between graphics and sound. This is a game designed around its music, literally to a certain extent. It’s also not easy, which forms part of its addictive quality. Things speed up rapidly demanding the keenest of reactions to keep up with the beat. It’s simple fun and there’s times when we all need that.
37. Butterfly Soup
Butterfly Soup is a visual novel about gay Asian girls playing baseball and falling in love. There’s a keen focus on narrative that lets you explore the characters and emotions through the worlds they inhabit.
Set in 2008 the story follows four young, queer Asian-American girls during their first year at high school. After joining the schools’ baseball team the girls start to form a variety of relationships as they bond as individuals. Be warned that this is a game that approaches difficult topics such as child abuse and homophobia, but tries to do so in a positive way. Developer, Brianna Lei based the story on some of her own experiences growing up and attending high school among many other Asian-Americans.
Juice is indeed a very nice drink of choice – I don’t think anyone can disagree with that. So, it was inevitable that somebody would create a game centred around the drinking of juice, right? Well, either way, that’s what JUICE is, a game about drinking juice. Not just one type of JUICE either, but many variations including orange, kiwi, mango, carrot, ginger, beet and plum. This game caters for all tastes.
Liquid refreshments aside, JUICE is a physics game. You can have fun tipping cartons of juice all over the place without the worry of having to clean up after. You also get a little bit of narrative flavour text at the end of each successful cup filled in which the developer explains in great detail why he loves juice so much. An innocent, pure game in 2019 we hear you say? A rarity indeed – stay hydrated folks.
Ever dreamed of being a wizard? Well, now your dreams can become reality, as long as you own a VR headset that is. Waltz of the Wizard is a free, virtual reality game that lets you experiment with magical powers inside an interactive world. You can mix all manner of arcane spells in a boiling cauldron with the help of your ancient spirit friend who happens to be trapped in a human skull. Are you even a wizard at all if you don’t have a paranormal sidekick?
It’s all great destructive fun and, like many physics-based games, it’s that ability to cause as much havoc as possible, without the annoying consequences of reality, that is so appealing. You’re also not confined to one room – you can travel to a variety of locations on your wizardry quest. You can even make all the furniture in your castle dance like that scene from Fantasia, which is pretty cool. So, if you’ve got a VR headset and fancy lobbing a few fireballs around your room you have no reason not to play this.
FlOw started life as a relaxing and reflective game in which you play a worm-like creature as they go calmly about their business eating a variety of fauna and flora in their environment. Created by Jenova Chen and Nicholas Clark as part of Chen’s master’s thesis, it was adapted into a full PlayStation 3 game by his development studio, Thatgamecompany in 2007.
Critically praised for its relaxing atmosphere and scientific inspirations FlOw went on to win the Best Downloadable Game award at the 2008 Game Developers Choice Awards. Again, sparking that age-old argument that video games can be art FlOw enthralled people with its simplistic design and soothing audio accompaniment. Obviously, Thagamecompany went on to do great things, notably releasing their similarily critically acclaimed game Journey in 2012. But, to find out where their Journey all began, the seed to their Flower if you will, you’ll have to just go with the FlOw and try out this brilliant flash game that still holds up today. Sorry not sorry for the puns.
Is it possible to love a piece of art too much? The Static Speaks My Name asks this and many other bizarre questions in its surreal and short story. You step into the shoes of a man during his last night alive as he obsesses over his favourite piece of mysterious artwork. Copies of the artwork cover every corner of his small flat. It’s also pretty clear that the person you are controlling is dealing with some serious issues. Fair warning this game deals with themes of suicide.
There’s something that sticks with you about The Static Speaks My Name that can’t really be described. It’s a brief glimpse into the dark world that one, seemingly random person is experiencing. It’s entirely abstract in its deliver, to say that it is not like a video game in the traditional sense. Instead, it’s more like a video game haiku that is open to a multitude of interpretations from the small snippet of narrative you get to see. No matter how you look at it though, that small glimpse you do get leaves a lasting impression.
Shakes and Fidget is a satirical fantasy RPG in which you can create and control yoru own comic book hero. Starting out life as a browser game, this grindy RPG has all the usual challenges you’d expect, from quests and dungeons to raids and PvP. It’s a complete MMO package all playable for free, which is not a bad deal.
It’s the type of classic browser game designed to eat up a lot of your time managing the various timed quests you have available in the unending grind towards better loot and more gold. The graphics might be cute, but there’s significant depth to the game hidden away behind the cartoony avatars. You can also set up guilds, take part in raids and train a variety of pets to accompany you on your adventures should you choose. It’s a simple game for those who like the type of grind old-school social and browser games offered.
Relic Hunters Zero is an open source twin-stick shooter about blasting evil space ducks and turtles with tiny cute guns. This fast-paced shooter gives you access to a wide variety of wacky weapons and characters to wield to them. Your ultimate goal is to defeat the Ducan Commander, presumably a man who does not respect relics.
You’ll work your way through 12 frantic levels to a funky lo-fi soundtrack in search of those ever important relics. There’s also an endless challenge mode should you get bored of the base game. You can’t really go wrong with a good, solid old-school shooter and that’s exactly what Relic Hunters Zero is. It has just the right blend of shootyness – if that’s a thing – and pumping 8-bit tunes. It also plans to be updated forever being open source and all so things can only get better.