Browser gaming is becoming a lost form of entertainment. There are just so many other ways to play games – most of them fundamentally sophisticated – that we often don’t even think about simply going to an arcade website and enjoying something more casually. However, if you grew up in the late-‘80s, ’90s or even ‘00s, and you like gaming, you’re probably at least familiar with the concept. At one point or another most of us were obsessed with a browser game, be it Bubble Spinner, Helicopter, or any number of other popular titles.
These games aren’t essential anymore, but they’re still out there. And sometimes their combination of quality and simplicity can be just the thing for a few hours of mindless entertainment. In light of this, we’re pointing out eight of the really good ones you can still play today.
For a game with “bullets” in its title, this is a surprisingly methodical, brain-teasing game. It’s set up as a vintage shooter in which you aim to knock nefarious spacecrafts out of the sky. However, true to the title, you only get 10 bullets with which to do it. You can’t “win” the game in a survival sense, but you can keep upping your score by knocking out as many enemies as possible with your limited ammo. And rest assured, you can go much better than 10-for-10. When you destroy one ship, its fragments can destroy others, which is why the game involves so much thought.
2. Fancy Pants Adventures World 3
The Fancy Pants Adventures games are just a delight to play, and feel like they’ve been plucked straight from a child’s imagination, as one review put it several years ago. Really if you’re interested you should just look up the series, because all of the games are fun, but we’re picking this later installment in the series just because it has a little more depth. Overall though these are games in which you control a little stick figure (wearing “fancy” pants) and guide him through levels that are part platformer, part sidescroller, with a dose of Sonic the Hedgehog wildness. It’s a very tongue-in-cheek game with a lot of humor worked in, and it’s actually a challenge to play through as well.
3. Escape Goat
It’s sort of difficult not to automatically love a game that’s called Escape Goat. But this isn’t just a fun title; it’s actually an awesome browser game. It’s drawn in an old-school fashion reminiscent of some dungeon crawlers, and your job is to help a purple goat suspected of witchcraft escape prison. Yes, you read that right. From there it’s basically a puzzle game in which you need to solve each level by itself by moving your goat around to open up doors and avoid obstacles. It’s almost like a super stripped down Prince Of Persia style game.
4. Kingdom Rush
If you’re more of a mobile gamer, you may know later iterations of this game built for smartphones and tablets. The original, however, is known as one of the best tower defense games ever made. Set up in a somewhat medieval setting with paths snaking through forests, it challenges players to stop advancing armies at all costs, and even allows you to play an active role after your defense are set (which not all TD games do), deploying your soldiers directly onto the path if need be. It can still be found in various places online, and is a wildly enjoyable game even now that it’s almost old fashioned within its genre.
5. Sniper Team
This one doesn’t require too many words. Basically there are about a million different sniper arcades you can find in your browser, many of them excellent and many underwhelming. Sniper Team is arguably the most sophisticated, and best, of the bunch.
6. 4 Seasons
If you were to just here that there was a great slot machine game out there, you might not give it a second thought. The truth though is that this whole style of gaming has come a very long way in the last five years. Games can be found for free now, and many of them employ sophisticated, beautiful graphics and even a touch of storytelling and action. There are actually a lot of them that are worth playing, but 4 Seasons – one of the prettiest of the bunch – is just adorable. Picture cute little creatures with big eyes frolicking in a fantasy forest and you pretty much have the idea.
7. 13 Days In Hell
This is one of many zombie shooters you can find online, but arguably the most satisfying. The title basically stands for 13 different levels, each of which throws more (and tougher) zombies at you. With each day you make it through, you gain better weaponry and ammunition with which to take on the fresh wave of zombies, all of which come at you from a first person perspective. the graphics are nothing to write home about, but the gameplay is simple and the game itself satisfyingly addicting.
8. 50 States
Last not least is the simplest game on this list, which is basically a puzzle of the United States. The trick is that there are no borders drawn, so you’re challenged to place states in the correct places simply by knowledge and memory. The states appear at random, such that it’s a little bit of blind luck as to whether you can win any given game. For instance, if you start off with a coastal state with a distinct shape, like Florida or Texas, you can usually fit it in place and start to generate borders to go off of. Getting a central state like Kansas right off the bat can doom you!