We are creatures of habit. We seek the familiar. The comforting. We create routines for ourselves to blanket ourselves from the noisy reality that is life. Humans do this for everything. Food, people, ideas, entertainment and schedules. At least I do this a lot. Luckily one of my routines involves trying new games. Growing up my family was quite poor, so I didn’t have the cash to try out new games very often. I had my little horde collected over years and years, but I got to try quite a few games through friends and later on, the internet. This is where I got my good routine from. When serving in the military I had a lot of time to kill, but even less cash than usual. So, I stared play flash games and smaller productions which were published online for free. These games can be seen as proto indies. Game developed not with profit in mind, but for the joy of making games and the allure of internet fame.
I got into the habit of playing these games every day. Newgrounds, armour games and Kongregate became my go to place for entertainment. The games presented here were all of varying quality and length, but most of them we’re short affairs. The most common reason people have for not trying random new games is time and money. Most AAA or II games are time consuming projects which demand that the player set of a few days for the experience. Browser game however rarely demand more than an hour or two from you. And they don’t cost any money.
I’m going to recommend a few games now. These are some of my favourites, but that also means that they usually are either puzzle games or some sort of twist on normal games. This might mean that it’s not the best list for new gamers who aren’t familiar with gaming tropes. I do however still recommend you try a few of them and start looking for others at the site.
First of we start with Its just tic tac toe.
This is a newer game which I stumbled over while finding links to the other games. Well worth the time and has a good message on how videogames can subvert and improve upon even the most common of gameplay ideas.
You have to burn the rope
Action! Adventure! You have to burn the rope even has a boss fight. One of my all-time favourites.
Don’t shit your pants
A good puzzle game which harkens back to the text based choose your own story games of yore. It’s a silly premise, but still a good play.
Edmund would later go on to make a few hit games like Super Meat boy and The binding of Isaac. Tons of his old games are however still on Kong and while they lack the polish of his later games they still have the heart.
We become what we behold
Many browser games remind me of student films and short stories. They often have some sort of grand message which they deliver with conviction and without guile. It might not be subtle, but it’s effective.
There is no game
Merging narrative and gameplay is hard and making the narrative about the game which you are currently playing is really damned hard.
This game is legendary. Passed around from friend to friend with the only sentence being “Trust me It’s worth it, don’t give up before you find the secret”
In the company of myself
As a kid this game got to me. I still love it for its game mechanics.
As you might have noticed most of these games comes from Kongregate. It’s a platform for browser games which over the years had gotten better and better. I recommend to anyone wanting to experience more games to make a user on the site. Their daily badge system suggests a new game for you to try every day. Tons of known indie developers got their first taste of fame on the site.
By trying new games and exploring the shorter experiences you will broaden your horizon and it will give you a better idea of what is possible with the medium. Not every game needs a massive team or scope.