Online Games for Everyone

Published: Friday, Feb 08, 2008
Keeping with our “timewaster’s” theme, we’ve compiled a few links to some of our favorite online games and game collections. There’s something for everyone here: sports games; puzzles and logic games; action and adventure games that range in difficulty and complexity from simple shoot-‘em-ups to rather immersive experiences with intricate plots and graphics; one-note games with no real purpose beyond the initial visual joke; and games with fiendishly convoluted rules, objectives, and scoring systems. The best part is, all you need to play these games is either Flash Player or Shockwave, both of which are available online for free from Adobe (chances are, you have one or both of these already installed on your computer).

The 50+ games offered at this charming site couldn’t be simpler, requiring only your mouse or perhaps the use of the spacebar and arrow keys on your keyboard to control the game characters. Each game asks the player to perform one or two simple tasks, usually summed up in the title of the game itself (Milk the Cow, Aim and Fire, etc). The true appeal of these games lies in their colorful, whimsical graphics and characters. They really are a joy to behold and demonstrate how simple Flash animation can be used to create an engaging and entertaining game experience.

Favorite Game

This is a tough call, but we’d have to go with Friends, in which you control a rabbit-and-turtle team (the rabbit carries the turtle on his shoulders, naturally) as they walk through an orchard. The turtle, who of course is armed with a slingshot, attempts to shoot apples and oranges off the trees, timing his marksmanship to cause the dislodged fruit to fall onto the snakes that seem to infest this particular orchard (mistimed apple shots are no cause for alarm—a quick tap of the spacebar repositions your team, enabling the bunny, now astride the turtle’s shell, to rap the offending reptile with a stick). Oh yeah, we almost forgot: our heroes are also beset by murderous crows intent on spoiling their orchard stroll with a blitzkrieg of old-fashioned bombs (the kind that look like cannonballs, feature a lit fuse, and are most often seen in old Three Stooges shorts). What provoked the birds? Who lit the bomb fuses? Why is the rabbit wearing an unbuttoned red vest? We may never know the answers to these questions.

Strangest Game

Hold the Rope, a “game” in name only, which depicts a tug-of-war between a rhinoceros and five men, who weaken as the game progresses. Players must constantly click each man to replenish his strength; otherwise, the rhino runs off, dragging the men behind it. That’s it; no strategy, no tactics, just lots and lots of clicking.

The Guitar Shred Show

The Way of the Exploding Solo

Play this hilarious and dangerously addictive game, and unleash your inner Zen guitar wizard. Guitar Shred Show combines comical cartoon visuals (the character you control, Mr. Fastfinger, looks like a cross between a kung-fu master and The Dude from The Big Lebowski) and educational, interactive guitar lessons. Use your keyboard to play epic solos, ragin’ riffs, lightening licks, and noodly runs as Mr. Fastfinger strikes textbook guitar hero poses (our favorite move is his high-steppin’ running-in-place routine with kimono/bathrobe flying akimbo). The game also displays notated guitar tabulatures as you play. After a little practice, you’ll be ready for a musical showdown on The Mountain of Tapping Dwarves and all set to embark on The Magic Carpet Tour. Don’t ask, just do yourself a favor and check out this game.


This marvelous little game consists of a square, around the inside of which slowly bounce little colored dots. When you click one (and only one), it inflates like a balloon (or maybe it expands like a supernova?), remains at its maximum diameter for a brief second, and then deflates. Each time any other floating dot collides with your little supernova, it, too, will inflate, setting off a chain reaction as additional dots come into contact with it, inflate, and touch others. To advance from level to level, you must inflate a certain number of dots: one out of five to get past level one; 2 out of 10 to get past level two; and so on, all the way until the 12th and final level, which requires the Herculean task of exploding 55 out of 60 dots. So simple, yet so maddeningly addictive. We dare you to give up before completing all 12 levels. You can’t do it. Go ahead and try. We’ll wait…

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