Free games are excellent, especially when you don't even have to wait for them to download and install. Webgames promise instant delight. They can deliver a quick thrill and a punch line and then let you get on with your day. But there are deeper experiences out there as well. Did you know, for example, that you can play Doom in your browser? In fact, you can play whole RPGs, explore intricate works of interactive fiction and wage space-war against your friends. Within, you'll find our hundred favourite browser games—the best free online games in the world. Enjoy.
Browser-based shooter Quake Live will be reintroduced as a standalone, downloadable game by the end of the year. An official update on its forums cites changes in the way plugin-based games are supported by popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox.
Santa has dropped a pile of coal into Peter Griffin's stocking this year as word comes from 20th Century Fox that it is scuttling its browser-based game on January 18, 2013. Billing itself as a "MMLOL" -- or massively-multiplayer, laugh-out-loud role-playing game -- Family Guy Online let you create an original character and take to the streets of the fictional city of Quahog, Rhode Island to interact with characters from the TV series and complete allegedly hilarious missions. It was launched earlier this year, but never moved past the beta stage.
I'm still recovering from last weekend's one-two punch of deadpan delivery and violence-tinged humor that was Dredd 3D, so I'm relieving my cratered sense of logic (seriously, how can Eomer see out of that helmet?) with a slew of indie and not-so-indie releases restoring normalcy with banana suits, majestic space cruisers, and "infuriating clowns." Read more after the break.
Runescape devs, Jagex, made it clear that they're determined to stomp out all botting with a massive account nuke last year that banned 1.5 million bot accounts in one day. The battle continues with a new initiative that will name and shame cheaters in an open court setting.
"From today, any player caught botting will be given two warnings to allow them to change their ways, after which they will be permanently banned from the game - with no appeals," say Jagex. "At each warning stage the botter's avatar will change to signify to the rest of the community that they have been caught botting. After receiving their second and final warning should they break the rules again, the bot avatar will be transferred to a new area called Botany Bay to await the judgment of the community."
Square Enix have announced that Hitman: Blood Money will be free to play through their Core Online browser gaming service. You bank free game time by watching adverts, but once that's expired, you'll have to watch more if you want to keep going. Alternatively, you can buy individual levels or the entire game and play free of interruptions. Individual Blood Money levels cost 49c, the entire game costs $4.99.
Core Online is in beta at the moment and only supports Hitman: Blood Money and Mini Ninjas but Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is planned soon. Square Enix have put out a trailer showing how the whole thing works which contains an advert within an advert. If you really hate watching adverts, this might not be the service for you.
Ubisoft are making a big push into free-to-play browser based games, and they're using some classic franchises to do it. They're publishing THREE new games, and we've taken a look at all of them. Check out our previews of Silent Hunter Online, Anno Online and Heroes of Might and Magic Online for the first details.
We sent Dan out to have a chat with Benedikt Grindel, director of live operations at the developer behind all three games, Blue Byte. Grindel suggests that the move is about using the power of a familiar brand to find fresh fans, and argues that the move online doesn't necessarily spell the end for these series' much loved offline iterations.
If there are two things beginning with C that tanks aren't, it's collectible and cardboard. AND YET, World of Tanks developers Wargaming.net will render World War 2's most monstrous war machines unto tiny rectangles in their upcoming strategy game, World of Tanks Generals. You'll only be able to caress those collectible cutouts if you own the board game version but, fortunately, it'll also be available as a free to play, browser based game.
Build a beautiful and complex game level, tweet the link, and watch the scoreboard as your friends are instantly able to play it. That's the promise of Square-Enix's Gameglobe, a free-to-play browser-based game creation tool currently in closed beta. Its assets are cute, but the code making it all go can't be trivial: this game-making game looks gorgeous and powerful.
Games have been cribbing from Warhammer 40,000 for years. The series that created what many consider to be the archetypal space soldier is always going to have an influence on artists and designers creating futuristic new worlds. EA's browser based strategy, Command and Conquer: Tiberium Alliances may have gone a bit far, though, judging from some comparison images created by Redditor Bro-jangles, which put a couple of Tiberium Alliance's tanks side by side with a few famous 40K vehicles. The similarities are uncanny.
Free to play browser-based city builder, Settlers Online has sprung into open beta phase. Suck the resources from the land to sustain your palaces, raze forests and raid the oceans to raise ambitious new structures. Then, when nature just can't take it anymore, start a fight and get into some turn based combat with your mates and steal their wood as well. You can sign up and start playing for free on the Settlers Online site now, or check out our Settlers Online preview for an overview.
Hot off the recent announcement of Command & Conquer: Generals 2, EA announce that they'll be releasing a browser-based C&C called Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances. They describe it as a "hardcore strategy" that will be playable on any "HTML5 compatible browser or mobile device."
Apparently you'll be able to build alliances and take territory by "leveraging your social network strategically," which sounds a little sinister. You'll also be able to gather resources and battle your friends for control of a "dynamically updating map." It's being developed by Phenomic, the studio behind Battleforge and Lord of Ultima, both of which are free to play. EA will be taking closed beta applications on www.TiberiumAlliances.com when it eventually goes live.
You want me to toss in a couple bucks for a sweet mount in your F2P MMO? Sure thing. 10 bucks for a huge content pack? No biggie. Over a thousand dollars for one little drone-- wait, what? It may sound crazy to normal folks like you and me, but Bigpoint's Dark Orbit, a browser-based F2P spaceship MMO, recently sold 2,000 of their in-game drones in just four days, priced at 1,000 Euros each! The sales net Bigpoint around two and a half million dollars.
In a fortnight Flash 11 will launch, and it promises to be a very different creature to the 2D engine we're used to. Flash will be embracing the third dimension in a big way. Gamersmint highlighted the trailer above, with words from Adobe platform manager, Danny Winokur. “With direct access to the GPU [graphics processing unit], you’ll see a thousand times faster rendering over prior versions of Flash,” he says.
The video above goes into detail about their new molehill infrastructure that enables this mega-boost in processing power. Flash 11 will face plenty of stiff competition from other powerful plug in suites like Unity, but more powerful browser engines can only be a good thing for market that grows busier by the day. Do you play many browser-based games? Would you play more if they were 3D, and running at 50 frames per second?
Drakensang is an action RPG that carries the strong, gory whiff of Diablo about it. That's no bad thing, especially considering that Drakensang is free to play, runs from a browser and is remarkably pretty. The open beta is now live, meaning anyone who wants to give the game a shot can sign up now on the Drakensang site (press the huge green PLAY NOW button to get started), and launch the game from a browser of your choosing. Fling fireballs, kill imps, level up, or check out the screenshots below.
Jagex have told Eurogamer that beta testing of their new free-to-play, browser-based MMO, Transformers Unvierse, will kick off "very soon" in preparation for a full release next year. They've also dropped some new details. Read on for information about the class system, vehicle transformation and how Transformers Universe will relate to the recent cartoon series.
How would you like to try Jagex' new browser-based kingdom building game, 8 Realms for free? The game offers a persistent online world in which to grow a kingdom. You expand by trading and battling with neighbouring players, and by improving the culture of your cities. The first 50,000 people to enter the game using the code world below will be able to build wonders and crush their enemies for free using the special code word below.
During a talk at GDC 2011, Vincent Scheib, a software engineer at Google, has shown off the future of web-based gaming with impressive browser-based demos which don't require plugins or web players to work.
Speaking to PC Gamer live at the show he says: "A lot of the tech is available today but in a beta or test form. You don’t have to use flash. As we move forward, the browsers are dedicated to supplying new technology to support higher quality applications."
Hit more for a video, and to try out the demos.