If North Korea hasn't kicked off World War III by the time I finish this article, then you should probably celebrate by spending time with your family, remembering the important things in life, or putting the final piece of macaroni on that avant-garde masterpiece you've been working on. (No really, it's great. And I'm not just saying that.) Alternatively, we could put our fingers in our ears and play some awesome browser games instead. These webgames won't help avert a potential thermonuclear war, but they will give you a better understanding of autism, auto-running, art, horses and landmines, five things which may or may not be helpful in the coming apocalypse. Enjoy!
Mine Your Step by Green Slime(opens in new tab)
A really quite interesting multiplayer puzzle game that's gradually being solved by the power of... collaboration. You're a soldier attempting to reach a bunker across a series of landmine-ridden fields – the catch being that, well, landmines are a bit invisible to the naked eye. Thankfully, there is a way to chart a passage through the battlefields. Every death leaves a bloody splat on the ground, which remains through future playthroughs (and the playthroughs of the other participants). By the time I got there, tons of other people had already laid down their lives, showing where not to step on my quest to reach safety. I managed to reach level 6 before the very bloody treasure maps began to peter out – can you do any better? And will you die a few times, to make it easier for me? Thanks! (Via IndieGames (opens in new tab) )
Fear Less! by innomin and atpalicis
A lovely auto-runner about a girl outrunning death in a 2D nightmare. Z jumps over obstacles – mushrooms, bunnies... gravestones – while X dispatches enemies, if timed correctly. It's only two things to keep track of (well, it's three if you count the collectible coins), but Fear Less! soon ramps up the challenge, as you might expect from a rythmic running game. Beautiful pixel art and catchy chiptune music obviously help the game's case as well.
Pixelry: A Day At The Races by Evelend Games(opens in new tab)
This free slice of Evelend Games' upcoming jousting RPG Pixelry (opens in new tab) takes one of its minigames (horse racing) and turns it into a browser game – one that, typically, I'm completely terrible at. You're trying to get the equine and its jockey passenger as far along the (seemingly randomly generated) obstacle course as inhumanely possible – hit a barricade or tumble into a ditch and the little fella will catapult into the sky. No horses were harmed during the making of this game, unless you count the ones that were turned into beef lasagne.
Avant-Garde by Lucas "AD1337" Molina(opens in new tab)
I am a terrible 19th century artist. This might have something to do with me being a spaceman from the 21st century, but I just can't seem to keep up with the likes of Monet and Picasso, despite spending half my time drinking with them in some Parisian cafe. Avant-Garde is a sort of sim RPG, putting you in the role of an upcoming artist in one of the most competitive environments in art history. Do you spend your time working on your form and composition, fraternizing with your friends and rivals in the hope of acquiring a few tips, or do you (y'know) draw and ink and paint and sell stuff, so you can actually sustain your artistic passion?
Avant-Garde is currently in alpha, so the scope of the game is fairly small at the moment, with just a few locations and activities to engage in. It's still captivating stuff, however, enriched no end by the use of gorgeous period artwork. (Via Free Indie Games (opens in new tab) )
Auti-Sim by TaylanK(opens in new tab)
A short scene that aims to recreate (or at least suggest) what it might be like to suffer from auditory hypersensitivity disorder - and an experience I could only take for a couple of minutes before I turned down the volume, eventually closed the tab, and felt very grateful that I could do both of those things. You're a child suffering from autism (yep, the title is a pretty good pun), and you've been put in a playground, an environment that causes your vision to crumple and blur, and your ears to be overwhelmed by a cacophony that gets louder and louder until you just can't take it anymore. Illuminating, terrifying stuff. (Via Rock, Paper, Shotgun (opens in new tab) )