Maybe my headline isn't strictly true but damn if Surviv.io, a free-to-play browser-based battle royale game, isn't a heck of a lot of fun. You know by now how battle royale works from PUBG and H1Z1 and Fortnite: a bunch of players arrive on a map, a deadly circle slowly closes around them, they search for weapons and gear and fight until only one remains.
Surviv.io does it in your browser for free, with simple 2D graphics seen from a top-down perspective. It's got everything we've come to expect from battle royale games: a nice selection of weapons and ammo, grenades, helmets, backpacks, bandages and medkits and pain pills and other gear. There aren't vehicles, but I daresay you won't need them: the map isn't very big and rounds are short.
I know it's a very basic representation of the battlefield and players (your character is essentially a circle with two smaller circles representing your fists) and at first it feels like a game you couldn't possibly get worked up over, but the first time I wound up in the final circle with only one other player left, I still felt some degree of that battle royale tension. Plus, I won, which may account for why this is now my favorite BR game.
You can play alone in Surviv.io, or in duos, and the developer just added the ability to play in squads of four. When you click play you'll instantly be in a match and you run around looking for gear, which can be found in crates that you punch to smash, inside various cabinets in houses (you also punch them to smash) or just lying on the floor or ground.
You can find scopes for your guns as well, which is pretty cleverly translated in 2D by giving you an expanded view when you're outdoors. An 8x scope will really give you a birds-eye view, allowing you to spot and pop other players before they can even see you (unless they have scopes as well).
You can even hide pretty effectively. You can't see inside buildings unless you've got line of sight through a doorway, so you can still ambush other players. Hiding under a tree makes it a bit harder to see you, and hiding under a spot where two trees overlap gives you a nice and nearly opaque canopy.
But honestly, half the appeal for me is you go to the site and click play and you're in a match just like that. So much time in PUBG is spent waiting: waiting for the game to load, waiting for a match, waiting in the lobby, waiting on the plane, waiting to land, followed by—if you live long enough—waiting for the circle to shrink around the last few players. Which sucks extra hard when you get eliminated early.
I know I'm comparing apples and oranges here, but there's something rather refreshing about clicking play and finding yourself instantaneously in a battle royale match with no fuss or muss or loading screens or menus or delays. It's also nice to not spend a half-hour actually playing a match: the death-circle begins closing promptly, and continues to do so quickly, so matches only last a few minutes. Pop in for one round or 10, alone or with friends, do some looting and shooting, and despite the simple graphics you'll still feel a bit of that famous battle royale tension and excitement.
You can play Surviv.io right here roughly one second after you click on it.