Articles by Tasha

Best of the web

While you sleep, we scour the web for the best gaming stories and share them with you here in our new 'Best of the Web' column.

Welcome to what we hope will become a regular column on Casual Girl Gamer. In Best of Web, we aim to share with you the gaming stories and links that have piqued our interest over the previous week. This inaugural issue includes a flick through the portfolio of a game studio with a great artistic style, coverage of a fantastic retro RPG game for the XBox and the launch of new competition to uncover the best HTML5 games.

We also highlight a project that has remade one of 2010's best art games from a female perspective. Oh and we also point you in the direction of one of our favourite blogs for finding out the best new indie games. If you love gaming, then we hope you will love these links.

Published by Tasha on 26th January 2011
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If there is one game that should convince you to install the Unity browser plugin, it is this stunningly beautiful solar system sandbox game.

I almost did not play Aurora. It uses the Unity plugin and I have had bad experiences with Unity games in the past. Some have run dreadfully slowly on my laptop. Others have actually crashed my browser. So when I spotted the Unity loading screen, my first reaction was to immediately close down the game. I am glad I resisted this urge because Aurora is an absolute gem of a game. Certainly, it is one of the most beautiful browser games I have ever played.

This is not to say the game is perfect. It is still in beta mode so is a bit rough around the edges in places but there is so much to love about the game. The premise is fascinating, for starters. The game transports you (playing a nameless, invisible god) to the middle of a new solar system soon after its star is born. These are chaotic times for the inchoate system - rocks and small asteroids are spinning about all around you, occasionally crashing into each other.

Published by Tasha on 25th January 2011
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New Game Round Up

The New Year brings loads of great new games for you to play. We pick out the cream of the crop.

There is usually a lull in new game releases in the first few months of the New Year. Game developers, having worked liked madmen to get their titles out in time for the vital pre-Christmas buying frenzy, take time out to do research, brainstorm new ideas and begin work on the next batch of big releases. At least, that is the case in the console and PC game market.

Creators of free online games on the other hand do things very differently. They simply cannot afford to take a break… ever. Think of all those game-plays they would miss out on. Moreover, in the fickle world of online gaming, where consumers have a huge number of games to choose from, a developer that fails to release a game for a few months risks being forgotten.

Published by Tasha on 20th January 2011
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Top 10 Gravity Games

The laws of physics might not work as you expect in our list of the ten best gravity-themed games you can play for free online.

Gravity? I have definitely heard of it. Wasn’t there some bright spark who had an epiphany about gravity after something fell on them? That’s it, I remember now. A young physiotherapist called Isabel Newton was minding her own business one day when a resident of a tower block accidentally dropped their iPod out of the window. The iPod landed of Isabel’s head, and she had a sudden revelation that was to have a huge impact on our understanding of the universe: when things fall on your head, they hurt. That’s right, isn’t it? I never paid that much attention in school so I might have the odd detail wrong.

Anyway, the reason we are talking about such a rarefied concept as gravity is that we have collected together ten of the best gravity themed games we could find, all of them free to play in your browser. Be warned, however. Game developers are a mischievous lot who love nothing more than messing around with the basic laws of physics. So gravity in these games might not work quite as you expect.

Published by Tasha on 8th January 2011
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Top 10 Cutest Games

Like a new born kitten or puppy, these unbelievably cute free online games just make you want to go 'awww'.

This a public service announcement. The headquarters of Casual Girl Gamer have suffered a deadly outbreak of the cuteness virus. You are advised to evacuate the area immediately. Whatever you, do not in any circumstance touch any of the games scattered around the site, no matter how enticing they might appear.

These games are dangerous. They are contaminated with the deadly streptocuteus strain. Anyone who comes into contact with the games will instantly be infected with this highly contagious virus. Symptoms of infection include a dumb wide-eyed expression and an inability to say anything other than 'awwww'. You have been warned.

Published by Tasha on 3rd January 2011
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Top 10 Christmas Games

Get into the festive spirit with our list of the best ten christmas-themed games you can play online.

It is with great pleasure that we at Casual Girl Gamer wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We're now off to munch mince pies, snigger at grandpa snoring away on the couch, and get jolly on some festive brandy. Five minutes later. Erm, yes, thanks to all our readers who emailed us. We of course consider you part of our extended family and, erm, yes, of course we have some presents for you. No, no, no, we would never dream of not getting you a gift. Who do you think we are?

We, er, just need a few minutes to find them. You see, our cats are very naughty and, er, must have hidden them. You know, like cats do. Several minutes of frantic searching through our filing cabinet of games later. Ah, yes, here they are: ten of the best Christmas themed online games that money can buy, each individually gift-wrapped (honest) by a member of the Casual Girl Gamer team specially for you. Phew, that was a close call. Now, where did I put that brandy...

Published by Tasha on 23rd December 2010
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Games of the Year 2010

Casual Girl Gamer presents her ten favourite online casual games of 2010, and asks readers to share their own most loved games of the year.

Wow. What a year. For online casual games, that is. I can't remember a better year for fans of free online games. Developers like John Cooney, Ivan Miller, Toge Productions, Nerdook... (the list is endless) have been churning out consistently high quality games all year. So much so that it has been almost impossible to keep up with all the great new games coming out (We hope our game lists and new game round-ups have been helping in this respect).

We can only hope that 2011 will match the quality and productivity of 2010. But before we file 2010 away in the dusty folder marked 'past', let's take one last look at some of the great games it produced. Here, we pick our ten favourite online casual games of the year. As usual, we have focused on games that you can play online for free.

Published by Tasha on 19th December 2010
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Top 10 Driving Games

Hit the road Jack! And while you’re at it, why not hit a few zombies too, or blast up some aliens or even drive atop a roller-coaster. If you were expecting some boring driving sims here, think again.

If you are the type who likes your driving games to be as close to real-life as is humanly (computerly!?) possible, then you may want to do an instant hand-break-turn and screech off in the opposite direction as fast as your perfectly rendered car will allow you.

Those however who don’t give a jot about realism but just want to have fun might want to stick around a bit longer. For the developers of these ten games have realised one very important thing; what people want most from a driving game is to do all those things that they are not allowed to in real-life - drive on the wrong side of the road, bash into police cars, mow down zombies, drive your car on a roller-coaster...

Published by Tasha on 15th December 2010
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Top 10 RPG Games of 2010

We left no cave unexplored, no chest unopened and no corpse un-robbed in our quest to bring you the ten best casual RPG games of the year.

Before we get deluged with hate mail from fans of Runescape, Dragons Age Origins and World of Warcraft, we ought to point out that this is a list of casual RPGs, not multi-million-dollar budget console or PC games or MMORPGs. All the games on our list can be played in your browser for free. None of then require you to sign-up. Nor should any of them take much more than a few hours to complete.

If you are into RPGs with huge persistent worlds, state-of-the-art 3D graphics and months of game-play, then our list might not be for you. On the other hand, if you like your games to be short and sweet, to feature innovative game-play mechanics and above all to be fun, then you are in for a treat. These are what we consider to be the ten best casual RPGs to have been released this year. Fill your boots.

Published by Tasha on 5th December 2010
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Top ten Online Physics Games of 2010

You don't need to be a genius to realise there is something peculiar about our list of the best ten online physics games of the year.

Yes, Einstein, we are fully aware that this top 10 list is a little unusual. The fact that it does not contain ten items is - to say the least - not the norm for such lists. It could indeed be construed as a violation of Advertising Standards. In our defence, we really did try to choose only ten games.

But that was before we discovered just how many physics games were released in 2010. We're talking literally hundreds of games here. Narrowing these down to just ten was going to demand drastic action. So we got drastic. We immediately ruled out all sequels, so games like Crush the Castle 2, Wake the Box 2, Biosics 2, Bloons 2, Fantastic Contraption 2, Fragger Lost City while undoubtedly brilliant were instantly excluded.

Published by Tasha on 25th November 2010
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