Articles by Tasha

Another 20 games that make you think about life

Fans of philosophical games rejoice. We have a further 20 thought-provoking games for you to play.

First we gave you five. Then we gave you ten. Now we are giving you 20 games that make you think about life. If you have developed a taste for games of a philosophical nature, then you should be in for a treat - we have some seriously innovative games here, everything from Elude, a game that explores the nature of depression, to Ulitsa Dimitrova, a tale about a street-urchin in Russia.

As with our previous lists, we have focused mainly on free games that you can play in your browser. But we have also thrown in the occasional downloadable game. These are free to play too. Before we get to the actual games, we would like to thank all our readers who suggested titles for this list. You made our job so much easier. And, of course, kudos to the game developers who created these games. Your creativity and craft are immensely appreciated.

Published by Tasha on 20th November 2010
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The ten best online platform puzzle games

Fancy something a bit more mentally challenging than usual? Then check out our list of the best online platform puzzle games.

The platform genre of games has proved incredibly durable. It is almost 30 years since classic titles like Manic Minor first brought the platform format to the attention of the general public. And here we are, three decades later, in a time of unparalleled variety in the games on offer, and we still can't get enough of platform action.

One reason for the genre's continued popularity is that game developers have become increasingly inventive in what they are doing with platform games. There are indeed now so many weird and wonderful platform games out there that you almost need to have sub-genres to categorise them all.

Published by Tasha on 3rd November 2010
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Ten scary online games

Wooooooooh. Woooooooooh. Yeah, it is halloween again, and - surprise surprise - we have some scary games for you to play. Well, I say scary but, to be honest, they are nowhere near as frightening as my trick or treaters.

I'll be honest here. Halloween absolutely terrifies me. No, it's not the prospect of being inundated by witches, undead and evil spirits that concerns me. I have become very adept at dispatching such gruesome wickedness in games like Left 4 Dead and Silent Hill. No, what fills me full of dread are the feral little kids who play trick or treat on me each year. The first time they came a-knocking at my door, I answered their question of "trick or treat, madam?" with no little nonchalance. "Oh, trick sounds so much more fun," I said, daring them to do their worst. I was not feeling so cocky the next morning when I heard that my granny's house had been burnt down, witnesses reporting four evil-looking urchins cackling to themselves near the scene.

Thankfully, Nana was out at bingo at the time. So no serious damage done. But it meant that the next year I was a lot more careful. No sooner had they started knocking on the door than I was there thrusting a brand-spanking new X-Box games console into their grubby little hands. That should get them on my side, I thought, as I quickly closed the door on them and retired trembling to the tent I had made out of my duvet. It didn't of course. The next day, as I entered into my car for work, I noticed the words 'PS3 rules' etched neatly into the window screen. I don't know what I am going to do this year. Maybe I'll give them a bottle of whiskey in the hope they will get drunk and forget me. Or perhaps I will simply leave the country.

Published by Tasha on 29th October 2010
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Top ten launching games

There is something about the idea of wantonly launching objects - in particular small animals - into the air that tickles human beings. We would never do it in real life, of course, but give us a game that let's us do it, and we simply can't stop playing.

This list of games will probably get me in trouble with the Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The Campaign to Save Shopping Carts and the League Against Meanness to Trucks are also unlikely to have me in their good books after reading this. The games we are featuring today are totally irresponsible. Anyone who did in real life what you can do in these games would be severely punished. And rightly so.

But, in their defence, there is [giggle] something insanely entertaining about launching a hedgehog into outer space, blasting a turtle [snigger] into the unknown using a nuke or driving a truck up a ramp so fast that it flies like a bird [suppressed guffaw], before crashing destructively down on some buildings. And what self-respecting student has not dreamed of launching themselves into the air in a shopping cart when drunk.

Published by Tasha on 20th October 2010
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Zombie Trapper

Funnaut's new platform-cum-defence game Zombie Trapper might have a few holes in its plot but this is more than made up for by beautiful graphics and unique and enjoyable game-play.

Being a tad absent-minded, I often forget the dates of special events in the calendar. I wake up on Easter morning, for example, completely oblivious to the importance of the day, and then feel intensely embarrassed and guilty when I see the chocolate eggs my husband has bought me, I having of course forgotten to get him anything. However, there is one day that I never forget. Halloween. That is because in the days and weeks running up to it I am continually reminded of its imminence. I am not talking here so much of the ever-more frequent knocks on the door from grubby kids demanding treats in return for not playing tricks (though that does help). No, I am referring to the tsunami of undead-inspired Flash games that flood the web in the weeks before 31 October.

Many of these games are of a pretty low quality - thrown together by the developer over a couple of days in an attempt to cash in on Halloween. But occasionally you will find gems like the game we are reviewing today: Zombie Trapper. I say it is a gem but, if you were to go by the storyline alone, you might think the game more of a dud. The plot, you see, may well appear fairly standard on the surface - your town in under attack from zombies and you, a lone policeman with an armoury of weapons, have to stop them at all costs - but on further study reveals some glaring issues. For a start, there is the holy altar that you must at all costs prevent the zombies from destroying.

Published by Tasha on 18th October 2010
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Best One Button Games

It is amazing how much fun you can have with games that use just one button.

There is something almost magical about one button games. You would have thought, given the simplicity of their controls, that these games would not offer much in terms of game-play. What, after all, can you do with just one button. And yet, in spite of this severe limitation, one button games can have surprisingly complex game-play (just look at the fully-fledged RPG in this list). Not only that, some one-button games - Poto and Cabenga, for example - can actually also offer a very stiff challenge to gamers.

This ability to unleash complex and challenging game-play using the simplest of controls is what makes one-button games so magical and fun to play. Here, we present you with what we consider to be the ten best one-button games that can be played online.

Published by Tasha on 14th October 2010
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Top 10 robot games

Robots make great characters in games. Don't believe us, then check out these ten great robot games, all of which can be played in your browser for free.

According to Wikipedia, robots are "virtual or mechanical artificial agents guided by computers to do tasks on their own". Yawn. Could you possibly make them sound more boring? That bone dry description might be true at some base level but it does not do justice to what robots really mean to us as human beings. What robots really are are devices through which we can explore our own humanity. They are blank canvases on which we can sketch out simplified or extreme versions of ourselves.

Take Arnold Schwarzenegger's terrifying android in the first Terminator movie. With its calculated ruthlessness and unwavering murderous intent, it was a terrible parody of a person, all the worst aspects of humanity assembled into one machine. Then, to contrast, there is the sweet-natured rubbish-cleaner drone in the 2008 Walt Disney film Wall-E, again a parody, but this time taking many of our more generous, child-like attributes.

Published by Tasha on 10th October 2010
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New Game Round-up

The latest and greatest new games reviewed, including an epic rpg bursting with adolescent humour, perhaps the best free online tower defence game ever made, and a game starring an angry gnome who hates Christmas.

Ooooh, we have some treats for you in this, our latest round-up of new online casual games. But of course, you don't want to read about them yet, do you. You would much rather read my utterly pointless preamble to the games. In particular, I bet you would like to read about the vacuum cleaning technique that I invented. You see, when I vacuum my home, I don't do it the usual way. Instead, I like to split the rooms up into 1m by 1m grids. I then vacuum clean each grid using a rotational manoeuvre that… Oh, so this isn't interesting you. You want to go straight to the games and you don't care about my stupid vacuum cleaning. Oh, very nice.

How about I share my theory on why UK plug sockets are better designed than American ones? I see, you're not interested in that either. What about I tell you about the book I am reading - it's called the History of Curtain Making from Medieval Times to… Okay, I get it. You are only interested in playing games and want me to shut up right this moment. Okay, okay, I promise, straight to the games now. Oh, whoops, where have they all gone. It's all dark all of a sudden. There must have been a power cut. Sorry folks, it looks like you're going to have to come back next week… Only teasing! There hasn't really been a power cut. I just accidentally-on-purpose leant against the switch. See, look down below, look at all those shiny games. Play them.

Published by Tasha on 5th October 2010
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Top 10 running games

Don't fret, you don't need to be fit or athletic to partake in the fun. Just sit back in your couch, fire up your favourite browser and play ten of the best running games available for free on the web.

I once made the mistake of going for a run. It was shortly after the Christmas festivities and I was feeling bloated from all the rich food and wine I had consumed. A friend guilt-tripped me into going jogging with her. Never again. Within minutes of setting off, I was suffering terrible hot flushes, I felt on the verge of vomiting and I was quite clearly in the midst of an epic coronary. That I survived the experience is a miracle in itself.

Needless to say, I haven’t gone running since. Now, whenever I feel the desire for some exercise, I switch on my computer and play some of these great running games. They provide all the thrill and excitement of running but without any of the pain. Perfect.

Published by Tasha on 26th September 2010
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Flock Together

Beautiful graphics, a charming storyline and fun original game-play make jmtb02's latest game a joyous and touching experience. If only it were a bit longer.

Regular visitors to this blog will know that we are suckers for games with a bit of heart. That is not to say that we hate games that involve mindless blowing up or shooting of things - we play them all the time. We're also not adverse to some cold-hearted logical puzzle solving. Or frantic time management simulations. But if you really want to get on our good side, create a game that is not only great fun to play but also communicates something about the human experience. Think games like Immortall or Loved.

Thankfully, we are not alone in this passion for games with some soul. As the popularity of our list of Games that make you think proves, there is huge demand out there for arty, philosophical games. More than 150,000 people had read the list at last count, making it by far our most popular article.

Published by Tasha on 19th September 2010
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