Casual Girl Gamer is a blog dedicated to bringing you the best casual games that can be played online for free. We publish regular game reviews, game lists and developer spotlights.

A blog about casual gaming

IOS Game Round Up

We report on some of the iPhone and iPad games that have caught our attention recently.

Okay, we give in. When we started this blog back in late 2009, we intended to focus on free online games. We did not want to burden visitors with the hassle of downloading or purchasing games. But as Casual Girl Gamer has grown in popularity (many thanks to all the 200,000 odd who visit us each month), so have the calls for us to cover games for Apple's iPad and iPhone devices.

We have up until this point resisted the temptation to do this. We think our focus on free online games is one of Casual Girl Gamer's biggest draws. However, Apple's IOS platform has grown massively over the past few years, and there are now ever more people wanting to read reviews of the latest iPhone and iPad games.

Published by Alex Kearns on 9th February 2011
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Ten Chain Reaction Games

We have collected together the best free online chain reaction games we could find for your playing pleasure.

While sitting down at my computer to write a game review I accidentally knock a glass of water over. The contents of the glass splash over our pet cat, giving her a mighty shock. She immediately leaps through an open window and bounds across a busy road. Spotting her, a driver slams hard down on his breaks, causing the truck behind to crash into the back of him.

No serious damage is done to either vehicle but the force of the impact causes a vial in the back of the truck to crack, allowing a deadly virus to escape. Released from captivity, the virus multiplies rapidly. After swapping details with the car driver, the lorry operator continues his journey, oblivious to the invisible cloud of deadly contagions trailing behind him.

Published by Tasha on 6th February 2011
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Icy Gifts

This fun chain reaction game takes the core game-play of the classic Boomshine and soups it up with colourful graphics, upgrade paths and achievements.

When developer Danny Miller created a little chain reaction game called Boomshine in 2007, he did not have particularly high hopes for it. The game was incredibly simple. Nothing more than an oblong box with small spheres bouncing around. All you did was click somewhere with your mouse to create an explosion, the idea being that any sphere that came into contact with the detonation would in turn blow up, setting in motion a chain reaction.

Despite its simplicity and basic graphics, Boomshine proved a huge success. People were enchanted by the simplicity and addictiveness of the game, and played it in their millions. More than three years after its creation, and Boomshine is still to be found in many people's list of must-play Flash games.

Published by Tasha on 3rd February 2011
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High Tea

The UK's Wellcome Collection brings you a brilliant trading game that explores one of the more unsavoury episodes in world history.

Britain might nowadays be an insignificant little country on the edge of Europe (sorry all my UK readers but I have to tell it as it is) but there was a time, not so long ago, when it ruled the largest empire the world has ever witnessed. At its peak in the early 20th century, the British empire held sway over a quarter of the world's population and huge swathes of its landmass. No-one could challenge its military and economic might.

Like most superpowers, Britain in its imperialistic pomp was a bit of a bully. Yes, the Brits started the industrial revolution (to which we are all eternally grateful). Yes, they perfected the brewing of tea (which at least this American living in London appreciates). And, yes, without Britain, there would be nowhere near as many good period dramas on TV. But for much of the time during the 1800s and 1900s, the Brits were a bunch of mischievous rascals, invading other countries, subjugating foreign people and generally making a nuisance of themselves.

Published by Tasha on 1st February 2011
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Electric Box 2

The sequel to one of the best Flash puzzle games of 2009 will have geeks and nerds rubbing their soldering irons together with glee.

Anyone who has met me knows that I can be quite obsessive. Especially when it comes to games. If I find a game that I like, I will play it and play it and play it - often for months on end. The game I have been obsessing over during the past few weeks is Electric Box 2. Sequel to the 2009 title, Electric Box 2 is a fiendish puzzle game where you have to complete the circuit from the power supply to the target. You do this by placing components at strategic places on the circuit board that forms the main area of the game.

It sounds incredibly geeky - and I suppose it is - but you don't need any expertise in electronics to enjoy this game. Indeed, in real life, I would not know a capacitor from a resistor, and yet I quickly got the hang of the game. This was in part because the game helpfully provides you with guidance not only during the early levels but also sometimes on later levels (especially if the rules change - play to find out what I mean!).

Published by Tasha on 31st January 2011
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Top 10 Goriest Games

The squeamish among you might want to look away for these ten games are among the goriest, bloodiest and nastiest the internet has to offer.

We at Casual Girl Gamer like to think that we are a couple of notches above the average gaming blogger. We take great care choosing the games we highlight on this site, often selecting philosophical or arty games that shed light on the human experience - see our lists of games that make you think about life here and here.

But for this top ten list, we have dropped any pretence of superiority, and plunged down into the dirty underbelly of online gaming in search of the gaming equivalents of video nasties. These gory games won't teach you anything worthwhile. Nor will most of them offer any profound insights into the human condition. They might even make you a little sick. But those who can overcome their squeamishness, and look beyond the blood and gore, will be rewarded by some of the best browser gaming action around.

Published by Alex Kearns on 30th January 2011
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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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Tank World

HTML5 might still be in its infancy but it is already being used to create some highly impressive games, as Tank World amply proves.

In September last year, we introduced our readers to a new technology for creating online games. HTML5 - as the technology is called - has the great advantages of being both completely open source and not needing a browser plugin. At the time, we published a list of the 30 best HTML5 games to show the potential of this powerful new technology.

Just a few months later and our list of HTML5 games looks hopelessly dated. Few of the games we featured would appear in any list of top HTML5 games compiled today. That is because great advances have taken place in HTML5 game design since we published the article. The HTML games being released today are not experimental prototypes but often fully-fledged games that do not look out-of-place alongside their Flash counterparts (Flash of course long being the dominate technology for making online games).

Published by Alex Kearns on 24th January 2011
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Top 10 Games for Liberals

From a time-management sim about fast food production practices to a gaming protest against British police tactics, these are the games every self-respecting liberal simply has to play.

Can games be political? Do conservatives/Republicans and their ilk prefer some types of game - Deer Hunter, for example - and liberals/Democrats others? To be honest, I don't know the answer. But I thought it would be fun to compile a list of free online games with a political edge. We have started with this collection of games we thought would appeal to liberals but over the coming weeks we will also be publishing lists of games for conservatives and socialists.

We should point out, before our inbox is deluged with angry messages, that this is a very tongue in cheek article. We have purposely painted liberals in the most extreme way we could, hopefully for comedic effect, and will treat conservatives and socialists similarly harshly when we come to them. Anyway, regardless of your political affiliations, these games are great fun, so go enjoy.

Published by Alex Kearns on 21st January 2011
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Game reviews

  • Lume

    State of Play's new puzzle adventure title Lume might be made out of cardboard cutouts but it is in no way a one-dimensional game.

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  • The Tiny Bang Story

    Beautiful hand-drawn graphics, nicely balanced and creative puzzles and a great sound track, The Tiny Bang Story delivers on all fronts.

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  • Castaway 2

    Robinson Crusoe had it lucky. He was only stranded on a desert island once. Things are not so easy for the hero of RPG adventure game series Castaway.

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  • ClubWorld

    If the idea of running your own nightclub gets you excited, then Tapulous's latest iOS game might have you dancing around with joy.

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  • Insectonator

    If the only good bug is a dead one, then you will be doing one helluva lot of good work in this cheery insect massacring game.

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> More game reviews

Popular articles

  • Best One Button Games

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

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  • Best point-and-click games of 2010

    A bit early maybe, but we think our point-and-click-obsessed readers are going to love this: the best point-and-click games of the year.

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  • Top 10 most relaxing online casual games

    Some games aim to soothe and calm your nerves rather than get your heart pounding like crazy with non-stop action.

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  • Top 20 online zombie games

    You don't need to turn on your console to get your fix of zombie games. Some of the best such games can be played right here in your browser.

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  • New game round-up 1

    We have uncovered some casual gaming gems for you in this, our first round-up of new casual games to hit the world wide web.

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> More popular articles

Developer spotlights

  • Jake Elliott

    You won't find any resource-management or mindless slash and dash games in Jake Elliott's portfolio. What you will find are thought-provoking games that encourage you to ponder on the human experience.

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  • Con Artist Games

    Chris Condon of Con Artist Games has a reputation for developing some of the most polished games on the web. Casual Girl Gamer speaks to him about his gaming philosophy.

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  • Gregory Weir

    By combining great story-telling with imaginative game worlds, Gregory Weir has created some of the most thought-provoking games on the internet.

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  • John Cooney

    Armor Games' head of game development John Cooney - or jmtb02, as he is better known - is one of the most prolific and imaginative game developers around.

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  • Evan Miller

    In ImmorTall, indie developer Evan Miller created one of the most emotionally moving games to grace the internet. We speak to him about his gaming philosophy and plans for the future.

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  • Mateusz Skutnik

    Mateusz Skutnik is a rarity: a gifted artist who is also a skilled coder. He is responsible for some of the most beautiful casual games on the web.

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> More spotlights