Four Web Games to Pass the Time

, in Computing

This post is purely for me. Here are four browser games I like to pull up and bash about in for a while when I have nothing better to do. I am putting them here so I remember them the next time the urge takes me.

Although you can technically play some of these on a tablet, they are all best with a proper keyboard.

Doom (WAD Commander)

Doom screenshot It is impossible to overstate what a bombshell Doom was when id software unleashed the shareware version onto an unsuspecting world. Although the graphics look ridiculously blocky today, at the time they were astounding, and the level design has never been beaten.

On the minus side, the controls take a lot of getting (re)used to. A lot of conventions in first-person shooter control schemes have changed over the years.


Zelda screenshot The NES was a staple of US 80s childhoods but Nintendo did not have much a presence in New Zealand back then. I had never even seen the original Legend of Zelda before I found this site that implements the Zelda virtual machine.

Although the link (getit?) goes to a remake of the original, if you click around you will find literally hundreds of remakes, demakes, and original games based on the same engine.

Playing the original reveals what a charming game it was, I can see what all the fuss was about and why it spawned so many sequels and imitators. It is also very, very difficult.


Splix screenshot Multiplayer chaos on a large canvas - just type in a username and go! Invading a larger player's territory and taking them out with a clever play is incredibly satisfying. Perfect for playing while a boring zoom meeting fades into the background.

This is an example of what I consider to be the pinnacle of good casual multiplayer design - no logins or passwords, no real player interaction, you are just seconds away from playing.

Two little tricks:


Slowroads screenshot A badly misnamed techdemo/game where you drive at speed through endlessly generated scenery. It should be serene and calming but trying to keep the car on the winding road is very stressful. Of course, you can skip the road altogether and drive across fields with abandon.