Killing Time

3 Free Online Games

Tea: Ginger-Lemon Fresh Tea (I didn’t pick that name…)

Let’s do something a little different for a change. ‘Free’ games, usually involving some form of payment to make them not so free anymore, are an established form of time-killing. However, every now and then some of them manage to swing themselves over the barriers of mediocrity and actually stand on the shores of the endless grey ocean of repetitive pixel shooters or platformers. The three games I choose are not the peak by any means, but the only ones I played in recent memory. So without further ado, take a big sip and sit down.

Hatfall – Yahtzee

I love Zero Punctuation, it was what inspired me to start blogging in the first place. So now the reclusive mind of Yahtzee has produced a game based on his popular weekly platform. The game is easily explained: You have to catch a falling hat by moving left and right until you stand under the shadow of the falling hat. The game cranks up the difficulty by adding multiple other characters to make it harder and harder to identify yourself. Some prices you unlock for catching a specific amount of hats will put you into brief mini-games (can they actually be called that?) that task you to do “something”. I will not spoil anything. Everything that makes Zero Punctuation great is present here. The fast stream of consciousness writing that now even affects the game. It makes you laugh and read all the more faster. Challenge is not absent either and it makes for an entertaining experience. The other characters actually move very convincingly and I haven’t found a trick that would help me instantly spot my character. The wait, they make little tiny baby-steps, and they run. All very refined. 10/10 for you Mr Croshaw. No, that wouldn’t do you justice. “It didn’t make me want to kill myself and that can only be a positive thing.” There you go. Put that on your non-existent box-art.

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There is no game

Suggested to me by a dear friend, who usually only tries to push Mass Effect on me. It is tough reviewing something you haven’t played as there is no game. Terrible and worn out jokes aside, this game uses the flash game medium to deconstruct it in a rather impressive way. At its heart it is a puzzle game that asks you to think outside the box and I greatly appreciate that. It does have its limits of course. There are still normal credits, which would have been a great opportunity for another wall break, but never mind. The little puzzles are entertaining, but nothing that will break you head. It is nice for a game to engage the medium like this and a mark of games finally evolving. It tasks you to think outside of your standard gaming conventions. It has some references to other games, obviously. The most glaring is Portal, yes another cake-reference. But if you can stomach this one worn-out reference you are safe for the remainder. If you are looking for a great way to spend ten minutes then play this not-game. Or rather don’t play it, I suppose.

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Learn to Fly 2

I am a big fan of skilling or rather upgrade games. This refers to games where you do something with an end goal, but only get a small percentage of the way there, mostly to be taken quite literally, but get a small some of currency in return that you can then spend on upgrades that will get you a bit closer the next time. A guilty pleasure I sometimes indulge in. Learn to Fly 2 tells the story of a penguin determined to crush a menacing ice wall and some other formations along the way. As far as motivation goes this is not exactly A-material, but I’ll take anything in these plot-barren lands. The game is, however, not slow to pick up the pace. Every upgrade feels ‘worth it’ and will get you further and further. What is surprising is that there is no linear upgrade path. It’s not about getting more and more money, well technically it is, its more about how you approach this challenge. Hangglider vs Zeppelin, speed vs height, and so on and so forth. It is rare to find a game that actually has a slightly branching path of approach. Also the interfaces change for each new main flying equipment piece, a small but welcome touch. Just like the music accelerating alongside you. It’s also asks you to steer your little penguin sack of explosives or iron and puts an element of aerodynamics into the mix. On the whole this is a very enjoyable little game where you can feel that actual work was put into it. Every aspect is refined and selected with care. The only question is: Where is Learn to Fly 3? I need that cliffhanger resolved now!

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I am sure there are a lot more great games out, but this was just my small selection. The next reviews and other articles will feature ‘proper’ games again, yet it’s worth remembering that flowers can bloom in the wasteland of internet games that try to drown them in the sea of micropayments to even beat the first level. The only thing you can do is at least turn of your ad-block. A small sacrifice for a lot of work someone had.

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2 thoughts on “Killing Time

  1. First of all: glad you liked (not) playing “There is no game”. This little gem is quite amusing and I can only recommend it.
    I had no idea that Yahtzee made a game and I´ll certainly try it out some time. Only Mr Crawshaw will ever be able to make an activity like “catching hats” something worthwile.
    The last one I will certainly try out because the little penuin is so endearingly cute that I just can´t resist.
    A truly refreshing mélange of games you´ve collected here, Mr Teatime, greatly enjoyed the cup of tea with you!

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    • Never mind the fact that I told you about Hatfall twice. It is a very entertaining little game, but be ware of its addicitive potential.
      The cutness certainly adds to the mix and is the cherry on top. Give it a try, it will not dissapoint you.

      Like

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