Kill your productivity: Stuff’s top 40 free browser games for 2020

Contre Jour

Originally a hit on mobile, Contre Jour loses a little of its tactile qualities and immediacy in the browser — but none of its charm. The aim is to guide cycloptic blob Petit to the exit in each single-screen level, manipulating the local environment to do so. You warp the ground to roll him about, swing Petit around via springy ropes, and catapult him across the screen (and, frequently, into painful spikes) using tiny trampolines.

Play Contre Jour now

Cookie Clicker

It’s hard to know what to make of Cookie Clicker. On one hand, it’s essentially a Skinner box, rewarding players with nothing in particular in return for them clicking like crazy. But it also appears to be an amusing satire on the state of modern ‘idle’ gaming.

Initially, you click and you get a cookie. The more cookies you have, the more power-ups you can afford, including cursors that click on your behalf. Eventually, you’re using time machines to bring cookies from the past, “before they were even eaten”, and converting raw light into cookies with giant prisms, to bring in millions of cookies per second. To what end? Stuff’s not sure, but currently has 509 billion cookies in a really big plastic box if you fancy one.

Play Cookie Clicker now

Cube Slam

Cube Slam is Pong with bears. You get a beautiful 3D playfield, with power-ups and satisfyingly meaty sound effects. As ever, the aim is to get the ball (or, in this case, a cube) past your opponent. It’s not sophisticated, but it is fun.

If you tire of Bob the Bear, you can always try your luck against online friends. And because the game supports webcams, you can even see those annoying people that keep beating you. Want to go meta? Wear a bear mask during play.

Play Cube Slam now

Doom

It’s Doom. What more do you need? Oh, all right, then. Here, in your browser, are the original shareware levels of the FPS classic, which means every monster, every power-up, and every map. For old-hands, it’s a nostalgia-fest. For newcomers, it’s a chance to see what ageing gamers are always banging on about. But remember, no matter how much those Cacodemons or Lost Souls surprise you, you can’t jump. No, really. You actually can’t jump.

Play Doom now (requires Flash)

Escape Goat

This platform game feels like a love letter to 1980s gaming, with its retro-infused visuals and decidedly strange backstory that happens to feature a goat. Only, this is no ordinary goat – you see, it’s purple, and also happens to have been imprisoned for witchcraft.

What follows is a bunch of single-screen puzzles where you leap about, triggering switches that shift walls, all the while trying to figure out your way to the exit. You’re not alone either – you also team up with a friendly hamster, who you can teleport to with the aid of a magic hat. Because of course you can.

Man, 1980s games were weird.

Play Escape Goat

Economical

A single-screen platformer where you leap about, avoid hazards and head for an exit? Even the ZX Spectrum could handle that. But wait, because Economical has a twist: you use clicks to plant handy boxes that help you reach stuff – or block deadly spikes.

The snag is that boxes cost money. Reach your goal having splashed out too much cash and the game laughs in your face. (Actually, it doesn’t, but you don’t get gold and silver ranking awards, thereby showing you’re in fact rubbish.)

Play Economical now

Fist of Awesome

For some reason, bears have taken over the world, and it falls to a bearded lumberjack to put right what’s clearly gone very wrong.

Initially, you punch your way through Bearhattan, in a manner PETA would vehemently disagree with. (That said, the local eateries are advertising ‘flame-grilled human flesh’.) You’re then hurled back in time, kicking dinosaurs and cavebears to bits, before quite literally going medieval.

Play Fist of Awesome now

Game of Bombs

Game of Bombs transforms Bomberman into a massively multiplayer online retro arcade experience. The premise remains the same as ever: amble about, set bombs to take out walls and monsters, get away from the bombs so they don’t blow you to pieces, and collect whatever’s found in the retro carnage. The difference here is in the giant maps, and being able to bomb (or team up with) people from all over the world. And remember: if in doubt, RUN AWAY!

Play Game of Bombs now

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