This one simulates the sheer panic clean-up that occurs when your mother shows up unannounced, and your flat appears to have had an unfortunate incident involving garbage, laundry and high explosives.
Hopefully, your own abode isn’t quite as grim as this student hovel filled with unwashed pants and bits of pizza. Regardless, you’ve three minutes to get everything shipshape.
Don’t think you can just hide everything either – this game’s mum dishes out report cards for cleanliness, and won’t stand for cold pizza in the washing machine.
Gridland resembles a typical match-three puzzler, but is really something else entirely. However, this only becomes clear after a few failed attempts to work through day (building structures with your earnings) and then battle evil horrors in the darkness as night falls.
To say more would spoil a great game, but there is one tip to bear in mind: if you too often die, change your approach. Day and night are very different beasts.
Another visitor! Stay a while! Stay FOREVARRRRR! If you once owned a C64, Professor Elvin Atombender’s deranged rant may well be burned into your brain; even if you’re a newcomer, look past the blocky graphics and you’ll find Impossible Mission is one of the best platform games around.
Your aim as a somersaulting secret agent is to search Atombender’s fortress for puzzle pieces that form a password; this is then compiled in a control room, as a means to halt armageddon. Unfortunately, the agent is a buffoon and his only defence against the deadly robots that roam the fortress’s platforms is to run away or leap over them, rather than blowing them to pieces with a really big gun.
Infinite Mario Bros
Apparently originally put together by the bloke that did Minecraft, Infinite Mario Bros is a semi-randomised and theoretically endless Nintendo-lawyer-baiting platformer. As ever, it features everyone’s favourite rotund plumber leaping about, grabbing bling, and doing unspeakably violent things to bipedal turtles who were just minding their own business.
The difference from ‘normal Mario Bros’ is when you finish a level, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get next. Well, that and Infinite Mario Bros appears to omit a score and quite a lot of the polish you get in real Mario games. Still, as a free Marioish game in your browser, it tides you over until you can settle down with the real thing.
The original Space Invaders is a classic, and one of the most important videogames of all time – but it’s also really dull. Taito long ago figured out doddering aliens and sluggish bullets isn’t an exciting combination, hence ramping up the speed and chaos for Space Invaders Extreme, Space Invaders Infinity Gene, and Arkanoid vs Space Invaders.
Invader Overload riffs off of the first of those, but as if it was on a NES. It’s fast, furious, endless, and welds a basic match game to the mix – grab three coloured blocks in a row and you can unleash superweapon death on the alien scumbags. Grab enough coins and there are bosses to battle, too.
Seemingly depicting extreme skipping combined with surrealist torture, one-thumb acton game Jump Doper finds various objects tasked with endlessly leaping over a deadly swinging rope. Duff timing results in a bloody splat as a piece of said object is sliced away, like salami.
If you’re fortunate, your hobbled cactus or partly decapitated car will be able to continue for a bit. If not, just be glad whatever skipping humiliation you once suffered likely didn’t involve abrupt dismemberment.
This one’s a tower defence game in which you have to build fortifications to fend off waves of ever-stronger bad guys. There’s a fantasy setting, which means archers, knights, wizards and so on are your staples as you attempt to hold back hordes of goblins, orcs, ogres and bandits. As you progress, you gain stars to upgrade towers and counter the increasing threat levels. If you like your strategy games fairly casual and cutesy (not to mention free and not too time-consuming), Kingdom Rush fits the bill like a tailor-made suit (of armour).
Play Kingdom Rush now (requires Flash)
We’re cheating a bit here, because this is a website that’s painstakingly recreated a bunch of LCD games, so you can find out what handheld gaming was like before the Game Boy was even a twinkle in Nintendo’s pants.
There are some classics here as you prod keys to jerk your protagonist left and right, your eyes and reactions alike adjusting to the lack of fluid animation. The games are still pretty smart, mind.