Casual games you can play in your lunch break

"John Cooney, who goes by the name of jmtb02, is an incredible developer who never ceases to amaze me," says Daskalopoulos. "He has released quite an amazing collection of games and he, in my opinion, is definitely one of the most stand-out developers in the browser game community." You can find a collection of Cooney's games on his website at

"Another developer who has also amazed me for his creativity is Splapp-me-do," adds Daskalopoulos. "He had me completely hooked on his creation The Impossible Quiz and then later its sequel The Impossible Quiz 2. I was amazed by the level of creativity he had incorporated into the two quizzes."

The Impossible Quiz weighs in at a whopping 8MB of code, music and graphics. It involves some fiendishly difficult questions, such as the mind-bending 'How many holes does a Polo have?' puzzler. The resulting answer of four seems strange – but is surprisingly logical when you think about it.

If you're interested in creating a browser game of your own, how would you get it noticed among the hordes of existing games? The answer is to submit your work to one of the quickly growing number of browser game community websites.

Once uploaded, it can be brought to the attention of a potentially large global audience. Such sites also have the facility to allow you to vote on individual games, meaning that the better ones naturally rise up the rankings.

There are plenty of community sites to choose from, and Flashgames247 is one of the largest. It generates some of its own games and actively advertises for artists, programmers, and game makers. Flashgames247 also offers free games for your website, which could act as a lure to passing surfers. Another popular community gaming site is the aptly titled AddictingGames.

A quick search for 'Flash games' reveals a plethora of other sites. Most host forums to discuss both the games and their development, and by hosting the games themselves rather than simply linking to them, you can even submit your own high scores when you play. But with so many sites vying for your attention, how do they stand out from the crowd?

Small beginnings

Daskalopoulos aimed to get Not Doppler noticed from the start. "At the time [2005], a large surge of online Flash game websites were popping up," he said. "It was my goal to be unique with the site, so I thought I'd express this even through its name. Although it has no explicit meaning, implicitly it alludes to the uniqueness I strive to incorporate into the site."

He began small. "I started Not Doppler on a small piece of web space that a friend had kindly provided me. The original purpose of the website was to post links to online Flash games which caught my attention and to share the links of these games with other people."

The increasing popularity of Not Doppler gave Daskalopoulos the idea of purchasing the '.com' domain and organising regular updates. "I started updating the website every Thursday. Nowadays, with the permission of the game authors, I'm able to host the games on the site rather than linking to external sites.

This is great as it maintains consistency in the presentation of the games and makes it much easier to manage and maintain the availability of the games. Links to external sites would have to be regularly checked to ensure they were all still valid."

How has Daskalopoulos seen browser games evolve over the years? "Without a doubt I would say there is a progression in the Flash gaming scene to a more modern feel," he told us. "Flash developers are hungry to explore and be creative. I think this is showing more and more in recent years and I am sure that this trend will continue well into the future.

"The great thing about the Flash game scene, however, is that games are so easily transferable across a large market, meaning that the 'classic' feel of many old-school games is not being ignored, even as the Flash game scene progresses into new areas."

So, how many hours a week does Daskalopoulos devote to playing browser games himself? "Oh gosh. I feared you would ask something like this! I try not to count – with the ever-increasing quality of Flash games being released, it's hard not to lose track of time playing games. To be honest, though, I have never really counted. At the current time, I don't have a lot of spare time so the figure would probably be less than an hour a day on average. If I did have more time, however, there's no doubt that figure would be much, much higher!"

After browsing dozens of browser game sites, one strikingly common feature is the happily missed advertising opportunities. Surfers click on a large number of pages to explore individual sites, which is what advertisers like, but so far they've not been invaded by too much advertising.

How long this will continue is anyone's guess, but while such sites stay relatively free of annoying adverts, a healthy addiction to something that could also improve your mind by making you think in several different ways at once can't be a bad thing...can it?


First published in PC Plus, Issue 276

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