You’ve filed your last TPS report, delivered integrated solutions to actionable items, and thought outside the box to encapsulate synergistic value enhancement, and yet, somehow the clock is pegged at 4:50—immobile, mocking you as you try to find a way to spend the final 10 minutes of your day before you can strip off the yoke of your middle-management overlords. You consider ducking out but know that to avoid the next round of right-sizing, you should remain chained to your desk until 5:01. But just what should you do as you watch the clock tick away?
To make the end of the day a bit easier on you, we’ve scoured the Internet to find 12 fantastic games that will run in your browser—no downloads, no spyware, nothing to raise the suspicions of the IT department. Go ahead, devote some time to refining your zombie-fragging techniques, consulting tarot cards for guidance on future employment opportunities, or increasing your self-esteem by trouncing a coworker in a paper-airplane-flying contest. Remember, the man can keep you chained to your desk, but he can never take your spirit during those final soul-crushing minutes of the workday!
Screw the eye of the tiger, you need to thread a needle’s eye to succeed in this game
First, you build your plane using nothing more than virtual paper. Second, you throw your plane using a virtual you. Third, you challenge your friends to a winner-takes-all, email-based, single-throw deathmatch to see whose nerves are steeliest and who can huck his paper airplane the farthest. Do you have what it takes to out-toss your buddies? There’s only one way to find out!
Flash meets Zerging in this Warcraft-themed strategy game
The best part of Flash Element TD isn’t the endless waves of enemies that run through your little labyrinth, imploring you to kill them with automated, tower-themed weaponry. It’s not the witty sound effects that precede each mob, nor the strategic design of the baddies, which truly forces you to rethink your grand scheme as the levels progress. Flash Element TD rocks because you can set your defense, click Play, and get work done while the game chugs along.
Many of Orisinal’s games seem more like little films, engaging because of their aesthetics rather than their actual gameplay, but Bauns mixes up the equation, offering a straightforward look with addictive action.
A twist on the usual “knock down towers of balls” seen in Bubble Breaker, Chuzzle, and other games, Bauns incorporates a more challenging shooting method and a mix of power-ups; it also has that “just one more game” element that could very well keep you at your desk until 5:07.
This game reminds us of the Atari arcade classic Marble Madness. Here, your objective is to roll a silver ball into a blue vortex to complete each level. The action takes place on a 2D maze of squares surrounded by water hazards.
Racing the clock in the initial levels is extremely easy, but the complexity ratchets up quickly, as higher levels introduce golden spheres that explode on contact, crates that must be used to form bridges, sliding ice cubes, and other obstacles.
As close as most of us will get to being on a TV quiz show
The online version of Jellyvision’s classic party game looks and plays remarkably like the CD-ROM games of yore, complete with a snarky host, wacky sound effects, fun animation, and—most importantly—totally new, outrageously off-the-wall questions.
Here’s a sample: “According to Dante’s Inferno, which level of hell will David Blaine end up in?” Those who didn’t skip their European lit classes would know that magicians were damned to the eighth circle of hell.
At first, it’s you and your BB gun against a few common zombies. Then the zombies get stronger and you buy better weapons and upgrade your home’s defenses. Before you know it, you’re packing Uzis and laying minefields and razor wire outside your house!
We think of it as a real-world trainer for a zombie attack
If you spend half your water-cooler time planning what you would do in case of a zombie attack, you should probably add a little hands-on training to your regimen. De-Animator is practically the IPSC of zombie training, making you stand your ground with a lowly six-shooter and granny’s shotgun. What the game lacks in color graphics, it makes up for in mood and atmosphere.
And the Lord said: Let there be much button-mashing
Although it took us an hour to get the feeling back in our right hand after playing it, we heartily recommend Flash Flash Revolution—and its smorgasbord of music-driven reflex tests—as one of the best time-wasters on the Internet. While it’s just not the same as stomping on a dance pad, it’s the closest you’re going to get to the Dance Dance Revolution experience at the workplace.
Start with the original Flash Flash Revolution, and once you’ve worked up a stinky finger sweat, try graduating to the ever-so-fast Flash Flash Revolution Resonance version—the songs are better, but nearly seizure inducing.
White Chamber imitates your cube-farm existence by placing you in a room that you must escape. By searching the room and clicking objects, you collect items you use to solve various puzzles. Once you make your escape, check out the two previous chapters of the game, Crimson Room and Viridian Room.
Yippee ki yay, ready to play John McClane while on your lunch break?
It’s truly amazing that what was state of the art in coin ops in 1994 can be played in a flash player today. Sure, Virtual Police isn’t as graphically intense (if you can still call it that) as Sega’s coin-op hit Virtua Cop, but the game captures the flavor and feel of the original in the same way a graphic novel can capture a feature film. It’s somehow the same yet different.
There’s nothing like the daily grind to make you feel bored and burned out. And, really, after years of tedium you probably are a little brain dead. To know for sure, launch Unique IQ Tests. This collection of timed puzzles will test your mental acuity and then spit out a score that neatly sums up your intelligence.
It’s like having a grizzled gypsy at your beck and call
For centuries answer seekers have turned to tarot cards for mystical insight. And why not? Looking for direction in the cards’ symbol-laden imagery is no more outlandish than consulting a horoscope or hiring a life coach. Tarot Card Reader marries that ancient art with the ease and immediacy of the digital age. When confusion over life’s big or little issues hits you, turn to the old, wise woman that is the web. Once in the browser-based Tarot Card Reader, choose the Romance, Career, or Friends category; type in your pressing question; and then carefully select the three cards that will spell your fate. You will have fun mulling over the cards’ meaning, and you just might come to count on their wisdom.