Online games to pass the time:
March 15, 2006 1:45 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for particular types of web-based games to pass the time. There's

I spend a lot of time using a microscope which is attached to a Windows XP computer. This involves bursts of activity and 3-10 minute waits whilst the 'scope does its stuff. Whilst I could spend the time reading and learning and improving my brain, I want to play games instead. I'm bored of Freecell and Solitaire, so what can you suggest that matches these criteria:

Not an action game (I have to be able to break off to do my work without losing a life).
Mouse input not keyboard.
Sound not essential for gameplay.
Can provide entertainment to a tired and unhappy person for hours at a time.
Nothing installed on computer (cookies are fine).
Works on Internet Explorer

I'm thinking a point-and-click Rogue/Nethack type thing, or a god-sim or turn-based-strategy or RPG or something, as those are the games I've tended to enjoy offline, but will try most things. I have already exhausted the fun to be had in the 'Grow' series!
posted by nowonmai to Computers & Internet (27 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Well, this is a puzzler but I am completely addicted to it at the moment: Splashback.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:49 PM on March 15, 2006

Sorry to not be able to recommend a specific one, but you might want to check out this Top 100 list. I'm just starting to explore the list myself, and it seems to have some good stuff.

Personally, I'm trying to break my Spider Solitaire habit. That sucker's addictive!
posted by MsMolly at 1:49 PM on March 15, 2006

I don't have a specific game right now, but I might recommend checking out Jay Is Games, which is a neat little blog/review site for mostly small, browser based games. There's definitely some there that'd match your criteria, plus this way you get a variety.
posted by inigo2 at 1:51 PM on March 15, 2006

The Orisinal games should keep you busy.
posted by Robot Johnny at 1:52 PM on March 15, 2006

I've posted many such games to the Blue. The Flowering Nose in particular will keep you busy for hours and hours. (All of these games require Flash or Java.)
posted by Gator at 1:54 PM on March 15, 2006

This isn't really a game, but it's one of my favorite ways to kill a few minutes. Java.

Click to place a satellite. Use your mouse to control the velocity and direction. Play around a bit and you can get some really cool orbits going. Free return trajectories, wide elliptical, temporary lagrange, etc. I've not yet been able to get one in lunar orbit for more than 4 - 5 orbits.

You can spend a couple of minutes launching satellites and then next time you come back you can see how many are still in stable orbits.
posted by bondcliff at 1:56 PM on March 15, 2006

Also, you have played these already, but if you liked the Grow series, you might enjoy Hapland and Hapland 2
posted by Robot Johnny at 2:01 PM on March 15, 2006

That should read "you MAY have played these already"... who am I to read your mind?
posted by Robot Johnny at 2:02 PM on March 15, 2006

Can I ask why the keyboard is out of the question?
posted by knave at 2:03 PM on March 15, 2006

I liked Splash Back too, (after a while I got tired of it), but I use the version found on this site.
posted by jerryg99 at 2:08 PM on March 15, 2006

Kingdom of Loathing or Travian. Both are fun, can be paused for along time (for Travian, pausing is actually kind of a requirement) and basically safe for work. Aside from the fact that they're not work.
posted by GuyZero at 2:13 PM on March 15, 2006

kingdom of loathing seconded.
lazylaces blogs web games, some of which have sound (most usually not essential to gameplay), some of which require keyboard use, but there are those which do not. The majority of them do use flash though if that's a problem. They are usually point and click puzzle-solving games. Most are of the incredibly small hotspot/escape the locked room variety, so if that doesnt appeal to you, you may end up having to sort through a lot of chaff.
posted by juv3nal at 2:24 PM on March 15, 2006

Urban Dead is pretty fun.
posted by tastybrains at 3:02 PM on March 15, 2006

The keyboard thing is because I don't want to accidentally be typing into the program that controls the microscope. I'm switching between that and my time-wasting applications, and Windows is not an OS I use much, so I worry about how window-focus errors might synergize with desperation to kill the space aliens to screw my work up big-time. Also, the keyboard is in front of the monitor that I don't use for games.

But that's my proble; if you would like to recommend a great game that's keyboard controlled then I'm happy to give it a whirl!
posted by nowonmai at 3:15 PM on March 15, 2006

I'm really into Sudoku right now. Just google it and you'll find lots of options to play it online.
posted by apple scruff at 4:21 PM on March 15, 2006

Hexic. Sweet, sweet Hexic. I've been playing it on the Xbox 360 and actually had to ban myself from it because I was getting too obsessed with getting those Black Pearls together.

Confession: While I fired up IE to make sure this would work mouse only, I lost a half hour of my time.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:51 PM on March 15, 2006

I loves me some Pop Cap Games. Most of the games have web only versions, and all can be played for a few minutes, paused, played, paused, etc etc. I think it wants to install a little java something on the computer, but no programs are installed to play the free web versions.
posted by trixie_bee at 5:47 PM on March 15, 2006

here's a list of good web games. i like gridlock and the german cow game.
posted by clarahamster at 6:19 PM on March 15, 2006

the dragon go server
posted by paradroid at 6:26 PM on March 15, 2006

Ball Revamped is a great time passer but is a keyboard game (arrow keys only).
posted by brownbeards at 6:48 PM on March 15, 2006

My god, that Ball Revamped is EVIL.

Lately I've been playing Hexatron Tetrod (java). I can get through 5x4 pretty reliably. Kills about 5 minutes.
posted by intermod at 7:31 PM on March 15, 2006

Yeah, I was going to recommend WebSudoku, which for some reason is sweeping the nation. It relies on keyboard input, but not in a blast-the-aliens kind of way, so it's probably ok.
posted by knave at 7:43 PM on March 15, 2006

Seconded on Travian.

My girlfriend really enjoys Travian at work, and I play it as well. Travian is definitely something you can do at work no problem.
posted by bigmusic at 8:58 PM on March 15, 2006

Chess at work

Correspondence chess meets all your specified criteria. If you sign up, challenge me (same username).
posted by pompomtom at 9:41 PM on March 15, 2006

Another chess correspondence site: RedHotPawn. However, this (and KingdomOfLoathing, which I enjoy) aren't really the sort of timekillers you're asking for, since there's a limited amount of time that can be used per turn or per day.

GAMES magazine has been reprinting many of the puzzles from this (popular?) Japanese puzzle site (link goes to the English pages).

For board-gaming goodness, there's a list at BoardGameGeek
for popular board games that have been ported to web-based games. Something more no-frills is the list of games at SuperDuper Games (what attracted me was the computerized versions of many Icehouse games).

And I'm surprised nobody's mentioned someone's attempt at becoming the of web-based games.
posted by Mozai at 1:57 PM on March 17, 2006

OT: Mozai: Chessatwork is redhotpawn... just with a more sedate colour scheme (and name).
posted by pompomtom at 11:18 PM on March 20, 2006

However, this (and KingdomOfLoathing, which I enjoy) aren't really the sort of timekillers you're asking for, since there's a limited amount of time that can be used per turn or per day.

Once you get the hang of KOL (or do some research on spoiler sites), you can stretch the turn limit A LOT with extra turns from food/alcohol/equipment/clan bonuses.
posted by juv3nal at 2:13 PM on March 21, 2006

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