These are some free, above-the-rank-and-file games you can play on your browser. I tend to like puzzle games, so that’s what I recommend. (Most or all of these games can be found on multiple free flash game sites. If you find one host’s background or ads offputting, try another: kongregate.com, newgrounds.com, addictinggames.com, etc.)
One and One Story : Lovely music, strong atmosphere, and a clever, novel way of delivering story make this game a winner. It’s short enough to not be a waste of time, but not so short that it won’t engage you. The puzzles continue to require you to think of new solutions, all the way through.
The Company of Myself : It bears a similarity to One and One Story in terms of game play and in the delivery of its story, yet both are distinct: you will be surprised, and your skills will be stretched. The story of The Company of Myself is more clever and provocative than that of the One and One Story, although the graphics are not nearly so good. Lovely piano soundtrack.
Riddle Transfer : Lots of games have puzzles; this one has an additional flavour of riddling to its problem-solving requirements. Quite a lot of fun. Quite humorous. (There are a few games earlier in this series, but I have not looked into them.)
Escape #1: The Car (also: #2, #3, #4, #5, #6) : The graphics are generally substandard (particularly in the early installments), but this series has a great diversity of puzzles. It’s downright fun to look for clues and items, then use or combine them in clever ways to escape from a closet, a freezer, a phone booth, a car, etc. Some of the installments feel a bit thin, but overall, it’s quite a good gaming experience.
Super Mario Bros. Crossover (2.0 is all I could find): I know it’s not a puzzle game, and I know I’ve recommended it before, but this is the greatest work of mankind since the Renaissance. Play through Super Mario Brothers with any of a number of other 8-bit heroes, including Link, Mega Man, Samus, Simon Belmont, and Bill Rizer.
Version 2.0 gives you more character choices and config options. New characters include Demon, Luigi, Mega Man 10, Ryu Hayabusa, and Sophia III.
Portal: The Flash Version : This game requires more finesse on the keyboard than most puzzle games; it sometimes feels like an action/adventure game. In my opinion, this game was a lot more fun before I learned that you could move the blocks by using the ‘F’ key (the puzzles are more puzzling without it). It turns out that about three levels from the end, you cannot complete the puzzles without use of the ‘F’ key.
Take Something Literally (also: T.S.L. 2): This game really stretches the limits of what a computer game can be and is supposed to be. It will likewise stretch the limits of your imagination and problem-solving skills. You will really have to step outside the game in more ways than one in order to get through all these puzzles.
Alice Is Dead (also: Ep 2 & Ep 3) : This game reboots the characters from Lewis Carrol’s Wonderland books. It’s rather a shame to have such good literature warped so, but the game offers a worthwhile escape into the bizarre. Rich artwork and some neat discoveries make this game stand out. To its discredit, nearly half of the puzzles must be solved almost randomly or with a walkthrough (not with problem-solving skills).
The game comes in three short installments. If you play through, make sure you hang on through the final credits for the real ending. The third installment includes a song (in the cabaret) which was written and recorded just for this game. I very much enjoy it. You can download it for free here.
Doodle God (also: Doodle Devil & Doodle God 2) : Who hasn’t played this game? Combine elements to make new elements (which you can combine to make more elements). This game goes on for quite a while, but even if you only spend 10 minutes on it and then drop it, you’ll probably have enjoyed yourself. You’ll be surprised at how much fun this concept can provide.
NB: Doodle God provides quotations when you create new elements. At least one of them comes from none other than… I don’t recall now. It was some prominent LDS, I think James E. Faust.
Worthy of mention also…
Memohuntress : I didn’t play all the way through this one, but I liked its artwork, the world it created, and the care which the creator clearly had for his/her story.
Tanooky Tracks : Not as good as some of the other games, but it’s on the right track. It requires some imagination to complete. It invites and almost requires you to step inside the game.
On my to-do list
If I ever get around to it, I may play the following titles, which have stirred my interest:
- Musaic Box
- Zombie Minesweeper
- Moonlight Differences
- Knightfall 2
- Lilith – A Friend at Hallow’s Eve