Most web-based mini-games are designed with one goal in mind: to promote full price titles. A lot of them are terrible, but there are a few exceptions perfectly suited for a quick play during a lunch break.
Here’s a quick recap of the freebies found on Sony’s and Microsoft’s websites for all the office-bound bods out there. Or indeed anybody looking to fill a five minute gap.
Sony’s assortment is the poorer of the two, so we’ll get these out of the way first. The highlight by far is Racket & Clank All 4 One: 8-bit Mini Mayhem. It’s a top-down shooter comparable to Robotron, with some tidy sprite work and the usual outlandish weaponry the series is renowned for. The medals awarded at the end of each level are a nice touch.
There’s also Patapon 3, which is similar to the full game and requires the arrow keys to be pressed in time with the music to keep a tribe moving. Don’t blame us if you get some strange looks when playing this one around others with the volume up though.
The Little Deviants whack-a-mole and Everybody’s Golf ball hunting mini-games are pretty terrible; Space Tower and Grav Lander are clones of Tetris and Thurst, and as such are quite addictive. There are a few other games listed on the PSP Essentials site, but when clicking on them they appear to have been removed. It’s time for a tidy up there, Sony.
Over on Xbox.com, Wordament should be your first port of call. It’s a game that’s had coverage in the press recently as the iOS version is the first of its kind to offer Xbox Live achievements.
This web-based version also has achievements to unlock once signing in with a Gamertag. The nice thing about this is that they’re different from the iOS version – between the two there’s 100G to gain.
As word games go it’s one of the best in recent times, even gaining 9/10 from Eurogamer. Text Twist 2 is also available as an alternative, but why have a burger when you can have steak?
The other three games available are provided by PopCap – Plants vs Zombies, Zuma’s Revenge and the bored housewife’s favourite Bejeweled 3. There are no achievements to unlock in these but they’re all very good games. It’s slightly odd that they’re available to play for free when they’d cost a combined 3,200 MSP to download on Xbox Live. That said, you aren’t quite getting the full experiences.
One word of warning – Wordament is incredibly addictive. If you’ve got a busy day of work ahead, it may be wise to save this one for a quiet day. Or at least for when your boss isn’t looking.
God bless Alt and Tab, eh?