9 browser games to take you back to the good old days
Remember when browser games were all the rage? Remember Cool Math Games? Mini clip? And probably best of all, Newgrounds?
I remember that magical time in life, when getting on the computer after school meant sifting through Flash game after Flash game (rest in peace), looking for something to entertain myself. It was a simpler time, the one I miss a lot. Newgrounds in particular was a pioneer in the field and a haven for hosting old Internet browser games, allowing anyone to create a small game and publish it online.
Sure, you had all kinds of edgy stuff there, but it was the incubator for many, many games. Super Meat Boy, Binding of Isaac, Castle Crashers, Battleblock Theater all came out of that time. All of these titles originated at Newgrounds, with the latest two coming from the creator of Newgrounds’ own game studio Tom Fulp, The Behemoth. Hell, even one of the games in the list below debuted with Newgrounds and is still available on the platform, with any new content being added there first.
So that’s my point. Don’t you want to go back for a moment to the days when times were much simpler? Won’t you abandon humanity and become a monkey again? Luckily Newgrounds is still alive, but itch.io is a bit wider of a platform, and they have loads of really great browser games that have been made over the last few years. These games have the vibe of playing a game on Newgrounds as a kid or teenager, mixed with the polish that today’s technology can provide. I’m a big fan of this stuff, so I’ve picked out some games for you to try that can be played in your browser.
Friday night funkin
I know I know. Friday night funkin has been one of the best games on Itch.io for a million years. But it’s for good reason. Friday night funkin is a Dance Dance Revolution-esque rhythm game by ninjamuffin99, and is reminiscent of the Flash Player style of gaming from the Newgrounds era. It rocks. The music is fun and the enemies are cool as hell. There’s a good reason it’s remained so successful.
The next door
It is a strange technicality, whereas The next door is technically a game you can play in your browser, I highly recommend downloading it to get the full experience. Considering this, The next door is a short pixel horror game created by Broelbrak and inspired by the work of Jung Ito. The character design that I feel hits that mark perfectly, and the unnerving tone throughout the short experience is nothing short of fantastic.
This is the game to play if you are sad and want to feel love and happiness quickly. Welcome Googoo is a simple game where you have to write invitations to the villagers for the Googoo welcome party, and you have to write the invitations individually to suit each villager’s personality. It’s so silly and cute and the frog chair is there too. A beautiful game. And isn’t it nice that things are nice once in a while?
I always believed that what Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater missing all these years was the ability to skateboard like a raccoon. Sunset Tanuki is a third-person (third raccoon?) skating game created by Rewind Games, and it is not easy. You can fall a lot, but it’s all the more rewarding not to fall. It’s a super fun skate game where the levels are procedurally generated and the vibes are immaculate.
It’s probably the shortest game of all, and yet it’s the one that hit me in the gut the most. You can probably guess from the name, but goodbye dog is very sad. You play as the ghost of a family dog and must partake in a mild haunting to help your family get their lives back on track after losing you. Despite being sad, it’s also very sweet.
The only thing I don’t like about this game is that I wish there were more. Such a good concept. Cat-A-Combs! is a puzzle platform created by Audrey Vasconcelos, Fernando Silveira, JP Durigan and Lia Godoy. You play as a cat with multiple lives, and you must use it to your advantage. Each time you die, your body becomes a platform you can use to block blocks and lasers, or help you level up. New concept, I want more.
emptiness of soul
emptiness of soul is a 1-2 hour Game Boy-esque game created by Kadabura. It’s spooky and cool, and the pixel art is sometimes simple and sometimes incredibly detailed. It’s one of the most exciting games I’ve played on itch.io in terms of story and art style. The only issue I would say is the lack of SFX or music, but somehow that adds to the creepiness of it all. My recommendation for background music is Closer to gray Chromatics album.
I live for this stuff. Fancy dating sims are like crack to me, and The Ratchelor is pumped straight into my veins. The Ratchelor is a take on The single person, except instead of how the show normally is, you’re a rat and your love interests are all rats. The art style is somehow ugly AND beautiful, each rat you date has its own distinct personality, and the bland responses you give to rats mean a lot more than you think.
Morbius: the game
enough said about Morbius: The Game.
These are just a few of my picks from Itch.io’s browser game library, but there are so many. Do you have any browser games from Itch.io that you like? Or maybe even browser games from another website? WHERE maybe even a browser game from your childhood that had a strong hold on you? Let us know!