JavaScript-powered canvas demonstrations have become increasingly sophisticated. Developers are now creating high-quality browser based games which don’t need Flash or other plugins.

Here are 3 of the best to add to your, er, “technology research list” this weekend. They’ve been chosen for their technical brilliance and compelling game-play. They work in most browsers except for IE which doesn’t have native canvas support. In most cases, Firefox works fine but Chrome and Safari appear to offer the best experience for your … analysis.

ThrustThrust

Thrust is a popular 8-bit game from 1986 which has been re-created by Jon Combe (it’s not an emulation). It’s an immensely enjoyable game which was inspired by Atari’s Gravitar. Technically, it’s hard to fault what Jon has achieved — even the sound effects are accurate.

ThrustAsteroids

If you think all canvas examples offer simplistic graphics and effects, you’ll be stunned by Asteroids — a glorious homage to the original Atari arcade game. Kevin Roast’s version features 3D ray-traced graphics and fast animation. You’d have paid good money for this a few years ago!

ThrustTorus

This 3D tetris game remains one of the most impressive JavaScript and canvas games. Ben Joffe’s game offers smooth 3D animation and addictive “just-one-more-go” game-play. Great stuff.

Have you discovered any other great canvas examples?

Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler

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  • MrJaba

    I recently deployed ittybittyboom.com which is written using javascript and canvas, but also with HTML5 websockets for the multiplayer element. It’s still an early alpha but I think a good start as to what can be done with these new techs.

  • Matt

    Wow. Those are crazy awesome.

  • Anonymous

    I have been working on using canvas and JS to view magazines online in a similar way Flash is currently used to display magazines on certain websites. Still needs plenty of work but its getting there.
    http://greennet.com.au/dev/magazineviewer/

    • Jaison

      Mr. Anonymous. your Magazine viewere is defintely impressive. Excellent effort so far!!

  • AnchorWave

    I love JavaScript, these graphics are great! Anchor Wave Internet Solutions incorporates a good balance between flash and information in each of their websites to create a well working design and site for each client.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, HTML5 games are gonna be huge.

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