3 Great JavaScript & Canvas Examples

    Craig Buckler
    Craig Buckler

    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.


    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.


    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!


    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?

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about JavaScript Canvas Games

    How can I start creating a game using JavaScript and Canvas?

    To start creating a game using JavaScript and Canvas, you first need to have a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Once you have that, you can start by creating an HTML file and including a canvas element in it. The canvas element is used to draw graphics on a web page. After that, you can use JavaScript to create and control the game elements. You can draw shapes, images, and animations on the canvas using JavaScript. There are also many libraries available that can make game development easier, such as Phaser, Pixi.js, and Three.js.

    What are some examples of games that can be created using JavaScript and Canvas?

    There are many types of games that can be created using JavaScript and Canvas. Some examples include puzzle games, platform games, strategy games, and even 3D games. The possibilities are endless. You can create simple games like Tic Tac Toe or complex games like a full-fledged RPG. Some popular examples of games created using JavaScript and Canvas include HexGL, CrossCode, and Bejeweled.

    How can I handle user input in a JavaScript Canvas game?

    Handling user input in a JavaScript Canvas game can be done using event listeners. You can listen for keyboard events like keydown, keyup, and keypress to control game elements. For mouse input, you can use events like mousedown, mouseup, and mousemove. You can also use touch events for mobile devices. These events can be used to move game characters, shoot projectiles, navigate menus, and more.

    How can I add sound to my JavaScript Canvas game?

    Adding sound to a JavaScript Canvas game can be done using the HTML5 Audio API. You can create new Audio objects and control them using JavaScript. You can play, pause, and stop sounds, as well as control their volume. You can also load different sound files for different game events, like background music, sound effects, and voice overs.

    How can I optimize my JavaScript Canvas game for better performance?

    Optimizing a JavaScript Canvas game for better performance can involve several techniques. One is to use requestAnimationFrame for game loops, which can result in smoother animations. Another is to use offscreen canvases to pre-render complex graphics. You can also optimize your code by avoiding unnecessary calculations, using efficient data structures, and minimizing DOM manipulation.

    How can I make my JavaScript Canvas game responsive?

    Making a JavaScript Canvas game responsive involves adjusting the game’s layout and graphics based on the size of the user’s screen. You can use CSS media queries to apply different styles for different screen sizes. You can also use JavaScript to adjust the size and position of the canvas and game elements based on the window’s width and height.

    How can I debug my JavaScript Canvas game?

    Debugging a JavaScript Canvas game can be done using the browser’s developer tools. You can use the console to log messages and errors, and the debugger to step through your code and inspect variables. You can also use performance tools to analyze your game’s speed and memory usage.

    How can I add multiplayer functionality to my JavaScript Canvas game?

    Adding multiplayer functionality to a JavaScript Canvas game can be done using WebSockets. WebSockets allow for real-time communication between the client and server. You can use them to send and receive game data, like player positions and actions. There are also libraries and services available that can simplify multiplayer game development, like Socket.IO and Firebase.

    How can I save and load game progress in a JavaScript Canvas game?

    Saving and loading game progress in a JavaScript Canvas game can be done using the Web Storage API. You can use localStorage to store game data on the user’s device, and retrieve it later. This can be used to save player scores, game levels, and other game states.

    How can I publish and distribute my JavaScript Canvas game?

    Publishing and distributing a JavaScript Canvas game can be done through various platforms. You can host your game on your own website, or submit it to game portals like Kongregate and Newgrounds. You can also package your game as a mobile app using tools like Cordova, and publish it on app stores like Google Play and the App Store.