5 Awesome HTML5 Games

Share this article

It’s the end of the week, and it’s been a while since I last looked at native browser-based games. I’ve therefore picked a new selection for your research purposes … it’s amazing how far the technology has progressed within a few short months. The following examples have all been implemented using HTML5 technologies such as canvas and JavaScript. They work in most modern browsers, but most won’t work in Internet Explorer 8.0 and below. Chrome or Opera generally provide the best experience.

Biolab DisasterBiolab Disaster

While I’m far too young to remember 8-bit gaming in the 1980s, Biolab is a homage to those simpler but addictive titles from 20-30 years ago. The game is a space-themed platformer with colorful chunky sprites, great animation and sound effects. The developer, Dominic Szablewski, has also released the canvas-based library at ImpactJS.com. Biolab is a fine game. In fact, it’s better than many released in the 80s … so I’ve heard.

Crystal GalaxyCrystal Galaxy

Crystal Galaxy is a sideways scrolling space shooter reminiscent of R-Type. However, the game’s unique in that the mouse controls the direction of the ship as well as its location. Unusually, Crystal Galaxy doesn’t use the HTML5 canvas element. Every sprite is an individual HTML div
moved around the screen. It works quickly in all browsers and is even playable in IE6! The authors at EffectGames.com also provide free tools and libraries to help you write your own titles. Crystal Galaxy is fun, and you won’t be able to resist another go.

Canvas RiderCanvas Rider

As you might expect, Canvas Rider is a version of Line Rider implemented using the HTML5 canvas element. The game is simple: you ride a bicycle over a series of obstacles to reach a goal — but the realistic gravity and physics make it a serious challenge. What makes Canvas Rider more special is the online track editor and the thousands of tracks submitted
by fans of the game.

Agent 008 BallAgent 008 Ball

Agent 008 Ball is a glorious-looking game of pool for one player. The objective is to pot as many balls as possible before the timer runs out. Again, Agent 008 Ball uses the HTML5 canvas element, but it’s the photo-realistic graphics and real-world physics make the game stand out.

Pirates Love DaisiesPirates Love Daisies

Pirate Love Daisies is a Tower-Defense-like game which pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with HTML5 and JavaScript. It was written by Flash developer Grant Skinner who was commissioned by Microsoft to create a game which showed off the new technologies in IE9. The game works well in most browsers but, as you’d expect, it’s best on a fast PC using a browser with native hardware-accelerated graphics. For the moment, IE9 beta offers the best experience. While a browser is never likely to be the best platform for games, these titles show that a little ingenuity can yield amazing results. What’s your favorite, and have you discovered any awesome HTML5 games?

Frequently Asked Questions about HTML5 Games

What are HTML5 games and why are they popular?

HTML5 games are interactive games that are built using HTML5 technology, a language used for structuring and presenting content on the web. These games are popular because they can be played directly in a web browser without the need for additional software or plugins. They are also cross-platform, meaning they can be played on various devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

How do HTML5 games differ from Flash games?

Flash games require a specific plugin to run, while HTML5 games can run directly in a web browser. Additionally, Flash is no longer supported by many browsers due to security issues, while HTML5 is widely supported and considered more secure. HTML5 also allows for better performance and graphics, especially on mobile devices.

Can I create my own HTML5 games?

Yes, you can create your own HTML5 games if you have knowledge of HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. There are also various game engines and libraries available that can simplify the process, such as Phaser, Construct 2, and Babylon.js.

Are HTML5 games free to play?

Many HTML5 games are free to play, but some may offer in-game purchases or premium versions. It’s always best to check the specific game’s website or platform for details.

Can I play HTML5 games offline?

Some HTML5 games can be played offline, but this depends on how the game is designed. If the game is designed to be played offline, it will download the necessary files to your device when you first load the game, allowing you to play it even without an internet connection.

Do HTML5 games work on all browsers?

HTML5 games are designed to work on all modern web browsers that support HTML5, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. However, performance may vary depending on the browser and device.

Are HTML5 games safe to play?

HTML5 games are generally safe to play, as they run directly in your browser without the need for additional software or plugins. However, as with any online activity, it’s important to only play games from trusted sources and to keep your browser and device software up to date.

Can I play HTML5 games on my mobile device?

Yes, one of the main advantages of HTML5 games is that they are cross-platform, meaning they can be played on a variety of devices including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

How can I improve performance when playing HTML5 games?

If you’re experiencing performance issues when playing HTML5 games, try closing other tabs or applications, updating your browser, or clearing your browser cache. If the game is still running slowly, it may be due to the game’s design or your device’s capabilities.

Where can I find HTML5 games to play?

There are many websites that host HTML5 games, including SitePoint, HTML5Games, and CrazyGames. You can also find HTML5 games on app stores and platforms like Google Play and the App Store.

Craig BucklerCraig Buckler
View Author

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 created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

canvasgamesHTML5 Dev CenterHTML5 Tutorials & Articles
Share this article
Read Next
Get the freshest news and resources for developers, designers and digital creators in your inbox each week