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
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
The Principles of Beautiful Web Design, 4th Edition
Learn PHP in One Day and Learn It Well
Docker for Web Developers