Saturday, July 16, 2005

Browser Games

With java, dhtml, flash, shockwave, and similar technologies, computer games can be played on-line, within a web browser. This week, I am going to do something a little different and tell you about a few of the many puzzle games you can play on-line.

DHTML Lemmings

This is a very faithful recreation of the first Lemmings game. It plays just like the original. Even the sounds are right. The scrolling from side to side to see other parts of the map is a little flaky though, and the mini-map is missing. With cookies turned on, it remembers your progress. So, if you have never played Lemmings or want a little nostalgia trip, click on the link. But be quick about it, there appears to be some legal issues surrounding this one.

Telescope Game

Dyson makes these vacuum cleaners for nerds (yes, I own one) which produce G-forces 67,000 times more powerful than a Formula 1 race car. So says their web site. And for PR reasons, I guess, they made this puzzle game. The goal is to use the telescoping vacuum extensions to push or pull the ball into the hole. Simple, but oddly fun.


In this game, you have to rearrange the vertices of a graph so that no edges cross. Sure Kuratowski's theorem gives polynomial time algorithm to do this, but in practice, it is a lot harder. I have only done up to level 15. If you quit, your progress is not saved, and you have to redo the same levels each time you start. I wish they had randomized graphs or used cookies to record your progress.

I discovered Planarity on the jay is blog. This is a great gamer blog which gets updated daily. Not all his reviews are of puzzle games, but a good number are. Reviews of the first two games mentioned here are also reviewed at Jay's site, but I found them before seeing them on his site. So, I am only giving him credit for the last one.


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