Hundreds of simple but addictive short games of many types are playable free on the Internet. Among the most popular categories are arcade, sports, adventure, trivia, gambling, puzzles, board and card games. Most are single-player, some are multiplayer. Nearly all provide a user-friendly tutorial.
Here's a sampler of 10 games to get you started:
Earn points by matching runes (arcane medieval icons) of similar color or shape on a grid. Each successful match or discard (a maximum of three consecutive discards is allowed) results in a new rune. You get a bonus for placing 10 in a row, which then disappear to make room for new runes. Three skill levels. At www.zone.com and www. popcap.com.
Build molecules by matching four or more similarly colored circular "atoms' on a grid. Each time you move an atom, new atoms appear. When you construct a molecule, it explodes, leaving blank squares to be filled. You must move atoms fast or the computer will fill the blanks and clog pathways. When you can no longer move, the game ends. At www.zone.com.
Bejeweled (aka Diamond Mine)
Line up three or more jewels of similar shape and color in a row on a grid and they self-destruct, making room for jewels above them to drop down in their place. Extra points are given for chain reactions of four or more gems in vertical and/or horizontal rows. Three skill levels. At www.zone.com and www.popcap.com.
Deflect or guide dots moving in straight lines back and forth or up and down across a grid into a U-shaped bucket in the center. You do this by left-clicking on your computer mouse at the correct time in the correct spot in front of the moving dot to produce an L-shaped right angle. Because each blank square in the grid has four sides, you've got to quickly and accurately click on the proper inner side of the square to produce the right angle that deflects the dot in the desired direction. At www.shockwave.com.
Described as a clone of Pictionary, it's playable by three to eight gamers at a time. Using mouse-driven drawing tools, players take turns scrawling a picture - in rudimentary Etch-a-Sketch fashion - to illustrate a secret word or phrase. Each phrase must be deduced within a two-minute time limit. A complete game consists of 10 two- minute rounds. function also allows chat during the game. At www.shockwave.com.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.