Internet Games: Most Popular Articles
One of the most popular and ubiquitous casual gaming genres is the hidden object game (or HOG for short). These titles have players scouring scenery looking for all manner of unseen items. The problem is, because there are so many of these games, they can start to look very similar. This makes it tough to pick out the good from the bad. But whether you're new to the genre or have already found your fair share of hidden objects, these games represent some of the best that HOGs have to offer.
FarmVille may be the biggest game on Facebook, with over 75 million active users, but you don't necessarily have to be on the social network to play anymore. Utilizing Facebook Connect, developer Zynga has made the farming phenomenon accessible both from its own website and MSN.com. You still need a Facebook account to play, but these options let you experience FarmVille without having to be on Facebook, perfect for computers where the social network might be blocked. Here's how to do it.
This is a timeline of key events in the history of Internet gaming. It includes significant developments in computer games, console games, and Internet technology.
Looking back over the last ten years of online gaming, there's no doubt that it has been an astounding decade. To say that the hobby has seen explosive growth is an understatement, and it has taken some interesting twists and turns along the way. Here's a quick look at what I would consider the most significant trends that have impacted online gaming in the last decade.
Many real-time strategy games for the PC now have multiplayer options that allow you to wage war over the Internet. In most cases you are required to gather resources, research new technology, build up an army, and use it to vanquish your enemy. The player limit is typically between 6 and 12.
There are a large number of mounts available in World of Warcraft, and more are added to the game on a regular basis. The total is currently around 200, although that includes different color variations on the same mount model. Mounts speed up travel through the world and are highly coveted possessions within Azeroth. This guide covers most of the mounts you can currently acquire in the game. Page 2.
Having trouble finding a decent Scrabble partner? You might enjoy playing Literati on the Web, where there is always someone up for a game.
They will never be quite like the old arcade pinball machines with roll digits, but online pinball simulations are getting incredibly realistic and there are no quarters required. Free pinball has become a way for companies to promote their brand and encourage people to visit their Web sites.
The second page to the PC/console debate describes the pros and cons of PC hardware for online gaming. See which genre is good for PCs and final thoughts. Page 2.
Every experienced gamer is familiar with constantly escalating hardware demands of the latest games. These PC graphics cards will help get your frame rate back up to tolerable levels whether you're upgrading or building a new system.
Installing World of Warcraft addons are simple, useful and best of all condoned by Blizzard. Here's a guide on downloading and installing a WoW addon.
If you're into casual puzzle games, chances are you've come across one or two match-3 games throughout your journey. The fact is, the sheer number of match-3 titles available makes it hard to separate the good from the bad. What follows is a list of some of the best that the genre has to offer, from fresh and inventive games to ones that simply take a good thing and make it better. If you're looking to waste a whole lot of time, these games will be more than happy to help.
One of the most common complaints I hear about using voice chat is that some people can barely be heard, while others are so loud that they blow your ear drums out. And we all know what it's like when someone gets excited in the heat of battle and starts screaming into the microphone, or decides to share that special rap song they're listening to with everyone else on the channel at high volume. Here's how to quickly set up the compressor in Ventrilo for a less painful voice chat experience.
First-person shooters have long been a dominant force in online gaming, especailly on the PC. If you need some fast multiplayer FPS action, these are some of the top games currently available.
Whether you are considering an upgrade to your current system, or you want your new system to be able the latest games, here are some things you should know before buying a video card for gaming.
A lot of people dream of turning their gaming habit into a full-time job. There are a number of ways to put your game skills to the test for a wager online.
Over the years, PopCap Games has created some of the most addictive and well known casual games on the market. Titles like Bejeweled and Peggle have stolen countless hours of our time due to being just so hard to put down. But if you haven't yet experienced the joy of a PopCap game, there are plenty of ways you can test them out without dropping a dime. Here are a few ways to enjoy four of the developer's best games for free.
General strategies for competing more successfully in Counter-Strike and other multiplayer FPS games. The basics can make a big difference when there's a bullet coming your way hard and fast. (Page 1)
While there are still some die-hard speed typers among us, the keyboard is giving way to headsets and microphones as voice becomes the preferred way to communicate in online games. These software and hardware options can take team play to the next level.
The Battlefield series has long been a popular source of multiplayer mayhem on the PC, and in recent years it has become a hit on consoles as well. Bad Company 2 has revived interest in the franchise, well-known for its team-based combat and player-controlled vehicles. While many of the shooter skills learned in other games carry over nicely into Bad Company 2, there are some differences which can affect your performance. Here are some tips to help you and your cohorts get the upper-hand in BC2 matches.
Internet Games Glossary - DPS - damage per second
Screenshots of the online game Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures.
Screenshots of the MMORPG Lord of the Rings Online.
HOGs are one of the most popular genres of casual games. And leading the way is Big Fish Games. Not only is the company leading the way with its very popular game portal, but its internal development studios are also making some of the best HOGs out there, including the pioneering Mystery Case Files series and, more recently, the very well received Drawn games. I had the chance to speak with BFG's Adrian Woods about the history of the genre and just where it might be going in the future.
If you've ever wondered just what hidden object games are all about, well you've come to the right place. Here's a run down of the basics of HOGs, as well as the many different variations on the genre. It's everything you need to get yourself started finding those objects that don't want to be found.
Eve Online is a unique game with a deep economic component, and player perpetrated scams are all part of the action. This is a brief history of the game's largest and most famous swindles.
Match-3 games have become a staple of the casual game genre over the years, and you'll now find them adapted to countless different themes and seasons. The central mechanic they all share is that the player must find or create sets of similar items, typically three or more, to complete the game's objectives. Here are some of the most popular free match-3 puzzle games available online.
Puzzle games don't have to entail tremendous amounts of logic and deliberation. Adding arcade-like action or physics to a puzzle game can bring some luck and reflexes to the exercise. These are puzzle games that keep up the pace and often have you shooting your way out of difficult situations.
In these fantasy-themed MMORPGs games you create a character, don a sword or a spellbook, and venture off into a persistent online world in search of experience points. An Internet connection is required and they typically charge a monthly subscription fee for access.
It's not often that two blockbuster MMORPGs hit store shelves within weeks of each other, and it presents people who don't have unlimited time and money for online games with a tough decision. Both World of Warcraft and EverQuest II promise to be exceptional games, so here is a quick comparison between the two that might make it easier to figure out which one is for you. Page 2.
There are plenty of casual games out there, but sometimes actually finding something to play can be a chore. After all, unlike traditional games, you can't simply go out to a store and pick the latest hidden object game off the shelf. Thankfully there are plenty of online casual game portals that do all of the work for you, leaving you with just one decision: what should I play? Here are eight of our favorites.
A lot of money is changing hands these days for characters and items that exist only in the virtual worlds of massively multiplayer online games. Remarkably, some people have turned this activity into big business, creating auctions and stores that cater specifically to the needs of online adventurers. Here's a closer look at this new economic phenomenon.
The digital distribution of games has really come of age in the last few years, and it now seems inevitable that disks and boxes are on their way out and downloads are the way of the future. Not everyone is happy about it, because a lot of people still expect to get a physical object when they buy a game, but a growing number of game sales are taking place through online services. Here's a quick look at the pros and cons of digital distribution. Page 2.
Zynga's FarmVille is possibly the biggest game of all time, with an astounding 80 million people playing it every single month. But it's not the only farming game in town. In fact, Facebook is full of plenty of agricultural simulators that are just as fun and addictive as FarmVille. So, if FarmVille isn't your thing, or you're simply looking for something new in a farming game, here are five titles you need to play.
Tips for maximizing your Certification gain in SOE's new MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2. Learn about support roles and Sunderer certification to accumulate points.
Mahjong (or Mah-jongg) is a tile-matching game that originated in China over a century ago. Today it is played all over the world, and like many other traditional games, there are now a multitude of free online variations of Mahjong you can play in a Web browser. These are some of the better free Mahjong games I've come across so far.
I'm not sure if Soccer, or perhaps more accurately, Football, is the world's most popular sport, but if it isn't, it certainly comes close. Naturally, there have been vast numbers of soccer simulations and fantasy soccer games released over the years. Free online soccer games have also been growing in number, and they've come to offer a mixture of team management and action on the field. These are some of the better free online soccer games currently available.
Disney isn't just about movies and theme parks anymore, they've become a serious contender in the online games market, with a variety of titles aimed at youngsters. Pirates of the Caribbean Online is their latest effort, based on the famous movie series, and it lets you skirmish with scurvy dogs and plunder ships on the high seas.
Tower defense games have been growing in popularity at a rapid rate ever since the success of Flash Element Tower Defense and Desktop Tower Defense in 2007. Essentially, you have to destroy multiple waves of oncoming hostiles (creeps) by placing defensive towers on the map. These towers can typically be upgraded and in some games, used to force the enemy to take a longer path. Here are my favorite free browser-based tower defense games.
Hidden object games, by their nature, tend to be very similar. If you play a lot of them it's easy to get the games confused with one another. Which is what makes Brunhilda and the Dark Crystal so special. The tale it weaves will keep you engaged from start to finish and when combined with some lovely visuals and polished gameplay, the result is simply magical.
Wrath of the Lich King is the second expansion for World of Warcraft, which raises the level cap to 80 and introduces the continent of Northrend. Here are answers to a lot of the common questions about the expansion to get you on your way to a smooth start in Wrath of the Lich King.
Game technology is always evolving, and HTML 5 is shaping up to be the next big step for browser-based gaming. It seems destined to supplant a number of current browser plugins, and it will likely herald a new generation of graphics and audio on the Web.
One of the great things about games is the sheer variety. There are games you play for fun, games you play for challenge, and games you play socially with friends. But there are also games that try to do more. This new wave of artistic games attempts to use the medium as a way of expressing something unique and thought provoking.
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Screenshots of World of Warcraft mounts. Page 15.
When you log on to an online game, you shouldn't have to put up with all sorts of behavior that isn't befitting a 7-year-old, and yet as often as not, that's exactly what you can expect. To some extent we're probably already getting desensitized to it, but I decided to assemble some tips on good online gaming etiquette, just in case anyone out there still cares.
It takes an great effort to keep an online game cheat-free. Read about online game cheating history, how it's done, who to trust and fair play initiatives.
Internet Games Glossary - aggro
Bloodletting and large-breasted babes are nothing new to the video game industry, but with the war on terrorism fueling sales of war-themed game titles, both sides of the content controversy seem to be hunkering down for a decisive battle.
With Valentine's Day fast approaching, I thought it would be a good time to take a quick look at sex and romance inside massively multiplayer online games, where players celebrate everything from birthdays to weddings. Although it may not fit the stereotype, gamers are not immune to love, and gamer couples are becoming more common all the time. Most games do their best to keep it clean, but those seeking something more risque have a few virtual worlds to choose from as well.
Screenshots of World of Warcraft racial mounts. Page 18.
Wizard101 is an online kids game with adult MMORPG features built around a unique card-based combat system. Learn about combat, mini-games and more here.
Launched admist great controversy back in 2003, Steam is Valve Software's digital distribution system for games. It is a free stand-alone program which provides a wide range of game-related services including game downloads, server browsing, instant messaging, friend lists, automatic game patching, and more. Here is a quick explanation of what Steam is, what it does, and how it came to reside on some 20 million computers worldwide.
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From the opening scene, it's pretty clear that Awakening: The Dreamless Castle is doing its best to evoke classic fairytales: and it succeeds. Though the tale it tells is fairly cliche, it's done well enough to keep you engaged, and it serves as great window dressing for the actual game. And with a gorgeous, story book style presentation and some solid puzzles, there's more than enough here to keep hidden object fans happy.
Casual games have become a favorite form of entertainment on the Web because they are a great way to relax and enjoy a diversion without committing a large amount of time or money. There are a stunning variety of these games online, and more arrive every day. Without getting into traditional card and board games, here are my picks for some of the most compelling Web games currently available. Many of these sites offer downloadable versions as well.
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A preview of the multiplayer online game World of Warplanes from Wargaming.
Peripherals, gizmos, gadgets and accessories for video gamers, including game controllers and 3D glasses.
The Secret Plant Society isn't the type of game that's full of grandiose plans and expectations it can't live up to. It's a gardening game, plain and simple. You plant, water, and cultivate seeds, all the while decorating your virtual greenhouse. And that's about it. But in spite of its relative simplicity, The Secret Plant Society is surprisingly compelling.
Pool has become one of the most popular free online games, with tens of thousands of players participating at any hour of the day or night. Now you can rack 'em up from the comfort of home, even if you don't have a table.
Screenshots of World of Warcraft flying mounts. Page 22.
Here are six tips to help you get the most out of your CityVille city, the latest game from Facebook developer Zynga, covering everything from storing crops to erecting buildings.
Unlike most games, World of Warcraft allows users to make radical adjustments and additions to the game's graphical user interface (GUI). For the most part, the default interface is pretty good, but it offers nowhere near the range of options and flexibility of many of the addons (also called mods) made by the community. These are some of the most useful of the hundreds of addons available for World of Warcraft.
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Games are typically a blend of different and sometimes exclusive design principles. This has led to use of descriptive terms like sandbox and themepark. Here is a definition of these terms for the uninitiated.
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Internet Games Glossary - DOT - damage over time
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Thanks in part to MMORPGs like EverQuest and World of Warcraft, gamers in North America and Europe have grown increasingly comfortable with monthly game subscriptions. Alternative revenue models have been around for a long time, but they're only beginning to catch on here the way they have in foreign markets. Turbine moved two of their titles to a free-to-play (F2P) system in recent years with considerable success, and a number of other games have followed their lead. Here's a closer look at the F2P trend.
When the first Farm Frenzy 3 was launched last Summer, it was a refreshing change of pace. It simplified the time management series, making it faster and easier to understand. But after a series of spin-offs, the formula is clearing losing its magic. Farm Frenzy 3: Madagascar is the fourth such spin-off and it does little to advance the series forward. In fact, at times it's actually hard to tell if it's actually even a new game.
A lot of first-person shooters take you back to World War II or Vietnam, but Kuma\War immerses you in the very conflicts that have been making recent headlines. Every month they release several new missions for the game based on current events. Can it measure up to the plethora of military shooters out there?
Screenshots of the Guild Wars E3 for Everyone demo.
If you've reached level 60 in World of Warcraft, odds are your guild wants you to get your Onyxia key (Drakefire Amulet) so you can join them on raids to Onyxia's Lair. You need to complete a long chain of quests to get this item, and they differ depending on whether you're playing Alliance or Horde. This is a walkthrough for the Horde side.
Origin in a digital distribution service from EA that will be used for their downloadable games going forward. These are my first impressions of Origin.
Screenshots of World of Warcraft mounts. Page 16.
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Screenshots of the online game Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. Page 7.
Windows 8 will arrive in October of 2012, and with preview versions of it already in circulation, it has been getting mixed reviews. Here's a look at how PC gaming might be affected by Microsoft's upcoming OS.
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Wintergrasp is a large PvP zone added to World of Warcraft with The Wrath of the Lich King expansion. It's a fairly straightforward siege scenario, but there are still frequent questions in chat about the Towers and Goblin Workshops. This is a quick explanation of how the zone works and what the rewards are for participating in the massive battles over Wintergrasp Fortress.
Massively multiplayer is a term being applied to an ever-increasing number of online games, but some them don't actually support a massive number of players. Although there's no gold standard for what makes a game massively multiplayer, I think the proper use of the term MMOG deserves further examination.
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Internet Games Glossary - DKP - dragon kill points
Screenshots of the online game Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures.
Stars Wars seems like an ideal franchise to build a MMORPG around, but it hasn't worked out quite as planned for two attempts that have been made so far. Here's a quick look at what went right and what went wrong.
When servers are overloaded from the initial rush, game launches can be a frustrating affair. Some MMORPG fans are resigned to waiting a week or two before plunging into a new release. These are some thoughts on game launches and the issues associated with them.
Sometimes all it takes is a bit of polish. While Mystery Legends: Phantom of the Opera doesn't do a whole lot new with the hidden object formula, it's so incredibly well put together that it doesn't even matter. It's serious, dark tone, incredible visuals, and engaging gameplay make this among the best games the genre has ever seen.
First-person shooters have come a long way since Quake demonstrated the potential for online play in a 3D action game. Today multiplayer shooters are played on consoles as well as PCs, and they encompass everything from realistic counter-terrorist settings to extreme science fiction. This is a quick summary of how most FPSes are played online.
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There's probably no setting more popular for hidden object and adventure games than ancient ruins. After all, it's the perfect spot for plenty of environmental based puzzles and narrative mysteries. But this also means that it can be tough for a game to set its self apart. And Island: The Lost Medallion definitely has this problem. While it features a couple of new and interesting ideas, it's hard not to feel like you've seen this all before.
Internet Games Glossary - gone gold
War Thunder is an aerial combat game based on the planes of World War II. These are my beta impressions of this new title from Gaijin Entertainment.
EverQuest has been around for over a decade and I can't think of any MMORPG that has had more expansions. Here is a brief history of the game and a chronological list of all the expansions released for it so far.
Mice are loaded with features these days, and there are a tremendous variety of mice designed for gamers on the market. If you want a good weapon for PC gaming, these are some of the best mice available.
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When Popcap released Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook, it stumbled across the perfect formula for creating a perfect arcade experience on the platform. And now the developer has done it again, only this time with the Zuma franchise. Zuma Blitz transforms the marble slinging series into a series of short, addictive bursts that will soon become the enemy of all your free time.
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There aren't a lot of massively multiplayer games designed for young kids. Along with the obvious safety concerns, many MMORPGs take a considerable effort to learn to play and they often feature violent content that isn't appropriate for children. Disney has taken a different approach with ToonTown, resulting in an online game that isn't just squeaky clean, it's easy to learn and entertaining enough that the adults in the family will likely want to play along.
Some massively multiplayer games focus on fast-paced action and historical simulation rather than roleplaying. These titles tend to blend a small amount of roleplaying with an ample amount of FPS and simulation style combat in large online play areas with hundereds of players.
There's something to be said for a game that doesn't try to reinvent the wheel, but instead polishes it to a fine sheen. The Tarot's Misfortune is such a game. While it doesn't do anything new with the well-worn hidden object game formula, what it does it does so well that it's easy to overlook the lack of innovation.
Highly graphical multiplayer RPGs have become a large online gaming trend in recent years. See the top seven with a variety of Internet play options.
Keybinds can greatly improve your World of Warcraft gameplay. Here is some quick advice on how keybinds can help and how to get started using them.
Information and download locations for America's Army, an excellent multiplayer first-person shooter that you can play online for free.
Screenshots of World of Warcraft racial mounts.
Developed by SplashDamage, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is an excellent WWII first-person shooter that you can enjoy for free. Get the details and download locations in this profile.
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Internet Games Glossary - MMORPG - massively multiplayer online roleplaying game
Is the new panda-inspired playable race in WoW to childish and cute for the game? Read on for my thoughts on the subject.
For some reason, cooking translates really well to the world of videogames. That's probably why there are so many great cooking themed casual games out there. From the time management play of the Diner Dash series to the slicing and dicing mini-games of Cooking Mama, there's something for everyone. Here are some of the best games that are all about making and serving food.
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Internet Games Glossary - 1337 - leet
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Normally hidden object games have you finding things for the sake of finding them. Sometimes the objects are loosely tied to the plot of the game -- you may occasionally come across a clue during your searches -- but, for the most part, you don't actually use what you find. Not so in Settlement. Colossus. This interesting hybrid of a HOG and a strategy game has you searching for food, firewood, and other resources necessary for creating and maintaining a brand new settlement.
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Screenshots of the MMORPG Lord of the Rings Online. Page 4.
HitGrab's Facebook game MouseHunt is a deceptively simple game where the goal is to capture as many mice
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If you're in the mood for something fun and fast paced, there's nothing better than a time management games. These titles have you juggling a heap of different tasks as quickly as possible, and will have you doing everything from cleaning tables and seating customers to building skating rinks and saving fallen skiers. They're fun, challenging, and perfect for both quick spurts of gameplay, as well as more prolonged sessions. Here are some of the best titles that the genre has to offer.
Eve Online gives you a chance to build an empire in space and rise to the pinnacle of galactic domination. Almost 2 years old, the game continues to grow. The recent free Exodus expansion added a long list of new features, and shortly after its release Eve set records with over 12,000 concurrent players in a single online world.
A review of TERA Rising, the relaunched free-to-play MMORPG from Bluehole Studio and En Masse Entertainment.
Meeting demand for the online components of games when they launch can be a challenge, as demonstrated by the recent release of SimCity 5. We return to the once-again-revived debate about always-on DRM.
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It's often hard to find a hidden object game that manages to do something different, as the genre seems to be plagued by me-too copycats and clones. That's what makes the third entry in the Magic Encyclopedia series so great. Not only is it a gorgeous, well made HOG, it also introduces a new, very compelling new gameplay feature that helps make the game one of the best the genre has seen in quite some time.
Server and player finding software is almost essential to online gaming, so if you're new to the hobby, this is an introduction to GameSpy.
Visit Their Website Review Date: September 9, 2010 Developer: Alawar Melesta Publisher: Alawar Entertainment
Although the number of people subscribed to games that charge monthly fees for access continues to grow, we've all heard protests from those that refuse to pay any kind of regular fees to play a video game. Many are accustomed to the traditional retail offerings: buy the box, take it home, and play it forever, or until you get bored. By comparison, the $10-$15 per month a lot of MMOGs charge may look rather steep, but are they a rip-off, or are they good value for your entertainment dollars?
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Casual board, card, arcade, and puzzle games have become extremely popular on the Internet. Many text-based games are also now playable in any major Web browser. Most of these games are easy to learn and don't require the latest computer hardware.
The Internet Games Glossary definition of a LPB. Explains how bandwidth affects the perceptions players get from an LPB player.
No levels, no stats, no sticky targetting, no armor, and no hotbar. It's all about you, your wheels, hostile city streets, and steady aim. If it sounds like an action game rather than a typical MMOG, that's because it is. As a straight-up third-person shooter, All Points Bulletin is a rare bird in the realm of persistent world games. Part Grand Theft Auto, the game puts players in the roles of both the robbers and the cops, and lets the high-speed chases sort themselves out. Page 2.
An introduction to the upcoming MMORPG, Neverwinter, from Cryptic Studios, Wizards of the Coast, Hasbro, and Perfect World.
Mama sure does get around. After numerous releases across game consoles, handhelds, and even mobile phones, the Cooking Mama series has finally landed on Facebook. And nothing has been lost in the translation. The game sports the same bright and happy style coupled with great mini-game-based gameplay that has made the series so popular.
Screenshots of the MMORPG Lord of the Rings Online. Page 2.
The Guild Wars series has been highly-praised since it launched back in 2005. This is a preview of Arenanet's upcoming MMORPG, Guild Wars 2, which is currently under development.
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Internet Games Glossary - PvE - player versus environment