Sometimes you need a break from the grind, after a few hours pounding away at the keys it’s healthy to unwind. That’s why I started the Procrastination Round Up column, a place for me to share the best stuff to do in your down time.
A quick reminder: While it’s great to take a break once in a while, don’t let yourself get lazy. I know many of you work from home as a writer and make your own schedules, so it’s easy to fall into bad habits without a boss over your shoulder making sure you’re efficient. If you want to take breaks throughout the day, I recommend a ratio of 4:1, that is, 4 parts work, 1 part play.
In this first volume of Procrastination Round-Up, I’ll be going over some of the best browser games I’ve come across. They are a great way to blow off steam because you don’t even have to get out of your seat to enjoy them (not that you shouldn’t get up and stretch, go outside and get some fresh air!).
How awesome is this concept: the original Super Mario Bros. game that you can play with Samus, Ryu, Link, Megaman, Simon Belmont, Bill. R from Contra, and of course Mario- and they each control like they do in their respective games.
Sure, you can play the vanilla Super Mario Flash, but it’s pretty cool to be able to slash goombas up with Ryu’s dragon sword.
For the most part the characters are faithful to the lore of their games- for example when Samus collects a mushroom she gains her suit instead of just growing like Mario does. However, the jumping mechanics had to be altered quite a bit to accommodate for the jumps you have to make in Mario levels- Simon Belmont’s original puny jump couldn’t possibly make it through these levels so now he has quite a bit more spring than before. But still, it’s a lot of fun and quite a trip to play.
Quake III Arena is considered one of the best fast-paced online shooters of all time and a standard measure of skill for the FPS player, and now you can play it right it your browser for free. It runs perfectly and there are tons of people playing it. Noobs beware, this game has been around for a long time and many players with years of experience have it down to a science- try to hang around the low-rank servers and hone your skills.
It’s a great game for quick diversions- matches only last a few minutes and they are very satisfying (unless you are on a losing streak) so it’s easy to pick up, play, and put back down again when it’s time to get back to work.
If you’ve played the original Portal or it’s sequel on consoles or PC, you know that Valve created one of the most fun and unique puzzle games ever. Well, developer wecreatestuff took the genius Portal formula and translated it flawlessly into 2D web format and it’s incredible.
The clever level design and addicting gameplay almost fool you into thinking Valve was behind this little gem, the designers really outdid themselves. A lot of the more advanced levels are real head-scratchers so be prepared to get frustrated as your avatar gets turned into Swiss cheese by turrets and fried by lasers.