There’s no avoiding the fact – the Australian winter has well and truly arrived, and even the most hardy will be winding down the outdoor pursuits for the next couple of months or so. In years gone by, that would have meant more time spent catching up with reading, or perhaps the latest TV box set. But over the past couple of years, gaming has become an increasingly popular pastime for people of all ages.
Its cold outside
The beauty of it is that there’s no need to spend big money on a console and then the same again on the latest titles. There are literally dozens of sites out there that offer an incredible range of games, and in many cases, they won’t cost you a thing. Here are some that are definitely worth checking out.
The name might grate on the grammarians, but this site has been the go-to resource for simple but addictive (or addicting, if you will) side scrollers and cute shooters. Yes, the games are a little on the juvenile side, but that’s only to be expected given that the site is owned by Nickelodeon. There’s good clean fun for everyone, and there’s even the facility to embed games onto your own blog.
Formerly known as Games of Gondor, this is one for the old-school gaming nerds. However, that doesn’t mean it’s full of fantasy RPGs and the like. In fact, Armor showcases some of the best from small independent developers, meaning there are games on here that you just won’t see on other platforms.
Let’s get this out of the way upfront, the downside to Crazy Monkey is all the ads. However, if you can live with those, this is a great site for anyone who’s not sure what they are looking for. There are handy guides and tips attached to many of the games that will help you along, and we particularly like the random game selector in the top corner. Give it a try, but be warned, you’ll end up spending the next hour there!
When MiniClip became synonymous with malware back in 2006, gamers started to leave in their droves – straight into the arms of Kongregate. The site was an instant success and as well as more than 120,000 titles, there is excellent social media compatibility, making it easy to challenge friends in multiplayer games. It’s also worth considering premium membership – the $30 annual subscription buys access to lots of extra features and gets rid of all those ads.
This year, MiniClip celebrates its 20th anniversary. Since its launch in 2001, it’s become the largest game repository on the internet. Its reputation took a battering due to those malware issues in the past, but the net result is that security is now taken more seriously than ever. There are hundreds of games to choose from, and the particularly rich assortment in the sports category makes this site extra popular in Australia.
No Deposit Explorer
There are plenty of casino sites out there, but NoDepositExplorer is best choice for Australian players actively hunting free no deposit bonuses. You’ll find the most comprehensive choice of bonus offers, and unlike some, it is constantly being updated. Sites are also ranked on other important factors such as security.
If it’s mental stimulation you are after, this is the game platform you’ve been waiting for. There’s plenty here to give your brain a good work-out including online versions of some Hasbro classics that will transport you back to your childhood. Challenges and tournaments add to the engagement factor and will keep you coming back for more.
Here’s a platform that’s been around almost as long as the internet. Shockwave launched in 1998 and has accumulated a catalogue of almost 2,000 games. Some of them are equally well-established, so it’s a great source of retro fun. However, you’ll also find brand new games being added every week.
Total Jerk Face
With some of the sites we’ve mentioned, you’ll see some duplication in the games on offer. That’s not the case with TotalJerkFace. The offerings here might be smaller in number, but they are all the product of one fevered mind, that of indie game developer Jim Bonacci. From rogue priests to flying mopeds, there’s something unique waiting to be discovered in every game.
Last alphabetically, but not in hearts and minds, Zynga is the platform behind internet sensations like Farmville and Words With Friends. It’s all about social gaming, so get involved in the community side of it, too. The games are simple and have universal appeal – if you don’t keep up with distant friends as often as you’d like, having an ongoing Scrabble-style tournament with them is a great way to do so.