Now it’s not true that there haven’t been some great HTML games already, remember Google’s re-incarnation of PacMan and recently Effect Game’s Crystal Galaxy which will work even in IE6 !
However a number of features like Canvas, HTML5 Audio and WebWorkers are changing people’s perception of what is possible on the web and all without plug-ins ! So here is my top 5.
In at number 5 is, well not a game, but nevertheless a nice use of the new canvas API’s, a remake of the popular windows desktop app, Paintbrush.
At number 4 is another remake of an old classic, Asteroids! Whilst not up to the standard of today’s modern graphics they are a vast improvement over the games original line art graphics, and offers smooth movement and responsive feedback.
Number 3 is Canvas Rider a simple yet strangely addictive game requiring skill and judgement to guide a motorcyclist across a number of different scenes.
Just missing the top spot is Torus a 3D cylindrical version of Tetris.
However in first place has to be Pixel Lab’s Agent 8 Ball, great graphics, fast smooth operation and sound make it hard to believe that this is a browser game without any plug-in support. In fact this video comparison of Flash vs HTML seems to have totally missed this great example too (see comparison of pool game 3mins in). There are many more great examples out there, even for those Silverlight enthusiasts Microsoft has assembled some great examples of HTML5 in action.
So what’s the future? Well if Google’s demo last year of it’s web version of Quake is anything to go by things are certainly looking exciting ! The future is definitely not solo game play, as Game Closure showed last month when it demo’d a multiplay social game called Popstar Defense.
I’ll be covering some of the HTML5 features that enable these games such as Canvas and HTML5 Audio in future posts, enough research for now... time to get back to work !
Make sure you use a current browser supporting HTML5 features like Canvas to view / play these.