Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
5 great time-waster gamesYou've got ten minutes left on your lunch hour, so what do you do?
a) Get back to work early to impress the boss.
b) Talk to that annoying coworker in the cubicle next to you.
c) Click away at a great game that relieves tension and leaves a smile on your face.
Naturally, you choose "c" because there are so many delicious digital diversions out there in cyberspace that are perfect for well, wasting time. These easy-to-learn games don't require a lengthy commitment, so they're ideal for when you need a quick pick-me-up.
Below are a few recommended games that can satisfy your craving for diversion. All of these picks are shareware, so they're free to download and try but require you to pay a small fee if you continue to use them. Each game is suitable for players of all ages.
Strange and strangely addictive, Insaniquarium challenges you to feed a growing number of fish, collect all the coins that they drop, and unlock unique pets as you advance through more than 20 play levels. The problem is, each fish requires special food that you must purchase with coins, or else you'll find them belly up in the tank. You must also buy upgradeable weapons to protect your school from nasty aliens. You can use this demo for 60 minutes, after which you have to buy the full version if you want to continue to play. What does your money get you? You'll get unlimited play, plus four variations on the game (including a timed mode and a cute screensaver), and four tanks to splash around in.
Software Diversions, Inc.
Based on the ancient tile game of Shanghai, this classic puzzler asks players to correctly match and remove two similar tiles from a pile—but only the ones on the top and sides are accessible. The goal is to clear the entire screen, but you must use strategic tactics since there's more than one match per tile design and you can't render the tiles underneath inaccessible. Gamers can choose from various tile layouts, background art, tile sets, and cursors.
If you're still playing the Solitaire games that are bundled with Windows, you don't know what you're missing. SolSuite is a free download that contains a whopping 455 solitaire card games, such as Klondike, FreeCell, Pyramid, Monte Carlo, Spider, Golf, Canfield, and Forty Thieves. This collection also contains a few original Solitaire variations that you won't find elsewhere. Along with its pick-up-and-play accessibility, this set of games enjoys a number of features such as a "show a legal move" command, game demos, extensive rules, and customizable backgrounds.
Aqua Bubble 2
This addictive game challenges players to launch colored bubbles at other colored bubbles as they move toward the bottom of the screen. When three or more bubbles of the same color touch one another, they pop and disappear. If the bubbles touch the bottom, the game's over. The cannon that shoots the bubbles can be rotated side to side, so part of the strategy is to use the walls to bounce the bubbles into hard-to-reach areas. Along with cute graphics, music, and sound effects, Aqua Bubble 2 adds special powers, such as the ability to temporarily freeze bubbles to prevent them from descending.
Cheeky Monkey Software
This program is a new combination of old games like Breakout, Arkanoid, Asteroids, and Pinball. The goal of the first level is to prevent a ball from touching the floor by catching it with a paddle that you control with your mouse. The twist is that you're periodically besieged by falling cows and flying wolves. Each level promises something different and quite unexpected.
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