In the past year, there have been an increasing number of efforts to either bring hardcore (non-casual) gamers to the web browser, or to bring casual gamers closer to the hardcore. The effect is the same regardless of the approach: cool games that can be played for little to nothing in short bursts of time.
The first of these that I’ve played has blown my mind and I’m addicted. It is called Off Road Velociraptor Safari, developed by the guys at FlashBang Studios and it is absolutely wonderful. You play the role of a crazed, homocidal velociraptor in a jeep that runs down other velociraptors, then using a giant chain with a spiked ball on the end you drag their carcasses into a teleporter beam to “export” them for points. You can also do many different stunts and collect shiny orbs for points. This is gaming at its pinnacle.
Another site, InstantAction, created by the inventors of the original Starseige: Tribes games, is releasing many online multiplayer games, one of which is titled Fallen Empires: Legion and is the spiritual Tribes 4. Can’t wait.
Lastly, QuakeLive is an effort to release Quake 3 as a free browser-based game. I can’t wait. Can’t freakin’ wait.