Stumbling on troves of browser-based casual games is easy. Sorting the wheat from the chaff (and let's face it, there's a lot of the latter) takes time.
Our own Laura Blackwell has done just that ("Free Casual Games to Play in Your Browser"), drawing from a recent casual-oriented game design competition to highlight six praiseworthy games--including the winner--with reviews to peruse in the bargain.
The contest's theme was to design something "SANDBOX." Longtime gamers will probably associate that term with something in the Grand Theft Auto tradition, where you can roam anywhere in giant "play" areas at leisure.
In the competition's case, the designers opted for a somewhat more literal approach.
In "A Llama, a World and a Plan," for instance, you play a llama with blue blood aspirations. In "Sand Trap," you have to tilt grains of sand from a maze into a bucket using physics-based principles.
And in the contest winner, "Submachine: 32 Chambers," you'll explore a sand-suffused Mesoamerican ruin, spelunking for objects and deciphering sophisticated logic puzzles.
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