Online gaming is noting new, but playing browser games online for free has become very popular the last few years. While many are established online gaming portals, new “players” in the online world of browser games are starting to garner a lot of attention, such as 4th and goal, a very popular tactical game of American Football in which you organize your offense and defense in a five to fifteen minute game against four difficulty levels.
American football is usually played via the Madden games, but as those games have aged, so too has their complexity and difficulty. In fact, many people no longer bother with the Madden football games, as they are just too hard for either older gamers to pick up and master, and too intimidating for younger players. Plus, if you don’t already know and understand the complex rules in the NFL, it becomes very hard to grasp this game. It’s not just running, throwing, and kicking an American Football. You have to understand the differences between offense and defense, the different player positions, and formations, special teams, and when you should “go for it” or punt, kick a field goal, etc. It is not a simple pick up and play game.
4th and goal, the browser game, however, is very forgiving of all of those things. Like most browser games, they are designed for the casual player. Sit down, launch the game, and have a bit of fun. It is not like playing a full season of football in a Madden game. And while it’s not realistic, who cares? And what games are? It’s fun, and at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters!
There are still many classic arcade games that you can also play online, especially those found at Archive.org, who are doing a wonderful job of keeping classic gaming alive for new game players, as well as us old-time gamers who want a quick fix of Defender without having to hunt down a still open arcade!
Classic video games, be it arcade classics or even something much more simple like old Atari 2600 games, are actually very easy to play in a browser. The code to these games are smaller than a picture you take with your iPhone. Think about that for a moment: the actual game itself, the code on those old Atari or Nintendo games, are smaller in file size than even a low resolution photo you would have taken with an iPhone 4! So to load these games within a web browser is nothing. The only thing, then, required to play these old video games, is an emulator.
An emulator is software running in the browser that does just that: emulates the video game console, or arcade machine, that the original software (games) ran on. And like the games, the emulated consoles or arcade machines are very small themselves. Most emulators take a second or less to download to your web browser, and seconds to load the original game software. So you are up and running, playing these classic games, in seconds.
Many thought that the rise of mobile gaming would spell the end for the free-to-play browser games. That has not happened. As good as mobile gaming can be, nothing beats a large desktop or laptop screen for hours of gaming fun!