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Addictive little online games

It’s the Friday before Christmas weekend. Stop pretending you’re trying to get any work done today. Your boss is either off on vacation already or has her feet up on the desk, waiting for the appropriate hour to sneak off for a “late lunch” and never come back. To help you in your final hours of pre-holiday work, I compiled a list of some addictive online games, easy to play but hard to master. Have hours of fun. Go on, you deserve it.

Line Rider - You know it, you love it. This is the new version, just released.

Winterbells - Jump a bunny from bell to bell.

Finger Frenzy - How fast can you type the alphabet? (My high is 8.54 seconds. (Slow typer.))

Sober Santa - Steer drunk Santa away from the rails.

Falling sand game - Part game, part physics experiment.

Throw Paper! - This would be more fun on the Wii.

Bejeweled - Billions of collective hours of productivity lost.

50 states map challenge - Place the US states on a map. (I got 92% accuracy.)

Cursor Thief - The short little dude wants to steal your cursor.

Mini golf - 18 holes. (Another version.)

Collapse - Kinda like Columns, if you’ve ever played that.

Fly the Copter - A simple one-button game.

Pingu Throw - Wherein a Yeti hits a penguin with a club to see how far it will fly.

Mission in Snowdriftland. Like Super Mario Bros, but with a snowman.

DoubleJeu - Balance a ball while playing Pong.

Chaos Theory - A bit like a chain reaction Missle Command.

Troyis - A chess-like puzzle game.

MotherLoad - I’m telling you, don’t get started on this one. Like crack, it is.

Domino Pressure - Knock down the dominoes to squish the tomato.

Dodge - Dodge the blocks with your mouse.

High scores to share? Other neat online games that people should know about? Taunt my slow typing skills? Leave ‘em in the comments.

Reader comments

ScottDec 22, 2006 at 12:25PM

kdice - - like Risk but with fewer rules. Multiplayer in the browser. Wildly addictive.

Kevin DernDec 22, 2006 at 12:32PM

That's funny... I just posted a VERY similar list on my blog 2 days ago. Wonder if you saw it...

BuckDec 22, 2006 at 12:42PM

More Halloween than Christmas, but an addictive game nonetheless...

(to get to the scarecrow game, hit enter and then in the bottom right hit play)

JohnDec 22, 2006 at 12:56PM

I think I was the one who brought down test scores in Los Angeles last year when I introduced N to my girlfriend's brother. It went viral.

KimDec 22, 2006 at 1:00PM

Farm Hustle

Like Bejeweled, but with cute animals, and an extra layer of challenge -- you have to eliminate at least one animal from each square on the grid to move to the next level.

GwenDec 22, 2006 at 1:01PM

Kingdom of Loathing, the best and funniest addictive stick-figure self-parodying MMORPG ever.

George HotellingDec 22, 2006 at 1:18PM

A lot of those will work on the Wii, I've been poking around at today.

kareemDec 22, 2006 at 1:37PM

flOw is "a flash based implementation of flow theory and immersion in a game format". Super addicting and relaxing.

Csikszentmihalyi would approve.

KarlDec 22, 2006 at 1:38PM

Definitely should have included kdice and gpokr.

robDec 22, 2006 at 1:42PM



The "grow" games are highly addictive also.

joe williamsDec 22, 2006 at 1:53PM

today its been all about bin ball!

Darius K.Dec 22, 2006 at 1:57PM

Bowmaster prelude:

davidDec 22, 2006 at 2:12PM

snowcraft is and always has been a holiday tradition for me ever since i first ran across it. there's a slight chance anyone else reading this might not know about it. if so, awesome.

anyway, it's TOTALLY addictive.

Dylan BennettDec 22, 2006 at 2:21PM

The Good Experience Games page is an excellent list of these types of games. Most of the ones you mention are on that list.

MikeDec 22, 2006 at 2:32PM

3.828 seconds is the best I can do on Finger Frenzy. I'm sure that's easily beatable but I seriously doubt the high scores in the 1 second ballpark.

Glen C.Dec 22, 2006 at 2:35PM

Nothing to do with Christmas, but addictive. Better than Pingu throw because it involves more strategy and awesome boosts.

cushieDec 22, 2006 at 2:44PM

Shuffle the Penguin is the best game ever. Wintry and one button fun!

MattDec 22, 2006 at 2:50PM

I've found Nudist Trampolining to be pretty fun.

janellDec 22, 2006 at 3:05PM

Dynomite is a favorite of mine. And may have cost me a letter grade back in school.

LennyDec 22, 2006 at 4:36PM

A couple weeks ago my roommates and I played Winterbells competitively. After two days of trash talking and drama, I got 4 488 346 789 835 480 (over 4 quadrillion) points. Since Winterbells does not display such high scores, I had to find a program to extract it. Then I retired.

Jon MayDec 22, 2006 at 4:46PM

i generally find most casual games at It's run very well by recent RIT grad and sometimes-game-designer jay bibby and has a quality and thoughtfulness level similar to that of kottke. He's a big fan of ferry halim (winterbells, et al) and on (grow, tontie, etc) and other good game designers and they participate in the generally fun-to-read comments. also the customizable favorites menu is sweet!

Steven SpencerDec 22, 2006 at 6:03PM

I'm addicted to JawBreaker (SameGame):


ScottDec 22, 2006 at 6:30PM

Co and I got 90% on the 50 States Map Challenge... but I think they were kind of harsh on a couple of "misses": Our average distance in a miss was 22 miles.

Thanks for these.

MauDec 22, 2006 at 6:42PM

well... you are definitely going to get me fired...

Linerider, throwpaper, sandpaper, and motherload are my favorites

SimonDec 22, 2006 at 7:58PM

Great list. Here's another one. Grab a friend (or many) and play Bemoggle.

Rob CrowtherDec 22, 2006 at 10:09PM

Mansion Impossible is so simple and so wasteful of my time.

JoshDec 23, 2006 at 2:22AM

MotherLoad ROCKS! I finally made it to the core of the planet... It was worth the dig!!

D.J. RossDec 23, 2006 at 5:19AM

I love the one-button simplicity of Pendulumeca and Geartaker (second in the list). And yeah, everything on Orisinal is wonderful, but especially the Amazing Dare Dozen.

TJDec 23, 2006 at 7:53AM

I agree with Scott. They were pretty picky on the 50 states challenge: 92%, but an avg of 9 miles off.

On my second try. My first try was 80%. Who knew Delaware was so far south? Besides Delawarians?

ZiadDec 23, 2006 at 7:59AM

geosense can be addictive too !

SteveDec 23, 2006 at 1:52PM

Gamezebo is another site which covers casual games (and has a piece on the wii.

My former employer, Iwin, is offering 50% off all games through jan 7th.

Family Feud Holiday isn't worth buying even at half off, but many of the other games (such as Jewel quest solitaire and Bookworm Adventures - the biggest budget for a casual game - are worth trying and buying if you like it.

SteveDec 23, 2006 at 2:20PM

I see Big Fish also has a sale through Jan 1 with 25% everything and up to 70% off on a few games (including the original Mystery Case Files for $6).

If you sign up for the Gamezebo newsletter, sometimes have offers to beta test games (though usually only for PCs which dominate casual games though that is slowly changing - Big Fish has a Mac games section and Gamehouse has a lot of mac games and you get SuperCollapse for for free for mac or PC if you sign up for their newsletter.).

And Casual Games Blogs aggregates Gamezebo, Jay is Games, and several blogs from game developers.

paulDec 23, 2006 at 2:32PM

heh thanks for the more goofing off at my work lol...

anyways you guys can chek out, a nice site for downloading videos

MattDec 23, 2006 at 4:52PM

Nice list - a lot of those I've wasted plenty of time on before.

A few I've recently become fond of:

Electric Man 2
Metal Slug Reloaded
Marvin Spectrum

Johnson PatelDec 23, 2006 at 11:01PM

I've been posting games on for a bit, found some good ones as well... now adsense revenue site too, makes it nice...

johnDec 24, 2006 at 2:28PM

Neither Safari nor Firefox like MotherLoad on my mbp... crashes every time...

stijn v.Dec 24, 2006 at 7:24PM

That cursor thief is really freaking me out! Thanks for the links, I think I've plyed most but added them to my delicious bunch anyway.

Merry Christmas!

gregDec 24, 2006 at 9:24PM

i am ooked on dolphin olympics, great list tho...

PeterDec 25, 2006 at 11:58AM

I got 2.7 seconds on finger frenzy. I spent at least an hour doing it, kind of left me in a trance. I can see how 1 second is possible (the top score) but my fingers would need to be replaced by more nimble ones to beat it. Oddly enough I think that this game is going to help my typing more than alot of other typing tutors. I now know where all the keys are for typing and can find any of them in a very little time. Wow this is very uninteresting. Sorry for anyone who actually read this comment.

creamDec 25, 2006 at 1:12PM

You know, you could have warned a brother about Mothetload. I saved $149000 to buy a diamond tip, saved the game, shut down the computer, woke up the next day to get the last $51000 and was told there were no saved games. I DIDN'T KNOW I HAD TO KEEP THE $%@#%$! BROWSER WINDOW OPEN!!! MERRY %$#!@$#% CHRISTMAS!


dave RauDec 25, 2006 at 2:25PM

Beating Motherload was absolutely the highlight of my Christmas Eve. The bonus after you drill past everything was a fun suprise. Be sure to stock up on a hundred or more big and small bombs and even more health packs! *hint hint!*

Alex ReidDec 26, 2006 at 8:40AM

Finger Frenzy doesn't work on the Dvorak keyboard on my Mac, which makes me sad. I can get up to S, but it seems to disallow any of the keys that would be punctuation on the QWERTY keyboard (S falls on the key labelled ';'). Shame, I was surprising myself up to that point.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.