Long before social media and the internet explosion, came the formative era of browser games.

From the early 2000s, browser games began to alter the landscape of the internet, fuelled by the development of tools such as Flash. Developers without a wealth of technical know-how could produce browser games for clients that drew visitors into sites and kept them there. As of December 2020, Adobe Flash is no more, but whilst it may have become obsolete, the era of browser-based games has not. Even with the onset of mobile technology and apps, there is still a niche for games running in a web browser. Indeed, browser-based games have become increasingly popular over the last few years, helping promote engagement with sites and even providing their core mechanics. Some online gaming providers rely on having a large number of titles being available in browsers, and developers are often looking for diversification and fresh ideas to help drive the industry forward.

Some providers even look to adapt regular games with relatively simple concepts to web-based browsers, which is another coding and developing skill in itself. A feature by Foxy Bingo explains how bingo has been around since 1530, but in recent years it has transferred to mobile devices and crucially, home computers and web browsers. The basis of age-old games, such as bingo, poker and blackjack, provides an opportunity for web developers, looking to bring proven concepts into their sites and present them in a manner that feels fresh and new.

Ideas are one thing, but the execution is another and for an aspiring developer, the best way to understand a browser game’s requirements is to play some that help you improve. All the components and technical requirements of a developer can be found in these excellent browser-based games that you can use to learn more about JavaScript, CSS and HTML. Any aspiring web developer looking to learn new skills should take time to indulge in these before approaching their next project.

Pixactly

Be warned, Pixactly is addictive. It is designed to test your knowledge of pixels and operates on a simple basis – you are provided with dimensions, in pixels, for a shape and you must draw the shape on the screen. There are five rounds and at the end of each round, you are given a score, rating how accurate you are. It might be designed with developers in mind, but it is oddly endearing as a standalone game also.

CodinGame

CodinGame is not so much a single game as a huge online resource designed to test your coding skills with minigames. They can be played in JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Go and a host of other languages too. The selection includes puzzlers, multiplayer games and many others, all designed to improve your skills and hone your web developing abilities. In a matter of hours, you can discover new languages and tricks with the included courses designer by some of the top developers around.

Elevator Saga

Elevator Saga has the aesthetic of an 8-bit game but is a cute resource for developing your algorithm writing skills, as well as your understanding on JS functions, arrays and event handlers. You use your coding skills to control an elevator in a building, delivering people to their required floors. The basic entry-level sees you transferring 15 people to their intended destination in 60 seconds, and you work against the clock from there. Great for practicing working under a time limit too!