Web apps have come a long way in the last few years, and with the dawn of HTML5 even more complex, self-contained games and tools can be created. Smartphone manufacturers have (on the whole) been quick to ensure compatibility with the new standards, ushering in a new breed of palm-sized entertainment. No app to download means no App Store rules or Market limitations, though don’t expect HTML5 efforts to out-class native applications – at least not for a short while yet. This list will hopefully demonstrate the potential that HTML5 has on a mobile device, all whilst enjoying some satisfying free games.
Each game in this list has been tested and confirmed working on the iPhone, and should work in any HTML5-compliant mobile browser running on Android, Windows Phone 7 and so on. If you’re playing these on the iPhone, hit Safari’s middle button (it looks like a box with an arrow) and choose Add to Home Screen for fullscreen fun.
My decision to include Castle Solitaire first on the list is a tactical one. For about a week now I have been hopelessly addicted to this deplorably simple card game and I don’t know why, other than the fact that I’ve got a thing for vanilla solitaire. My hope is to get this section out of the way if I have a hope of finishing this article any time soon.
It’s not pure solitaire, but a simplified game of eliminating cards that incorporates solitaire rules. You’ve got your own deck, and the idea is to remove as many cards as possible without running out of your own set of cards.
If you’re still not sure then provided you’ve played solitaire (and lets face it, most people with a Windows PC have) the rules will be fairly obvious once you begin tapping away at the deck. Don’t forget the wildcard, which allows you to remove any card you like.
If you like Worms, then Nano Tanks might just appeal to you. It’s a simplistic 2D shooter whereby you must take out enemy tanks whilst avoiding obstacles and incoming fire. On the iPhone the game was tough to play in Safari, so I’d recommend adding it to your home screen for better (fullscreen) control.
Nano Tanks uses real-time combat and everything runs fluidly, with responsive controls and a few pretty explosions. The game is all about adjusting your angle of fire for the perfect shot, though you’re free to move around too. You can section your enemies off by destroying the ground near them – but be warned, they’ll do the same to you.
You’ll still need a Facebook account to play of course, but the HTML5 version of the game gives you access to your criminal empire from any modern mobile browser, without the need for Flash and without the need for a separate download.
If you’ve been wishing you could crack skulls and take out your mates on the go – now you can!
By now you’ve probably played your fair share of “escape the room” style puzzles, whereby you must decipher clues, collect items and be inventive with your inventory in order to exit the room. That’s exactly what Treasure Cube is, only it works using HTML5 on your smartphone.
The graphics may be old-school, but the monochromatic view makes things that bit easier to see on a small screen. The game doesn’t really do “fullscreen” as such, though the whole thing operates very smoothly.
As the game requires accurate taps, the cursor is offset so you can see exactly what you’re hovering over which makes the game very playable indeed.
Simple games are often the best, and Lazors certainly couldn’t get much simpler (in principle, at least). Within the 30 levels included you will find tangled lasers, which appear as orange and red. Once a laser has been untangled it will turn green, and once all lasers are untangled the level is complete.
This game is especially easy to grasp but requires thought and skill to beat the tougher levels. Lazors might be a very basic game, but silky smooth performance and addictive gameplay shouldn’t be overlooked!
Last but certainly not least there’s Spy Chase, a top-down homage to the racers of days gone by. Here you’re tasked with collecting power-ups, avoiding cars and obstacles and eventually catching up to your target and eliminating them.
The more power-ups you collect the faster you go, and the sooner you’ll meet your rival. The game takes care of shooting for you, so you’re left with the task of guiding your fire and safely reaching your destination. Install as a web app for maximum enjoyment on an iPhone.
HTML5 isn’t just a gaming device, but a whole new technology that’s improving our daily surfing experience. Of course, there’s plenty of people out there who love coding and games – and it’s these guys you’ve got to thank for the games you see here.
If you’re interested in HTML5 gaming and are reading this from a PC then you’ll probably enjoy our other HTML5 games article.