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5 addictive (and free!) browser games for holiday hijinks

David Daw | Dec. 18, 2012
Office productivity plummets during the holidays. Many people take extended vacations, and some businesses just plain shut down. And the employees who actually show up to work? They while away the hours playing casual games on their workstation web browsers.

Infectionator - Christmas Edition

The anti-holiday spirit seems to be something of a trend. Consider: Infectionator - Christmas Edition, a game about unleashing a zombie plague to ruin the holiday season. It's a bit crude, but loads of fun: you've got 24 days to infect as many people with a manufactured virus, and hoping the zombies you create survive long enough to infect passersby. When humans die they drop golden coins, which you can use to fund research to improve your virus. You'll eventually run into heavily armed soldiers and Santa himself, who'll lay waste to your minions unless your virus is strong enough to take them out first. Sure it's simple and not exactly in line with the holiday spirit, but it's all rather fun.

Ice Beak

Ice Beak isn't technically a holiday game, which might make it an awkward way to kick things off. But its theme of winter persevering over a fiery hellscape seems close enough. The game is a puzzler at heart: you're tasked with guiding the frozen protagonist through maze-like corridors, blasting enemies with a freeze ray. You'll soon learn to conserve ammo -- shots are limited, and only replenished at a level's sparse checkpoints.

It's a rather simple mechanic, but one that's built out rather well across the game's levels. Rudimentary physics allow you to create chain reactions, with frozen enemies collapsing into their comrades or triggering switches and opening doors. It's also a bit... minimalistic -- that's a full sized screenshot up there. It's lovely in its own way though, and a fun wintery way to spend an hour or two.

 

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