Why Are Puzzles the Most Popular Online Games?

The evolution of puzzles

Some of the most well-known forms of puzzle games include jigsaw puzzles, Rubik’s cube and crossword puzzles. These classic types of puzzles have been easily transformed into computer games, but the virtual trait of digital games allowed expanding the puzzle concept even further creating new genres.

The popularity of puzzle computer games, rapidly increased thanks to the Internet, as many of them became online, browser-based games. The easy access, large variety and affordable prices are the main advantages that led to the huge success of online puzzle games correlated with the increasing number of people that play games online. There are many types of computer puzzle games, and below you will find a list with some of the most important categories.

Main types of puzzles

Action puzzles contain the “problem solving” component with extra challenges, such as time limits per game or per level. There can be “falling-block” action puzzles, such as Tetris, and even more refined combinations of several elements such as platform games. These usually require controlling a character’s actions to advance through levels built as platforms. While action elements can consist of various obstacles and enemies which have to be dealt with in various ways such as shooting, fighting or avoiding, the puzzle element is still present, requiring the player’s logic to find objects, open doors, disable traps… etc.

Tile-matching games are a type of puzzle that requires matching three or more objects based on their color, shape and other characteristics in order to eliminate them until the entire board is cleared. Some of them are also known as color-matching games or match-three games. The tiles/pieces can be matched in multiple ways such as “falling block” (e.g. Tetris), swapping (e.g. Bejewled) or shooting (e.g. Zuma).

Physics puzzles require the player to use the game’s physics to complete the puzzle. Some physics games also require good reflexes as the player has to quickly perform a series of actions like launching/shooting objects to clear paths/destroy structures (e.g. Angry Birds), triggering power-ups or removing objects to create a chain of actions (e.g. Cut the Rope).

In hidden-object puzzles the player has to find items hidden within an image. Many of them are free, but even paid ones are usually inexpensive. Hidden-object puzzles became very popular as casual games.

Many traditional puzzles such as Solitaire, Mahjong and Chess have been implemented as computer games. Word puzzles, spot the difference, mathematical puzzles such as Sudoku and others are among the large number of classic puzzles that can be played as online games.

Conclusion

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A Brief History of Online Games

Electronic gaming has evolved dramatically in recent years. As data bandwidth, processing power and screen resolutions steadily increase; developers are keeping pace to provide more realistic and immersive Internet entertainment experiences. It is hard to imagine a world without the wealth of online games that today’s web surfers have come to expect, but the history of online gaming goes back well before the mainstream adoption of the Internet.

The first games to be played over computer networks were developed in the early 1970s. These were built on multi-user timeshare terminals at universities. The latter part of that decade saw the arrival of multi-user dungeons (MUD,) which later evolved into multi-access dungeons (MAD) and massive multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG.)

In 1985, the game Islands of Kesmai was released for users of the commercial CompuServe computer network. With graphics made up of ASCII text characters, this multi-player RPG bore little resemblance to the games of today; but in many ways, it was a precursor to the modern MMORPG. The fantasy role playing battles of this game were among the earliest ancestors of today’s online fighting games.

Later in the 1980s, the first games were developed which used the Internet Protocol (IP) to communicate. In 1991, the game Neverwinter Nights was released for AOL subscribers. This is widely hailed as the first 3D graphical MMORPG. As the Internet grew in popularity among the general public, the 1990s saw an explosion of role playing, shooter, strategy and online fighting games with multiplayer capabilities. Some of the most notable are Doom, Warcraft and Quake.

By the year 2000, most commercial game software packages featured the ability to play online against other players. Although many of the most popular online games were designed for multiplayer action, developers were quick to take advantage of Internet technologies such as Flash and JavaScript to create single-player games as well.

The year 2002 saw the launch of gaming networks such as XBox Live and Steam. As social networks grew in popularity throughout the decade, companies such as Zynga jumped on the bandwagon to create casual games that users could play against their friends. Today, the options for online gaming range from commercial software packages, to social network gaming, to browser based games and even mobile apps.

Gamers no longer need to subscribe to expensive online services or purchase commercial software packages to play online. For those who want a convenient and fun gaming experience, there are plenty of sites that offer online fighting games and a variety of other challenges that can be played right now, right in your web browser.

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