And another tough week is done. Exhausted but thankful and feeling great for getting things sorted out. But it sure felt way too long, the daily heavy rains, impassable floods, and terrible traffic everywhere, the weekend is a welcome respite. The alarming surge of COVID-19 infections headlining the news has somewhat caused more fear than caution, pushing people to get vaccinated on the rush. Stricter quarantine and more lockdown are expected but instead of complaining about being stuck at home again, take it as another opportunity to spend more time for yourself and with your family. We work hard to earn our keep, but let’s play even harder and we’ll get through all this. I did just that with plays.org with its massive library of video games with familiar characters that are absolutely fun and free to play online.
When the lockdown due to the global pandemic started last year, it saw an increase in demand for gadgets and toys especially gaming consoles. But because of the scale of this health crisis and a mix of production and inventory issues, the popular Nintendos and Sonys were hard to come by, and people were desperately searching online and started picking up the Nintendo Switch even at ridiculously higher prices, with the newly launched PlayStation 5 on strict preorder registration or raffling off buyer stubs because stocks are scarce and gone in a matter of seconds. Locked down at home with not much to do, or exhausted from the rudiments of work from home, or still unable to adjust to virtual classrooms, perhaps people were getting bored or stressed out and are looking for ways to get entertained.
Now you won’t need the latest gaming console or an expensive device to enjoy playing games and distress as we cope with the new normal. With plays.org, all you need is a compatible smartphone or a desktop computer, and a decent Internet connection, which most households would have set up by now since the pandemic forced us to do schooling and the majority of work online or remotely.
Nothing compares to playing with an NSW or PS4 and the newer PS5 but the website, which went online early this 2021, actually pays homage to the era of the original consoles. Not aimed at keeping you away from your usual gaming gadgets but more of an alternative, plays.org lets you play its huge collection of hundreds of amazing games with favorite cartoons and familiar characters and all sorts of genres that will appeal to any player.
If it’s your first time on plays.org, navigating the site is pretty straightforward. On the top menu, you can either click on New Games, and choose from the list that’s quite long because it’s being updated regularly; or you can opt to click on Random Plays, which will randomly pick a title for you to play if you’re being adventurous. Each game is presented with complete instructions on how to play, ratings, reviews, and comments from other players.
A growing list of categories can be found at the bottom of the site, enough to keep you occupied on those sleepless, home quarantine nights.
You’d expect to be bombarded with ads because its online games are entirely free to play, but that’s what’s unique about this website. The browser-based online games have no distracting banners or flashing ads and can be played directly in a web browser without the need for app downloads.
One game that immediately caught my attention is the simulation game Build and Protect, a LEGO game inspired by my all-time favorite Sim City.
When you click on a game you like, it loads instantly with instructions and controls that are easy to follow and understand, you’ll be off to building an expansive city in no time. Be ready to be tapping fast when a shop is robbed or a downtown house gets caught on fire and you’ll be hailed a hero. There’s no lockdown here, you can see vehicles and people freely roaming the streets but it’s up to you to keep it safely earning coins and expanding.
I played this LEGO game on my MBP but I also tried it on a Windows PC and it loaded without any hiccups. You can play it within a web browser or choose to play the game as a web application.
You can of course play the games on the go with your mobile phone. I’m a big Adventure Time fan (why we named our first Shih Tzu Jake) and Marceline’s Ice Blast is my go-to game on my way to work or before I go to sleep. Once you load the game, it tells you to rotate your phone to enjoy the game in its full-screen glory.
I haven’t managed to beat this game yet I keep on playing because I particularly like how it’s lag-free and as if watching cartoons on your mobile phone but getting to control the characters. I still get the shock when Marceline’s guitar sound waves were no match to Ice King’s magic attacks that she’s frozen dead and I have to restart the game. The penguins are quite easy to scare off though.
These awesomely addicting games are well-made take note, and there are a lot to choose from – arcade classics and quirky pixelated games, cartoon and comic favorites, educational games to exercise the brain, sports of various types, and who wouldn’t want to play shooter games!
The global pandemic might have brought the new normal that we have yet to get used to, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a better and fun normal at home. Be sure to share and play these free online games with family and friends!
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