The free mobile and browser game market has always flourished with simple, yet addictive games. And while Flash games may be a thing of the past, high schoolers and procrastinators everywhere are getting their quick game fix through .io games.
.io games are browser and mobile games that are generally hosted on websites ending with the domain extension .io. Out of the hundreds of games out there, most of them see short bursts of popularity and then fade into obscurity. However, a few stand high above the rest and can catch millions of daily players.
Games like Agar.io and Slither.io have spawned hundreds of clones and similar styled games over the past two years. To avoid getting caught in the cycle of playing clones and rip-offs, here are 4 .io games to look out for this year.
Narwhale.io is not an original idea by any means. Borrowing heavily from Starwhals, the game is a battle royal arena game where players control narwhals. Each player floats around the arena and must use their tusks to slice their opponents in half for points. The entire game can be played using just the mouse by moving the direction of the narwhals and clicking in order to sprint into enemies.
The game is exhilarating and claiming the top of the leaderboard is as satisfying as any other .io game. As you slice and dice your opponents, you gain stat boosts such as speed, stamina, and a stronger horn. However, if you are sliced yourself, it’s back to square one. Similar to many .io games, Narwhale.io offers players a myriad of skins with which to customize their narwhals.
Unlike Starwhals, Narwhale.io matches can hold more than 20 players. The browser game also offers an additional mode called Narwhale Ball. In the spirit of Rocket League, Narwhale Ball loosely mixes soccer rules with the same frantic gameplay offered in Narwhale.io.
As mentioned above, there are hundreds of Agar.io clones in the market. If you’re going to play one, though, it should be Eatme.io. Instead of cells, players take control of fish and literally poop on their enemies to slow them down. The basics of the game, such as splitting up and eating to increase your size, are essentially the same as Agar.io. What actually sets the game apart is the level of depth.
Eatme.io is for those gamers who love to grind and level up their characters in RPG games. The game has tons of unlockable sea creatures with their own unique stats and abilities. Each of these creatures can level up and many have evolutions as well.
Available on both mobile app stores and on browsers, Eatme.io keeps track of players’ stats and has tournaments in which they can compete. The game’s numbers are already looking big, and if they keep it up, it could surpass Agar.io this year.
Fulfilling all of our pirate fantasies is no easy feat. Sid Meier’s Pirates and Assassins Creed 4 both scratched the itch landlubbers everywhere had by combining all sorts of different elements that make a good pirate adventure. Krew.io strips everything down to the most basic, important element — cannonball fights.
Krew.io pits players against each other out on an open sea in all out war. Players take control of cannons on small ships and control the ships based on the position of their cannon. Loot and supplies can be collected while voyaging in order to upgrade your ship. The controls and movements may seem a little awkward at first, but after a couple of rounds, you’ll be sinking ships in no time.
Crew members can team up and combine into one giant ship where a captain leads his crew. The ships can either attack other players or work together to defeat enemy AI ships out at sea. The hectic warfare is exciting and oddly unique to the .io space. Similar to other .io games, there is a leaderboard constantly updating with the best pirate in the ocean.
Bellum.io is a real-time strategy game in the browser space. Players take control of armies and protect their territories while expanding throughout the map. Armies can team up and control an area or go to war with each other. The games resources are called Military Power, which increases every second based on how many soldiers, airfields, and tanks are on the field.
Each player begins with one tile and must strategically conquer territories around them. Certain tiles are better than others and players can upgrade their already existing territories as well. The level of territories determines if another player can conquer it or not. The rules seem simple enough, but require a lot of thought in order to make the right decisions.
The developers of Bellum.io are in constant communication with their fan base. The game is still in its early phases of development and is constantly being updated. In fact, the game recently went through a graphical overhaul but reverted back after players gave their feedback. So expect Bellum.io to go through many changes in 2017.
The .io game’s world is consistently growing and flooded with new games every day. Most of them are clones or blatant rip-offs of the top games in the current market, however, through the rubble, there will always be gems.
Which .io games are on your radar for 2017? Will Agar.io and Slither.io remain at the top of the food chain this year? Sound off in the comments below!