Monsters and Mistletoe

Monsters and Mistletoe
The (Free) Spirit of Christmas

Nathan Meunier | 2 Dec 2008 12:36
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The explosive impact of a giant meteor signals the arrival of the apocalypse in Dino Run. You control an adorable little dino as it leaps over (and occasionally eats) other fleeing creatures while bounding across all manner of terrain obstacles in a race to escape an oncoming wall of fiery death. A multiplayer option lets you race against other players, though going solo is just as fun. Along the way you'll have opportunities to unlock intensely cute little hats to plop on your dino's noggin. The frenetic gameplay and endearing retro graphics make this one a blast.

For those who thirst for the gritty battlefields of days long past, Warfare 1917 may be just the power struggle you've been looking for. The game pits your army in a reverse tug-of-war against enemy forces. Each side can produce different kinds of troops to send out into their trenches to defend against incoming foes. When the timing is right, you can send your soldiers charging forward through barbed wire and incoming mortar rounds to take out fortified enemy positions. You can use experience gained on the battlefield to upgrade combat or bombardment skills, providing plenty of incentive to get down in the dirt and violently crawl the extra bloody mile.

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As far as browser-based multiplayer RPGs go, Kingdom of Loathing is absolutely one of a kind. Join the ranks of the Seal Clubbers, Pastamancers, Disco Bandits or other nonsensical classes in a hilariously enchanting journey through one of the strangest kingdoms you'll ever encounter. Be prepared to battle Were-tacos, spelunk through the Dungeon Full of Dungeons, test your familiars' powers in the Cake-Shaped Arena and engage in countless other shenanigans. This long-running parody-laden fantasy dominion is a must for online adventure game fans. It requires a free sign-up, but it's absolutely worth the two minutes it takes to do so. Remember: "An Adventurer is You!"

The human body may sound like a strange place to mount a war, but such conflicts rage within our systems all the time as a regular function of our immune systems. At a microscopic level, Nanowar is an unusual real-time strategy game that pits opposing groups of cells against one another in a quest for microcosmic domination. Each cell you control slowly grows in number every second, and you can send projectiles containing half a cell's numbers toward opposing cells. Overwhelming enemy cells captures them and allows you to spread your cellular force across the organic playing field. If the concept sounds overly simple, it's because it is. However, Nanowar amply proves playing an RTS based solely on colored circles containing numbers can be seriously absorbing.

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