Simple gameplay makes video games addictive. If you go back all the way to Pong, all you had to do was move a paddle and make sure you hit the ball. One-button games hold a similar charm, and developers have managed to make them devilishly difficult while still immensely entertaining.
Canabalt is known for being one of the best endless running games out there, but it’s often overlooked for being a champion of the one-button game craze that followed. The world of browser games suddenly had a slew of super-addictive, super-tough, super-fun games.
Games are one of the best ways to waste time in the office, whether you are playing them on mobile or in your browser. So the next time you are taking a break, try one of these one-button games that you can’t stop playing, no matter how maddening they are.
Space Is Key
If you love Canabalt, you need to try out Space Is Key and its two sequels. The graphics are as minimalistic as they come — you play as a little block and each level has different barriers that you need to jump over. And to jump, you press Space or tap the screen. Simple, right? Wrong. These barriers move, they are placed at intervals that makes it impossible to hit space correctly, and they even come in different heights where the perfect jump seems like it’d need a NASA scientist to calculate. Yet, play a level enough times and you get it almost right, and you are fooled into trying it again and again. Eventually, you will even get past it and think that if you could do that, you can obviously do the next level. And the cycle repeats. Before long, you’ve spent more time on this game than you intended and your boss is glaring at you! Free on the browser, but you’ll need to pay a buck on mobile.
Download/Play Space Is Key: Browser | iOS ($0.99) | Android ($0.99)
Where Space Is Key is frantic and high-energy, Magnetized is serene and calming. A single metal block streams across the screen, minding its own business. But there are magnets along its path that you control. Hit ‘Z’ or tap the screen and the closest magnet will exert its force on the metal block and change the course of its path. Using this ability, you need to guide the metal block to the exit. It’s surprisingly difficult since the physics of the game are pretty solid. Magnetized is all about getting the timing right in hooking your magnet to the block, and then getting it right in releasing your hook. It’s free on the browser, but costs $3 on mobile — but with 80 levels, that’s not a bad price to pay.
Download/Play Magnetized: Browser | iOS ($2.99) | Android ($2.99)
Starting at the bottom of a shaft, you play as a ninja who wants to make his escape. Your only skill is the ability to jump from one wall to the other — a jump made possible by hitting the Esc key (or spacebar) on browsers and tapping the screen on mobiles. How long you hold the key or keep the screen pressed determines how high you will jump. A simple tap is a quick jump at almost the same height, while pressing and holding will jump much higher. You have to keep jumping because a laser beam is coming up to crush you from below, and there are spikes and other obstacles along the way. The worst part? The laser speeds up as you climb, so make sure you go fast!
Download/Play Escape: Browser | iOS ($0.99) | Android ($0.99)
Laugh A Bit
These immensely difficult games have one great off-shoot: hilarious rage quit videos! If you are going to play these games, it would be super fun if you shot a video of yourself and shared it in the comments below. And hey, if there are some other rage-quit games you prefer, we’d love to hear about those too!
Image credit: edududas