Play time
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Date: March 2003

Roadies

Image: www.bbc.co.uk, game created by Random Media
 


If you’re looking for a bit of diversion these games could be just what you are looking for. They’re all available to play online and for free, without any need to register with the host sites. Some games require your browser to have a ‘plug in’ for Shockwave. You can download this for free here

We’ve selected games that we judge are also OK for the children we know - but if you are a parent, please don’t take our word for it, standards vary! We advise you to try the game and the site it’s on first before letting your kids loose on it, to make sure you’re happy. (And, don’t forget, you can also find three great games for kids in our own Global Gang area).

Report by Steve Couch

To play a game, simply click on its name.
Chicken Wings
Quite the most delightful game we've seen for some time. The little chicks are plummeting to earth, sadly discovering that their wings cannot sustain flight. As Mother Hen, your mission is to lob umbrellas that they can use as parachutes to bring them gently down to earth. The graphics and animation are first class, and the overall feel is like stepping into the world of Beatrix Potter. The game itself plays well too - if we nominated a game of the month, this would be it.

Enviroboarder
Ride your skateboard through the mean streets of the city, gathering recyclable rubbish from the pavement, gutters and roads while avoiding oncoming traffic - both vehicular and pedestrian. Pull off cool skating tricks as you go, but make sure you make it to the recycling bins, or you won't score any points. The planet gets nothing for good intentions.

Midnight Serenade
Ahh, the course of young love never runs smooth. Catch the roses thrown by your true love as you sweetly play the guitar under her window. But make sure you dodge the cans, bottles and assorted missiles thrown by the neighbours who just want some peace and quiet. Harder than it sounds, but good fun. Another great looking game from orisinal.

Radial Pong
An old favourite with a new twist. They don't come much older than Pong, but this version genuinely breathes new life into the game. The playing arena is circular, with both players free to roam all the way around the edge. The pace is faster than the original, and there are more tactical possibilities. Watch out for (and try to make) the extreme angled shots.

Galaxy Tag
A curious game, and harder - at first - than you expect it to be. Guide a yellow sphere around in space, picking up the 'yellow blinkers' and scoring points. The game makers haven't attempted to provide a back story to explain why you are doing this, but that's not a problem. An unusual game, but a satisfying one when you start to get the hang of it.

Multiflyer
Continuing the theme of games set gratuitously in space, this is a game for younger children, particularly those who are trying to learn their times tables. Solve multiplication sums to power your rocket and rescue human colonists on other planets. It's a good excuse for some maths practice, and as you reach each target you get the chance to read up some basic facts on the different planets. Could work well for reluctant junior mathematicians.

Marble Knockout
Fire the marbles into the scoring zone, and get more points than your opponent. Simple controls (drag and click with the mouse) which take a little mastering - marble speed is determined by the speed you move the mouse, making it a game of skill and subtlety. The scoring system gives you a chance to adjust to the pace and recover from a bad start. You even get to choose your own marbles, and there are no bigger boys to take them off you. If only schooldays were so simple.

Atomica
Match up the atoms to form molecules before the screen gets filled up. A straightforward puzzle game of matching colours, but it works well and is very replayable.

Roadies
A clone of the 80's student favourite Lemmings, but still good fun. Get the roadies safely out of the gig by placing trampolines and other blockages in their path. Keep them away from bouncers, musicians and other perils of the entertainment world. An engrossing game of problem solving. Beer bellies and ancient tour shirts optional.

Robosoccer
One on one soccer with robotic tanks. This plays very well, and with each game taking ten minutes, you have plenty of time to get the hang of things and stage a comeback if it all goes wrong. The play is continuous, with the ball reappearing in the centre circle as soon as a goal is scored, so you have to keep your wits about you and forget about the shirt-over-the-head celebrations.

More games from Global Gang