Browser-based games you can win without losing your job

These fun, uplifting, and engaging games will help you take your mind off work for a few minutes--but let you quickly shift back into gear

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Physics Games

Physics games are an important genre in the world of Flash-based games. They are legion, but I've picked out just four classic ones for your gaming pleasure.

In Icebreaker, developed by Nitrome Limited, you help release frozen Vikings who have become stuck in a glacier. You accomplish this task by cutting away parts of the glacier that contain the Vikings and making sure that they find their way to the boat waiting in every level. A fellow Viking armed with a war hammer stands ready in the boat to break off the ice surrounding the Viking whom you have freed. Altogether this is a very cute game with an old-school aesthetic.

Filler 2 from SimianLogic is a more abstract game, in which your goal is to inflate ball-like circles so that they fill the field while avoiding other, much smaller circles that try to hit them and either prevent them from getting any larger or pop them.

Then there's Totem Destroyer 2, a physics game that gives you the task of clicking blocks in a stacked-up tower in order to eliminate them, while at the same time making sure that the totem that stands on top of the pile of blocks doesn't topple over. This challenging game is also available in versions for Android and iOS.

Last but not least comes Armor Games' Sushi Cat 2. Using the power of gravity and intense cuteness, you must help this fat cat eat as much sushi as he possibly can. (The back story is that Sushi Cat must grow big enough to recapture his wife from Bacon Dog.) It's a single-button game: All you need to do is click the left mouse button to drop Sushi Cat in the right spot, and watch him tumble and gobble up copious amounts of sushi. If you mute the extremely chipper soundtrack, it's great for conference calls.

Platformers

There are a ton of platform-based games online, but I found four that really stand out from the crowd. The first is Hello Worlds from the University of Washington's Computer Science and Engineering department. In this platformer, your character exists in several parallel worlds at the same time. Encountering a wall in one world will prevent you from going forward in all of them; likewise, a platform you ascend in one world will hold you aloft in the others. You must cleverly navigate each level dealing with the features and impediments of all of the worlds. It's a brilliant game, and comes with an innovative "rewind" feature that lets you undo mistakes.

Another interesting melding of platformer and puzzle game is Ragtime Games' Continuity. In this minimalistic-looking game, each level is divided into several parts. You must shuffle those parts around to help your character traverse from one sliding segment to another, until the character eventually makes it to the end of the level.

Games With Elephants

I said that there were four platformers, right? Well, in my quest for awesome games, two platformers that happen to feature elephants and a great sense of humor stood out. Both come from the same developer, John Cooney, and both were written for Armor Studios. The first is called Elephant Quest, in which you are an elephant armed with a laser, who is out to find his bowler hat. A complex upgrade system and large game world combine to make this platformer one addictive game. You can always save your progress and come back to it when you have time.

The second game is called Achievement Unlocked 2. You're a smaller elephant here, but everything you do is an achievement. Did you manage to stay alive for 20 seconds? Congratulations! Did you die? That's great, too! This exploration game plays as a parody on achievements in gaming, but it's really fun and addictive in itself.

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