Here at Dealspwn we're all about getting the best games for the least amount of financial effort, and we often tend to forget that some of the most addictive offerings out there are completely free. With that in mind, welcome to Click To Play, a new weekly feature where we'll be hunting down the best free browser-based games each week so you don't have to. Check in with us every Monday to spice up your coffee breaks for the week!
This week: Diver 2
Peter Molyneux recently tried to explain to the world that it was the mouse that revolutionised computing and to a certain extent he's right, but we often take our little point-and-click device for granted. Diver 2 addresses this by forcing you to use your mouse in a completely different way to how you might normally, creating a physics-based game with an original control system that will make you delight and weep in equal measure.
There are games that soothe you with easy accessibility, games that hold your hand from time to time. Then there are games that spit in your face and kick you in the shins, laughing as you hop around blinking furiously, and daring you to try to beat them one more time. Diver 2 is one of the latter.
This little gem comes courtesy of Farseer Games, a one man studio set up by Jeff Weber to create games based on his widely used open-source physics engine. The premise is a simple one: you are on a cliff, there is a landing area below you marked out by buoys, you need to land a moderately presentable dive in the landing area. It sounds simple enough, you'd expect to proceed by just clicking to alter angles of elevation, power and spin, but you'd be wrong.
You see, Diver 2 lets you take direct control of the diver, with the location of the cursor within the game window determining the diver's stance. Hold it above them, for example, and they'll stretch out, swing below and they'll tuck their knees in. By giving you 360 degree control in the sagittal plane, you take full control of the diver's initial leap, their rotational speed and their interactions with the environment around them. This then allows for downhill slides and secondary jumps, which will become invaluable as you progress through the game's increasingly fiendish 30 levels and encounter spring boards, windmills and propellors to navigate and bypass.
Diver 2 is a hard game and you'll fail, a lot. The learning curve, in spite of the rather thin tutorial, is steep and unforgiving. But, as with similar try-fail-repeat sibling Trials, it's fantastically addictive and rewards experimentation. There's no penalty for failure, and restarting your jump is a simple matter of clicking the screen; you'll chase after the perfect scores, but you won't be restricted to one level whilst you do so. As you progress you'll find that the control system is deeply nuanced and very accurate. Wildly flailing around with the cursor will solve nothing, but take the time to learn the ropes and you'll find this to be a brilliant way to waste an hour or two.