I used to play most of these games at a call center job I had while I was in college. In between calls, we were allowed to do homework, study, read, play games, or whatever as long as there weren’t other jobs to do. Because I had to be able to drop what I was doing to answer a call at any moment, I had to find games that didn’t require my constant attention.
Shakes & Fidget
Shakes & Fidget is a Flash-based role-playing browser game. You can go on quests to gain gold and experience, buy gear from shops, battle other characters, join guilds, and fight bosses in dungeons. The characters are pretty autonomous, though; they do their own fighting and you control their gear and tell them what to do. It’s not a challenging game, but it was a nice way to pass the time.
Godville caught my attention when it claimed it was a massively-multiplayer zero-player game. I wondered how the heck it could be a zero-player game. Kind of like Shakes & Fidget, your character is autonomous, though Godville takes it to the extreme. You have very little control over your character’s actions. They fight things, go adventuring, buy and sell gear, learn skills, join guilds, adopt pets, fight other characters, etc. all on their own. As their god/goddess, all you can do is use your limited “godpower” to make suggestions, encourage and punish them, and resurrect them when they die. Godville is available as a mobile app and a browser game.
Lord of Ultima
Kingdom of Loathing
Kingdom of Loathing is a silly primarily text-based humorous MMORPG playable in web browsers. Unlike Shakes & Fidget and Godville, you directly control your character’s actions. Kingdom of Loathing uses a turn-based system and incorporates a lot of humor through word play, pop culture references, and goofy ideas. Players can complete quests, join clans, and fight each other in PvP combat.
Corporation Inc. is a browser-based strategy game. You start with a little money and the goal is to build the world’s most profitable company. You can build offices; hire, fire, and promote workers; add decorations to improve workers’ moods; etc. It’s a fun game, but, like Lord of Ultima, it becomes difficult to manage once you have a large corporation. I recently started playing a similar game, Tiny Tower, on my phone. Tiny Tower is different in that you can only build your tower vertically and you can move the workers (called “bitizens”) between different jobs. Bitizens also have dream jobs and vary in how good they are in certain types of jobs. So if you like Corporation Inc., be sure to check out Tiny Tower (or vice versa).