Apps aren't just for smartphones anymore. If you're rocking out with Steve Jobs, you might have the Mac App Store, but what about something a little more cross-platform? For that, we can turn our attention to the recently launched Chrome Web Store. As you can imagine, this works within the Google Chrome web browser.
Just like all the other app stores that are flooding the market, the Chrome Web Store has both free and paid apps spanning a range of different categories. You could get smarter with education apps, keep busy with productivity apps, or stay connected with communication apps. Or, you know, you could waste hours with the games. Here are five of the free games that caught my eye.
Super Mario Bros. Crossover
Super Mario Bros. Crossover isn't new, per se, since it's been available as a browser-based game through the developer's site for a little while, but it has made the jump over to the Chrome Web Store. Basically, you play through the original Super Mario Bros. (from the NES) as you choice of six different characters.
Sure, you could play as Mario, but it's way more fun playing as Link (Zelda), Bill (Contra), Simon (Castlevania), Mega Man, or Samus (Metroid). They each take on the characteristics of their original 8-bit games, so Bill really does get the spread shot at one point and Samus can roll up in a ball to lay out some bombs. There's also a hacked version with God-mode style cheats and full screen view.
Atari - Missile Command
Instead of using a joystick to navigate your cursor, you just use your mouse. Each consecutive wave moves faster and involves more threats to your citizens. It's not the most creative thing in the world, but it should give you a nice dose of retro goodness that is true to the original.
Continuing with the retro appeal, Atari also has several other of its classic games through the Chrome Web Store too. These include Centipede, Asteroids, Lunar Lander, Tempest, and Battlezone.
Pool by OMGPOP
You can play as a guest or you can register for a free account with OMGPOP to track your performance, earn bonus stuff, and make new friends. This Pool game plays just as you would expect it to play with classic 8-ball rules.
The cue is controlled with your mouse and there is an interface near the bottom if you want to put some English on your shot. If you do choose to register for a free account, you can "level up," though I'm not entirely sure what advantage that gives you aside from bragging rights.
Keep it simple. Canabalt doesn't even rely on mouse controls. You can press either the X or C button on your keyboard and the character will jump. That's it. Nothing more.
The unnamed hero is making an escape from somewhere, automatically running faster and faster across the screen. You time your jumps for a parkour-esque escape, avoiding obstacles and clearing one building after another. The simplified graphics add to the minimalist appeal.
I'm a fan of mind-bending puzzle games. I didn't really like Entanglement initially, but it has definitely grown on me. The idea is to create the longest possible path without going back to the center or hitting the outside wall.
As such, the goal is to intertwine your chain as best you can. The single player mode is straightforward (no pun intended) enough, but multiplayer (up to five other people) can get pretty crazy. Each player gets his or her own color for the path, but running into another player's path kills your chain.
More Fun Moving Forward
Considering that the Chrome Web Store should work on any computer that can use a Chrome web browser, this could prove very useful and lucrative for developers. The main competition, I'd imagine, are offerings like Facebook games and other casual gaming sites where no local installation is needed.
Have you found any good games (or other apps) through the Chrome Web Store yet? Let us know through the comments below!