Casual gaming has turned a new page in India, where games are not only restricted to kids. Now people of all ages are going online to play games – maybe not everybody plays games such as Counter Strike, but something more relaxed and just for fun. Game portals have also been created to support specific audiences such as women, with games related to clothes and children, and others revolving around educational puzzles. Certainly, there are some evils associated with gaming such as being too addictive and time-wasting, but if computer games are played in a more controlled environment, then they can even prove beneficial. There have been studies that show how games have improved the overall concentration levels of individuals, for example.
In this category, we have taken into consideration only those sites that offer browser-based games. There were a few sites such as Indiagames.com, quite popular with gamers, but do not provide instant gaming action, needing a client to be downloaded, so these did not make the cut.
The sites that made our short-list for this category are Indiaarcade.com, Games2Win.com and Zapak.com.
The features that we first looked for were the sheer game content and how easy it was to just start playing. None of the sites gave us any problem with starting a game quickly. Then we also looked for how the games were categorized on the site and how easy it was to navigate, and find something of interest. Additional features such as loyalty programs, competitions and rewards received a big thumbs up from us. By now, you must be wondering who the winner is; so let’s not keep you guys waiting any longer – Zapak.com wins this round.
Zapak.com does not have all the features a game web site could have, but it makes up for this with other features that keep drawing people towards it. It has a very good category system and a search option that also works accurately. Zapak.com could be considered the main site, but it has other gaming sites which cater for specific audiences, such as girls.zapak.com, cricket.zapak.com, world.zapak.com. All these are listed clearly on the left side of the page. Another good thing about Zapak.com is that it frequently hold contests and tournaments where users can win loads of prizes, including cash prizes.
Currently, it is hosting its ATM2 contest, where all you have to do is play games to win prizes.
Other than the list of multiplayer games, Zapak.com also offers browser-based MMOGs (massively multiplayer online games); these include Wanted and Power Soccer. The community features present on Zapak.com were not seen with the other sites. Once you register, you can add friends, send messages and chat with other gamers. One thing missing from Zapak.com is that no game description is given when you view a list from a category; only the name of the game and a thumbnail image are displayed. Another problem, we feel, is that a complete newcomer might get lost and not know what to do at Zapak.com as there are too many options, but we can’t say that this is really such a bad thing.
Indiaarcade.com, one of our runners-up, has a huge collections of games, though the whole multi-player element is missing. It deserves a mention because anybody and everybody can just go to the site and start playing a game with ease – we found it the simplest, as the layout is very pleasant and straightforward. Also, the games had small descriptions along with thumbnails so people can get a better idea of what they are about to play.