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Friv Games: friv.com review
Friv : Lots of Games, no downloads.
Play free online games
friv.com is a site where you can play free online games. I asked my two sons, Jacob (9 years old) and David (12 years old) to share their thoughts about Friv. Jacob already knew about the site and had played often at school, while it was a first for David.
Friv: an overview
Friv is different from most other online games websites. The visitor is welcomed by a nice user interface: a grid filled with tiny icons showing a screenshot of the games offered. All the games that can be played (over 250) are visible at a glance! When you click on an icon, you get to another page where the chosen game is framed into a window with a side panel that shows which keys on the keyboard are used to play the game. No downloads are necessary: all games are online flash games that you play directly from your browser.
Fun free games online
David was first to play. He randomly picked an icon and clicked on it. A game called Power Pamplona showed up. The goal of the game is to avoid being hit by a bull, just as in real world Pamplona, famous worldwide for the San Fermín festival, in which the running of the bulls or encierro is one of the main attractions. It involves running in front of a dozen bulls that have been let loose in the town's streets.
David liked the game, but found at times that the commands were a bit sluggish. I tried it later myself and it seemed ok to me. It might have to do with the fact that our computer is old and that the browser window was open to its fullest extent (which makes it a bit harder on the processor).
Now with Jacob. He played Invention Suspension, where the player flies a helicopter and grabs (with a magnet) the items needed to build the intended invention. All of this takes place on a "blueprint" background. A nice little game.
After that, Jacob played a series of 2 to 5 minutes games. Never did I see a gun or tank. Not a single drop of blood has been shed. Nothing exploded. No harsh words were exchanged. No violence. Nearly no advertising! Rarely these days will you find a website that clean.
Then came my turn (for the record, I'm 35). Jacob suggested I try Learning To Fly, a game where a penguin uses a ramp to gain speed and a glider and a rocket to fly the longest distance possible. With each successful flights, money is gathered and upgrades are available. I reached the goal in 25 days (25 turns). Go ahead and tell me in the comments how you did on your first try!
I liked it A LOT. But hey, as soon as there is a penguin involved, I'm hooked!
Before I could recommend this site to parents, I had to check one last thing: if clicking links can bring your children on inappropriate websites. So I tried to "get out" of Friv by clicking on all the hyperlinks I could find. I was not able to leave the site. Even when I clicked on links embedded in the games! It seems that Friv found a way to disable all outgoing links. That's good news! You can let your children explore the site without always having to look over their shoulder...
Are Friv games the best online games?
It depends. I think it depends on the age group you are in. My 9 years old thinks it's one of the top websites to play online games. But my 12 years thought otherwise. Although he says he would play regularly, he also likes to shoot and blow up stuff....
And he brought up an interesting observation: you cannot bookmark a specific game. On other sites you would click a link and then a game would have a page of its own, and you can bookmark that page. But a Friv game does not have a page. So if you'd want to play a particular game you enjoyed on a previous visit, it might take some time before you spot the corresponding game icon.
And there are no categories. On other sites, if you prefer rpg or strategy games, there's a section you can browse with all of them listed. On friv.com, you don't know beforehand what a new game will be like.
I am 35 and I liked it. The interface looks a bit like what I find on my ipod touch (you 'click' an icon, and an app/game appears). And I would go to friv.com with the same state of mind: to relax and kill time before other activities I have planned.
I give it 4 stars out of 5 !!!!
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