A directory of healthy mobile games
February 5, 2024 10:48 AM   Subscribe

and the dark patterns you should try to avoid. From their description: A game review website devoted to helping you find mobile games that aren't riddled with in-app purchases, and don't use psychological tricks to manipulate you into becoming an addicted gamer. Learn about the dark patterns that game designers use to waste your precious time and money.

Honestly, I had all but given up on mobile gaming years ago for exactly this reason-- you could hardly find a game that you could just *buy* anymore. I am extremely delighted that someone took the time to make this site.

I will never forgive how they ruined the perfect angel ipad game Plants vs Zombies for the uttter garbage attempt for a monetization farm in Plants vs. Zombies II.

via this tumblr reblog.
posted by wowenthusiast (57 comments total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
I recently asked an AskMe about something similar -- where could I find basic games that weren't subscription based. I recognize that online saving and playing against others requires server space that's an ongoing cost that needs to be paid for, but even the games that came preloaded and "free" on Windows like Free Cell now have ads and subscriptions. I look forward to digging into this list.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:52 AM on February 5 [3 favorites]

I was JUST talking to someone about the atrocity that was Plants vs Zombies II. I remember when it first came out, I was so excited...and then a little perplexed. I stuck with it until they 'updated it' so that the game became a purely linear path filled with stops to spend your IRL money, then I was out.
posted by Rudy_Wiser at 11:06 AM on February 5 [4 favorites]

I was mad that the sequel was subtitled "It's About Time" when "Plants vs. Zombies II: Lawn of the Dead" was right there.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:15 AM on February 5 [23 favorites]

Anything in Apple Arcade isn't going to have monetization or in app subscriptions. And depending on what other Apple services you are subscribed to, you might already have access to it.
posted by Back At It Again At Krispy Kreme at 11:16 AM on February 5 [13 favorites]

Slay The Spire relatively good, but there’s apparently some kind of premium Apple Arcade version now?
posted by Artw at 11:26 AM on February 5

Not surprised to see Two Dots on here, though it is labeled as "slightly dark." I spent too much money on that game for a time because I loved it. I had to remove it completely from all my devices to make sure I didn't weaken and buy things.
posted by Kitteh at 11:30 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]

My big gripe against Two Dots is that the gameplay in the ads is totally different from the game itself, unless that's some special mode that I never noticed.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:34 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]

I have enjoyed all the entrants to The Room puzzle series. It's a one off purchase and has replayability unless you play it so much you memorize the puzzles.
posted by msbutah at 11:51 AM on February 5 [9 favorites]

Not surprised to find Words With Friends 2 rated "bad"; I was finally able to unhook from that a year or so ago -- liberation!
posted by chavenet at 11:54 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]

I'm not opposed to a reasonable amount of ads, and I'll even spend a couple/three bucks on gems or coins or whatever every so often if I am waiting for a flight or something. I do like that there is a way to check for these dark patterns, as I know some folks have much lower thresholds than I do. Recently I've been enjoying NecroMerger - a dungeony take on generic merge games. Plenty of dark patterns, but not very aggressive about it.

The insanity of the recent ads for Hero Wars though? Oofa doofa.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:55 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]

Related, check out the No BS Games directory. You can filter by genre, paid/unpaid, genre etc
posted by lianove3 at 12:08 PM on February 5 [8 favorites]

I know that "healthy" is narrowly defined around avoiding dark patterns and psychological exploits, but I have to say it is weird seeing Papers, Please in a list of "healthy" games. Like implying that reading 1984 will be a tonic for your mood.
posted by bl1nk at 12:24 PM on February 5 [7 favorites]

This is where I'll also shout out game snacks as a site that takes the core of a lot of these games into something that's payment and ad free!
posted by Carillon at 12:32 PM on February 5 [5 favorites]

Hoplite, Slay the Spire, and Race for the Galaxy are a few of my all-time faves... still hit Slay the Spire and Race fairly regularly.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:32 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]

I was happily willing to pay about a thousand yen a month playing pokemon go up until about two years ago, and stopped cold turkey, which is good, as the app has become ridiculously expensive for people who still intend to buy every event ticket. I can’t even really remember the last time I really enjoyed playing it, but that hasn’t stopped me from keeping my daily catch, spin, and research streaks going, showing how addictive it is. I feel like the game should be studied by future generations as to how easily humans can be manipulated by shiny objects and positive reinforcement.

I was using Apple Arcade, and happily, until they raised the price by half. ¥600 a month was something I could try to ignore. ¥900 is just too much for a small handful of games I regularly played. Japan Countryside Life simulator (or something like that?) was a really enjoyable little game that made me sort of regret cancelling. Other than than, the mini-metro and its road based follow up were really enjoyable, though I’d already bought mini metro years before.

Retro Bowl is a solid game, and cheap. Grim Tides is a hack and slash dungeon crawler game that can also be purchased cheapish, as can sunless seas.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:53 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]

It's not mobile, but itch.io has a monthly Youtube video of 20 popular games that it's worth raiding.

I still remember Lore Sjoberg's littlefluffyindustries (it had a memorable name!), a collection and review of Flash games, back when there was such a thing called Flash games.
posted by JHarris at 2:00 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]

The insanity of the recent ads for Hero Wars though? Oofa doofa.

URG. I've been collecting some of the more ridiculous examples (with the right Youtube magic you can load the source page of any ad, they're all Youtube videos). Even worse, I've noticed particularly that Hero Wars ads have picked up this weird misogynistic element. All the latest ads have had some lady luring a queue of guys into her deathtrap! Sometimes the lady is secretly a monster eating them, sometimes she has a device that absorbs their life, sometimes it's some magic object like a sword in a stone that kills them, and in one she's a giant that has a kind of Iron Maiden like device held between her legs that the line of low-leveled heroes willingly walk into to be destroyed, and always, they walk in single file.

I can't escape the feeling that this is what the formerly well-paying industry of Flash animators has been forced to resort to. So ubiquitous have these ads become, truly they're the Evony of the hour, that I feel like they're supporting Youtube single-handedly.
posted by JHarris at 2:07 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]

The newest one has just a giant woman trapped in a hole in a wall while men abuse her until she breaks free and knocks the "hero" down to level one and he gets ... enslaved by a cow woman? It's full-on chatgpt non-sequitur AND horrible!
posted by Scattercat at 2:21 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]

Sadly I have recently gotten deeply into MtG:A, which is so, so oposite of all this.
posted by Artw at 2:23 PM on February 5

I've played an insane amount of Royal Match, and have been very impressed by how little it nags you for money. Two Dots, on the other hand, has milked me for cash on several occasions owing to the fact that I like the scavenger hunt minigames more than the main game.
posted by pipeski at 2:29 PM on February 5

I’m surprised Twenty isn’t in the database. You can play it in a browser (regular web version; zen mode, which I prefer) but there’s also a free app. I did end up springing a few dollars for the paid version, which unlocks various modes including zen mode which is a must for me. No ads and no in-app purchases. It’s a pure little thing!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:56 PM on February 5 [4 favorites]

Blendoku 2 is basically the only app game I play, happy to see it has a Good rating!
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:03 PM on February 5

You guys are gonna hate me. I’m on level 5100-something of Two Dots and not only have I not spent money, I’ve never used any of the free power-ups. My wife plays and occasionally she gets stuck for days and passes it over for me to beat. Now that’s my kind of household chore (kidding, I do tons of real chores).

However, I think about the fact that free to play only works when other people are spending more than they should, so I do still miss the $50 “box” games of yore.

Apple Arcade is really good if you don’t mind just playing what they have instead of the latest hotness. In the US it’s $9.99 a month and you are explicitly allowed to share with 5 people, so a whole family can use one account. None of the games have IAP or other costs that I’ve been. Kinda like a permanent Humble Bundle.
posted by caviar2d2 at 3:32 PM on February 5

I've played a lot of Super Hexagon on my ipad, and I only discovered last month that it has an ending.

Netflix is also good for this sort of thing. Oxenfree, Kentucky Route Zero, Reigns, et al. are all paid for by your Netflix subscription and don't have to use dark patterns to keep you hooked.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 3:41 PM on February 5

One of my go-tos is Simon Tatham's collection of math-adjacent puzzle games. The link goes to an old-fashioned web page for old-fashioned programs, but they're also available in the various app stores.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 3:44 PM on February 5 [7 favorites]

Seems like a cool idea, but I'm confused. Does a site named "Dark Pattern Games" consist of dark pattern games, or does it warn against them and provide links to games that don't implement dark patterns?
posted by milnak at 3:45 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]

Great subject for a FPP!

My two bits: fuck the official Jeopardy app; if you seek a good trivia app, I recommend League of Quiz.
posted by DeepSeaHaggis at 4:00 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]

This is a great resource, but tbh at this point I'm really reading this thread for the descriptions of the advertising for "the Evory of the hour", because it sounds hyper nuts and no actual video could possibly live up to what I'm imagining
posted by phooky at 4:01 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]

I've noticed particularly that Hero Wars ads have picked up this weird misogynistic element.

Holy shit yes this. Those ads are so skeezy.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:07 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]

There are also various flash games archives, from web 1.0, and thus before the internet went full panopticon
posted by eustatic at 4:23 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]

Does a site named "Dark Pattern Games" consist of dark pattern games, or does it warn against them and provide links to games that don't implement dark patterns?

If you search for a game in the database it will warn you which dark patterns, if any, are present in the game, and to what degree. It also features a list of healthy games without dark patterns.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:45 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]

It's the Evony of the hour, after a certain long-lived F2P game. Around ten years ago their ads were just as ubiquitous as Hero Wars' are now, maybe even more so since I don't think I've seen a Hero Wars ad that wasn't served by Youtube or another mobile game.

Evony used to be called Civony, until Firaxis got them to stop implying a connection between the Civilization series and their game. Then they started using ads that greatly misrepresented what the game was about, especially involving a drawing of a scantily-clad woman with a sword pleading the player to "Command me, my lord!" or things of that nature, when the actual game is pretty much fantasy military turn-based strategy. Even now, their ads make it seem like it's more puzzles than tactics.
posted by JHarris at 4:57 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]

Dawncaster is my jam. I love a solid deckbuilder. One price up front, 100% playable (it gets more fun after you get a run or two under your belt and start unlocking stuff). No ads.

Every expansion is its own up-front cost, not necessary to play the game, but adds a lot of lore, cards and (IMO) value. The devs roll out new expansions on the reg, the Discord and Reddit communities are generally friendly and helpful. Easily the iOS game I play the most, and I'm still playing almost daily to try out new runs and new builds.
posted by Shepherd at 5:17 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]

So you're saying it's only a matter of time before I start seeing ads for Tetris featuring a hunky dude saying "spin me round and stuff me in", then
posted by phooky at 5:17 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]

I can't escape the feeling that this is what the formerly well-paying industry of Flash animators has been forced to resort to.

Former Flash animator here. There was a time when I could've applied for a job at Zynga during their peak, after ten-odd years of working in TV and commercials and being burnt out. Ultimately, I'm glad I didn't do it.

Even now, their ads make it seem like it's more puzzles than tactics.

I'm playing a game right now via Steam called YEAH! YOU WANT "THOSE GAMES," RIGHT? SO HERE YOU GO! NOW, LET'S SEE YOU CLEAR THEM! which is a heaping pile of mobile ad minigames as actual minigames. The Hero Wars, Evony, Parking Jam 3D, color-matching, and one other misrepresentative minigame from those ads are all here. It really, really needs a mobile version.
posted by May Kasahara at 6:01 PM on February 5 [10 favorites]

I wonder if sometimes the dark patterns "are" the game itself. It's like saying Chess would be a better game if you removed the artificial restrictions on how pieces could move. No it wouldn't! I actually like how freemium games work!

Am playing Honkai Star Rail right now and it's somehow only rated slightly bad on their site.

The Dark Patterns are the game. You have to wait for your "stamina" to refill? Sure, I don't want to spend more than half an hour a day playing this game anyway. Would the game be better if you had infinite stamina so you could level everyone to the max in a day and trivialize the combat because you had an entire roster of overpowered characters? Arguably not. Oh, you get limited currency in the game to purchase new characters? Sure, so I can make intelligent choices over what characters to include in my roster and strategize over which ones tackle which side in combat. Would the game better if you always had the entire roster to use at any time, again trivializing the combat? Probably not.

And then the game gives you the option to "break" the game by buying more stamina and more characters. What! That just makes the game worse...

Compare this to something like Diablo, where there are people who played 18 hours straight on the first day just to get ahead on the leaderboard.
posted by xdvesper at 7:17 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]

I recently discovered that I can play Azul on Board Game Arena, as well as a bunch of other stuff that is okay on mobile.

I do pay for premium on BGG, which is a pittance, so all of the flashy spendy stuff is, at least for the moment, dead to me.
posted by vverse23 at 8:09 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]

I was going to mention YEAH! YOU WANT "THOSE GAMES," RIGHT? SO HERE YOU GO! NOW, LET'S SEE YOU CLEAR THEM!, but I am often having to make a choice of whether to include everything I have to say or keep the comment even slightly focused. Thanks for mentioning it!
posted by JHarris at 9:29 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]

I referenced the official Jeopardy app in my first comment here. It possesses many of the classic dark patterns I've seen referenced here and I kind of admire it because it takes a fair amount of description to detail the the full insidious of their scamminess. And I mean that: it is a rigged game in what I'm fairly certain is an illegal sense given its pay-to-play nature. However, I'm not sure how to prove that since they've built in so much plausible deniability.

In any case, without providing that full essay, the game, for instance, requires a wager from your bank to play a match but you inevitably lose all your bank and so need to pay money to continue because, even if you answer everything perfectly, your "opponent" will have used a score-doubling power-up. That all might be well-and-good assuming you're playing against a real person who's judiciously choosing to use their boosts except you're not actually playing against a person... I noticed first that there was no chat function in-match - not even, like, "Good job!" - which seemed a little weird because surely these are real people playing with you given the explicit matchmaking screen and pre-match delay to "find opponents". Well, ok, I mean, it is Jeopardy and there's no talking on the TV side of things. Oh, but there's clubs and, look, they have a chat function - except you can't get anything you type in the chat bar to transmit. Lo and behold, a quick Google search and trip to a Reddit thread shows that their customer service specifies they use "asynchronous opponents".

In theory, that means the other players are replaying their rounds while you answer the same questions they did. But what a convenient story that is. And considering the reward they give you to link your Facebook account, I'm much more certain they have few active, real players and everyone is just a bot with PFPs populated from plundered social media accounts. I mean, if I had no morals, it's what I'd do.

The real issue I have though is the ramifications of that behavior on our socioeconomic world at large. Look at these apps, populated by fake people, parasitizing our money and attention as they appeal to our real human needs for personal activity and expression, social interaction, productivity vis-a-vis existential manifestation and a basic sense of realness and relevance in the universe. Consider, then, how many people you know and what depth of interaction you have with most of them. How many people would it take for the world you know to be completely determined by agencies external to yourself? Now, don't think like this is 2000 anymore and Matthowie is still looking at these threads from here in Oregon, or the Whelk is gonna say something funny from NYC. I'd wager it'd take about two or three people for each of us to feel a part of an external universe that wasn't actually there.

What I'm trying to say is: I think the punchline to Fukuyama's The End of History is "The Aristcrats!" and I'm quite certain these games and their *visible* dark patterns are an intentional part of it. In the past couple of years, I've some real-world trouble from identifying and then attempting to report on my observation that the Obvious Bots are meant to distract us from the real accounts doing nefarious work in whatever forums they might be observed. Originally, my observations were clearly about internet forums but I think there is a clear conceptual parallel to the apps we're discussing in this thread. We're seeing the obvious dark patterns but we're not noticing the larger dark universe hovering behind them - one that seems to be erecting invisible prisons around the poor and unimportant as most of us here are.

I know that sounds like so much Covidian paranoia but, while I can't be sure exactly whom has been upset by my openness about my observations, the multiple times my phone has been hacked or my residence broken into indicate there is something real at work. Because I don't really want my presence on this site to be on who gifted everyone at best a gnawing paranoia, I won't provide more detail but I encourage everyone to consider what it means when we talk about the focus of this thread and what we're not talking about even though the topic directly implies it.

In sum, if anyone has an idea about what I should or shouldn't be doing on the Internet, please DM me. If anyone sees or talks to daq, could you pass on that Spenser has several conversations with him that he's been running since 2019 and they're getting a bit stale if not musty. And if anyone wants to play a game of trivia on League of Quiz, my username is Haggish. It appears to be completely free from *any* of the dark patterns so far identified - free; infrequent and unobtrusive ads - so I'll assume I'm just not smart or paranoid enough to see what exactly its ends are. At the same time, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I'll take the ignorance.
posted by DeepSeaHaggis at 10:15 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]

There are several free unofficial Jeopardy bots that are pretty easy to add to Discord servers, which are themselves pretty easy to make for yourself and friends. Might be a good alternative to the app.
posted by verbminx at 12:57 AM on February 6

Like DeepSeaHaggis, I've had weird conspiracy type thoughts about my fellow "players" on various mobile games. Especially games that push hard on linking your Facebook profile information. All my "opponents" have nice profile pictures that suggest they're attractive people, and names that make sense (though sometimes the ethnicity of the name doesn't 100% match the appearance of the person, which sends me down a further conspiracy rabbit hole of "is this actually unlikely or am I just being racist?"). If they were real people using real Facebook profile names & pictures I'd expect a lot more 'world's best dad', Minions and blurry selfie/bad candid profile pictures, and a lot more names with unorthodox spellings. A lot more young parents, whom I suspect to be a key demographic for killing-time-in-short-bursts type of games, instead of the endless stream of wealthy-looking, apparently-middle-aged adults who've had nice professional pictures taken.

Overall it contributes to the impression that my fellow players are the kind of people would I otherwise consider too well-heeled and high-functioning to be playing these types of games on their phones, even though that's clearly not true because I also like to think of myself as comparatively well-heeled and high-functoning, and I still have a functionally compulsive relationship with at least two games in this category. On some level I'm inherently suspicious that every other "player" I ever interact with in one of these games is actually a bot.

Like xdvesper implies, I take a weird sort of pride in playing these games while stubbornly refusing to convert into a paying player. Think I can't survive the six hours it'll take for my diamonds to refill? I survived my own entire miserable childhood, fuckers. Come at me: I have more patience and self-discipline than is otherwise good for me.
posted by terretu at 1:28 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]

(I was also surprised when I looked up my two most love-hate games on the dark patterns site and found they rated one a -1.80 and the other a -2.72. Both have such transparent mechanisms for user manipulation from my perspective that I can't even imagine how shitty the games rated -4.5 and worse must be.)
posted by terretu at 1:31 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]

asynchronous opponents

Once in a while I've been known to do surveys and tests on Prolific for a little extra cash (much better for that than Mechanical Turk). Every once in a while the test will be a "multiplayer game" where the opponents are a little too good to be true. Usually these games are plain HTML-based, and they resort to elaborate theater to try to convince you there are other humans involved, because it's much easier to produce an illusion that would fool most people that a multi-participant test is happening than to actually implement it using Javascript and ensure that multiple human being person people are actually taking their test at the exact same time, the communication won't be blocked, and none of the participants will communicate in a problematic way. (Even when it seems likely that the other participants are real people, these tests will sometimes to limit communication between the players.)

To try to make it seem like a real multiplayer game and not a manipulation, they'll resort to measures like messages that other people are making their moves, suspeciously-smoothly flowing progress bars indicating their supposed progress, little person icons indicating other players, fake handles, and so on. There is no legal requirement that the test be presented honestly, or even that they tell you afterward the nature of the test. There is a moral requirement, which sometimes a test will admit afterward, but I've had too-good-to-be-true tests that didn't reveal that fact.

Sometimes, when I've felt ornery, I've contacted the test-giver via Prolific's feedback form and pointedly accused them of lying about the nature of the test. Usually I never hear back, but one time I got a defensive response saying the test was something like "time displaced," that is, someone else's choices were recorded and used as the opponents for my session. Given how common that type of fakery is in Prolific tests, which purport to gain data for academic purposes, I certainly think it's possible that fake people are sometimes used in DeepSeaHaggis' Jeopardy game sessions.
posted by JHarris at 2:49 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]

Hoplite, Slay the Spire, and Race for the Galaxy are a few of my all-time faves... still hit Slay the Spire and Race fairly regularly.

My favorite mobile games tend to be versions of board games I enjoy -- RFTG, Elder Sign, and Twilight Struggle.
posted by Gelatin at 4:53 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]

The one major drawback to League of Quiz is the combination of mostly European players and player-submitted questions. I guess I knew there had to be other Spanish soccer clubs than Real Madrid but I wouldn't formerly have been able to name any. Nor the coach for Celtic when they won the UEFA cup in 1987 (iirc). Nor that the International Cricket Cup only started in 1975 and was first won by the West Indies team. Also, Australian rules football plays on an oval field.

But they are real people, which squelches my paranoia significantly, and I am going to absolutely dominate - or at least make a surprise non-shit showing - if I ever go to Europe and do a trivia night.
posted by DeepSeaHaggis at 5:55 AM on February 6

I remember explaining some of these to my kids a decade ago. Which is more likely? Have I become one of the top ten Candy Crush players in the world after playing for thirty levels? Or is the game lying to me about my "accomplishments" to make me feel nice?
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 6:10 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]

Two months later and I'm still on Slay the Spire ascension level 19 with the Ironclad. When will it end?
posted by triage_lazarus at 7:40 AM on February 6 [3 favorites]

I’ve never actually finished with the bonus character. Still play it.
posted by Artw at 7:47 AM on February 6

There’s something weird going on with the site. When I look at the list of dark games, the numerical ratings are consistent, but the visual rating (red line on the gradient bar) seems inconsistent. *shrug*

My former go-to game, Lily’s Garden, was rated -2,8, which is fine, but one of the reasons I stopped playing it was from a dark pattern that they added not listed on the site.

A year or so ago, at the “level lost” screen, you could easily spend a life to retry the level (it was trivially easy to store up “free lives for 30 minutes” buffs, so I was rarely in a state of being out of lives, and if I could be bothered to click through a chapter of the story, I’d get another 30 minutes of free lives). The new dark pattern *sometimes* changed the “spend a life” to “watch an ad for 3 more moves”.

Previously it was easy to avoid video ads in the game, so the only annoyances were closing the (3-4!) in game shops every so often. But with the change my muscle memory accidentally made me watch an ad tooooo many times, and I stopped playing altogether. I switched to Garden Tales on Apple Arcade, which has limited levels, but does include a set of “bonus levels” that’s infinitely repeatable. And since I use it to wind down before bed, I like how calming the graphics are.
posted by itesser at 8:07 AM on February 6

I've been documenting screenshots here and there of those Hero Wars ads in a shared chat because they are so consistently someone getting paid to do Giant Woman fetish on main to a degree that strikes me as kinda fascinating. Partly because it's a chicken and egg question: was some editorial director with a personal fixation like "and uh, let's put in a, uh, a big woman, like real big, no reason, just [sweating overtly] just for fun, no reason...", or did someone just barf out "also large villain woman character" in a brainstorming session and it ended up getting engagement numbers that now that's just What They Do?

Like Evony was always just fantasy cleavage, that's as straightforward as the day is long, but this feels like it's hitting a pretty direct niche with a patina of plausible deniability. The thigh-crushing Amigara Vault variant that JHarris mentioned above feels like a good example of them really leaning into it.
posted by cortex at 1:01 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]

or did someone just barf out "also large villain woman character" in a brainstorming session and it ended up getting engagement numbers that now that's just What They Do?

I have always assumed it is really weird and incremental A/B testing. "Players were 11.7% less likely to skip the ad with the woman at 107% normal size compared to 103%. Let's go to 115% and see how that does. Who has the numbers on green vs purple vomit?"
posted by Rock Steady at 1:27 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]

that No BS games directory link led me to vector pinball, which ticks a lot of boxes!
-loads fast
-is pinball
-no ads

three might not seem like a lot, but it's enough to be rare. Thanks!
posted by Acari at 2:01 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]

I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed Hero Wars ads were getting a bit fetishy. They've always been really strange. There's one where the hero is mad because some god or something turned his beloved into an outhouse. Sprays of poop were very common for awhile.

It is possible to fairly easily save to your computer copies of any Youtube ad. I got copies of Hero Wars ads back before they got off on their Big Women Killing Men kick, as documentation, but these if anything seem more necessary to get as proof that this age of the internet actually happened than the others.

Oh frog, there's a Youtube account actually called The Hero Wars Ads Collector. There's a minor MST Club gathering tonight, but do I really want to do that to people?
posted by JHarris at 3:46 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]

Addendum: ah, despite the name it seems to be other ads too.
posted by JHarris at 4:06 PM on February 6

I'd always thought that that Hero Wars ad was less about vore and more about just trying to make eyeballs stickier, but, you know, ¿por qué no los dos?
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:22 PM on February 6

Mod note: New achievement unlocked: this post has been added to the Sidebar and Best of Blog!
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 5:26 AM on February 8

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