The interwebs have provided us with many brilliant things. Hulu lets us watch television at any time. Pandora lets us listen to music specified to our tastes. Tvtropes and the Urban Dictionary give us an education. The best part is, all of these things are free. Video game entertainment has not been left out of the mix. With websites like Neopets and Newgrounds, endless enjoyment is just a click away. But why do that when you can Kongregate.
What is Kongregate?
Kongregate (http://www.kongregate.com) is a website that houses Flash games. Flash games have become increasingly popular over time. They’re quick to beat, they’re simple to learn, they’re fun, and there’s thousands of them. While most of these games are single player, some have been adapted for multiplayer use. Having a website with lots of Flash games is in no way unique, and it is highly doubtful that Kongregate did it first. The difference is all in the implementation.
Most Flash game websites simply provide links to play Flash games. Kongregate, on the other hand, does exactly what it says. It brings people together with astounding communication tools. To start, they have one of the best forum sections. You can find information about any game, and there’s a link to guides for every game. Forums let you whine about a game, learn to play better, or just talk about how you would’ve made the game if you knew how to code. Second, there’s a chat box in every game. No matter what you’re playing, you can talk to other members of the Kongregation. It sits to the right hand side of every game. There’s also a comments section right under each of the games, where people tend to post useful information about difficult levels and strategies or links to guides to help you out. Finally, there’s badges.
Oh, yes. There’s badges. Much like Xbox achievement points, Kongregate has developed a system of badges. There are four types of badges (easy, medium, hard, and impossible) with different point values given for their difficulty. And what do these points do? Like any good video game, these points level you up. Your Kongregate account keeps track of all the points, and when you get enough of them, you gain a level. Much like the Xbox Gamerscore, Kongregate levels aren’t related to any specific game. This means every time you level up in Kongregate, you become a better person and also stronger in real life.
Other Cool things
For the anti-social, you never have to chat with anyone. You never have to post on the forums, and you never have to comment. I spend my time staring at the requirements for the next badge. Developers will occasionally post forum messages asking how they could improve their game before releasing a sequel. This gives the player a tiny bit of influence on the games themselves, which makes for a better gaming experience. Kongregate also has its own card game, Kongai, and there are weekly challenges to acquire cards to play, adding yet another game inside the game that is Kongregate. Along with these challenges, sometimes there are contests to win free video game swag. All in all, not a bad deal for playing games. If you’re a game developer, you can also get cash by making a top rated game.
Not all of the games have badges, and you’ll find yourself avoiding otherwise good games because they don’t provide you with points. You’ll also find yourself playing terrible games just because they have badges. If you do talk to the people, you’ll find that they can be annoying. That’s not really Kongregate’s fault though.
So, if you’re ever bored and want an endless supply of video games to play that will addict you like no other website I’ve ever seen, come play on Kongregate.