When Adobe announced its intention to “end-of-life” Flash last summer, many have seen it as the last nail beaten in the coffin of browser games. After all, without the unified platform Flash was, browser games seem to be doomed. But nothing could be further from the truth. Shady game collections with hundreds, perhaps thousands of Flash games will likely suffer but you’ll still have enough new top quality online games to look forward to in places that have heard the wind of change in time. Of course, classic “flash game portals” will likely disappear but they will be replaced by more focused, more serious ones with curated lists of the safest and best-quality games. One of them is already available today.
AirConsole is a service presented in 2015 by Swiss startup N-Dreams. At first sight, it looks nothing but a browser game portal like Kongregate or Miniclip but with a far smaller collection of games (right now, it has over 40 titles to choose from). But if you look a bit closer, you’ll see that this couldn’t be further from the truth. AirConsole – as its name suggests – is, in fact, a browser-based gaming console with a collection of multiplayer games. And to play them, you don’t need any hardware except what you already own: an internet-connected device with a screen and a smartphone.
The best feature about AirConsole is that it uses smartphones as game controllers. Players can visit the portal, connect their phones via a mobile browser or a native app, pair up and play. This can be done by simply typing the numeric code shown on the screen into the appropriate field. From there on, you can control the interface remotely, select a game (the appropriate controller will load on your smartphone) and play.
AirConsole has a handful of games fit for single-player use but it is clear that it is aimed at groups. The majority of its games are skill-based multiplayer titles and puzzles, perfect to be played together with friends – the bigger the group, the better. AirConsole can handle groups of up to 32 simultaneous players – this makes it a perfect pastime for team building or large groups of friends (it even has its own Cards Against Humanity variant).
Playing the games at AirConsole is free (ad-supported) but it also has a “premium” version called “Hero” that costs $2.99 a month. Subscribers will have no ads to see, will get exclusive content, and be the first to get the chance to try new titles released through the portal.
AirConsole is a great initiative that can bring browser games life anew. Keep an eye on it in 2018.