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Browser game recommendations

From time to time I come across some free indie games that don’t induce me to write full reviews, but are nevertheless interesting enough to recommend. Today, I have three:

I Can Hold My Breath Forever - This is a short exploration game in which you spend most of your time underwater, swimming quickly from one safe air pocket to another, before you run out of air.  Along the way, you’ll pick up notes left for you from an old friend, encouraging you ever deeper, hoping that you’ll meet up with him in the end.  It’s short but solid.

Traal - This is a top-down dungeon crawler of sorts, only with an interesting mechanic: the avatar has a flashlight that bathes much of the room in light, and if that light touches one of the many monsters in the dungeon, the player character gets scared and turns around.  I didn’t get very far in this game, because it got frustrating pretty quickly.  For most rooms, there’s exactly one solution for how to make it through and about 800 ways to screw it up and die, and that got old pretty quickly.  But it does do something different, and that’s enough to make it worth a play for me.

Passagebalt - This is an odd one.  Someone saw the frantic, action-movie sprinting of the game Canabalt and the somber ruminations on life of Passage and decided the two would go together well.  I’ve heard several people say that it managed to capture the essence of Passage, but I felt like it was mostly taking the piss.  I’m not sure how good this game ultimately is, but if the idea of a mashup of two of the most talked-about and influential freeware games interests you, then you should check this game out.