Urban Dead: The massively multiplayer zombie text adventure

It's an absolute miracle this feature ever got written. Afterlast week's newsthat Quake III is returning as a free browser game,Quake Live,we got to thinking about what other gratis gaming experiences there are out there. Which led us to discover the myriad temptations of the following browser-based games, each and every one of them capable of destroying lunch breaks, study periods or whole working days.

We're not talking one-shot Java wonders or soulless five-minute Flash romps, either. Here we have massively multiplayer zombie holocaust simulators (in text format), poetic one-button skill tests, mirthsome interactive internet parodies and battle games pitting two homeless dropouts against each other.

There are games here for everyone, regardless of your interests, passions or casual gaming demands. But each and everyone one of them has the capacity to devour all your spare (or not so spare) moments. Time-strapped gamers beware...

The multiplayer Zombie text holocaust one

Urban Deadis the answer to our personal gaming prayers. It'san online simulation of a zombie outbreak in a fictional American city, squeezed into your humble internet browser through the medium of the old-fashioned text adventure. The basic look might alienate your average gamer, but Firefox users canfind add-onsto spruce up the functionality and interface.

Like several MMO-style browser games, Urban Dead uses Action Points to limit what you can do each day - whether that's looting a mall for supplies, blasting away at the pursuing undead or mauling a hapless survivor. Yep, you can even play as a zombie.Mrhhhhhhghghghg?

Now into its third year, Urban Dead has a huge community, complete with factions and aWikifull of historical background. It's so big that 'godfather of zombies' George Romero has teamed up with Urban Dead's creator for a Diary of the Dead tie-in spin-off. Anyway, enough idlechat. We've got a barricade to fix and a horde to repel...

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.