Games in your Browser!
G4 recently posted an article that consisted entirely of a 20 minute playable demo of the PC game, The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition. The post uses a service called Instant Action to embed what is essentially a rich media Java-based game launcher. The launcher works by clicking a button that then loads an external Java-based application. The application runs in a Java window just like any other web-based Java app.
What’s so special about Games in my Browser?
Well, it’s special because this isn’t just your normal Java app that happens to play some game that was developed in Java. It allows you to play actual production games that you would otherwise have to download and install on your computer using traditional methods. Instant Action streamlines the process and takes care of any ‘installation’ and download that might be needed.
Probably the most exciting aspect of this is the party system. Apparently you can party-up with some friends who have the plugin installed and jump between games with them. Imagine playing Mortal Kombat with a friend, then jumping to NBA Jam when a 3rd player joins your party.
Does it work?
No. At least for me it didn’t work. I installed the plugin on four of my machines, Windows 7 and XP on a desktop, Windows 7 booted and Windows 7 in VMWare Fusion on a Macbook Pro. I was unfortunately not able to get the 20 minute demo working. Invariably, there was at least one missing system requirement that caused the game to fail. The plugin never told me that I couldn’t play any of these games until AFTER the game was fully downloaded (around 5-10 minutes).
Another little annoyance that I came across was that in order to get the plugin to run in the first place, I needed to upgrade my Java player on each one of those systems. I timed it out on a couple of them, the entire process for the first game launch took about 20 minutes on each system. This time included installing the plugin and/or upgrading Java, then downloading and running the game demo: I had to run the game before it told me I couldn’t play the game.
Can I play next?
Sure, give it a shot.