If you want evidence of how far browser games have come, look no further than Thunderdogs.io. This rollicking arcade romp wouldn’t be out of place on your PS4 or in your Steam library.
Taking the term “aerial dogfighting” perhaps a tad too literally, this is a game about dogs fighting in aircraft. What are they fighting over? Bones of course.
You steer your aircraft with the cursor keys, and fire with space. The up cursor key lets you boost out of trouble at the cost of a couple of units of stamina. Firing costs stamina too, so you need to fight smart.
The controls are brilliantly simple, but piloting your aircraft is anything but. Thanks to the laws of inertia and momentum, you swing and wheel around in the air like a bowling ball on ice. Just avoiding crashes is tricky enough in Thunderdogs.io on Poki, and hitting your targets is a real challenge.
Fortunately there are power-ups to help you out. Dotted around the maps are crates containing a variety of different limited-use special weapons, along with first aid kits to replenish some of your health.
And, of course, there are the bones. These appear randomly, but they also get left behind whenever an aircraft explodes. That means you don’t technically need to kill enemies to gain their loot — you just need to be in the right place at the right time to scavenge the spoils of war.
These floating golden bones aren’t merely decorative. Every time you collect 100 you can spend them on a mystery prize, like a new aircraft, which you can then upgrade with gems and cards.
You get coins and gems just for playing, too, and for completing daily missions such as doing 20 dashes, killing 25 enemies, and finishing all of your missions.
With its solid cartoon graphics, 80s arcade soundtrack, and pin-sharp controls, Thunderdogs.io is a cracking arcade game in its own right. The fact that you only need to click this link to play it makes it even more impressive.