If you're a gamer of any sort and an online gamer in particular, Yahoo Games is the place for you. According to market research firm comScore, it's been the top online gaming site for the last five years and has over 19 million unique visitors a month.
The site at games.yahoo.com has a whole lot of games that are arranged by type such as arcade, card, puzzle, skill and video games. You can also get a list of all games or choose one of the current top games. You can get there through www.yahoo.com/games or www.yahoogames.com with both redirecting you the correct address which is unusual for Y!, showing how much they actually care about this particular project.
Many of the games are free to play online so you click the game and can usually just start playing. For other games, particularly card and table games, you first go into the ante room, select a gaming lounge that fits your skill level and then join a table to play.
On top of the free games, there are ones you can download at a cost. Before you buy, there's a list of the game's features, a full description, users' reviews with star ratings and the file size for download. You can often download a free trial version or play online with limited features, so you can try it before spending any money.
Most of the games are Java-based and so you'll need a Java-enabled browser to play. A reasonably up-to-date version of Internet Explorer or most modern browsers should be okay. This does cause problems, however, with several users reporting Java plug-in errors or other Java-related problems. The general fix seems to be either to update your version of Java or to uninstall and reinstall the game, which may then determine what it needs in terms of Java during the install process.
If you register on the Yahoo Game site, there's other useful information, such as articles, a newsletter and reviews. You can get email, IM or SMS alerts of when games and discounts become available.
In addition to the main site, there are specialist games sites, such as Kids Games if you're under thirteen. If you're older, Games All-Stars is a premium site where you can pay to get a user name, disable pop-up adverts and get extra privileges. There's also Games on Demand, which provides free demos and chargeable downloads, and Video Games that delivers rentals to your door for various games consoles. Games are provided by third party developers that supply them directly.
The site started in 1997 with the acquisition of ClassicGames.com and the video games section was added in 2003 when Games Domain was acquired. Expansion still continues, with the announcement in September 2009 of the appointment of Matchmove Games as the casual games provider in South East Asia. Obviously searches for these companies will inevitably lead you to the main site, but which part of that site you choose to bookmark is a decision in itself! There is your own page, the main page with new information, the various categorised pages and more. Just be sure that the page you bookmark has game.yahoo.com as the main location as, whilst most variants such as www.yahoogame.com will get you there, some, such as www.yahoo.com/game, will not.
There are persistent rumors that the company is likely to sell its games portal as part of a process of off-loading other non-core parts of the business. There are reports that expressions of interest have been received from two parties although the company has not commented - which is strange as they are often very loud-mouthed about acquisitions or mergers due to the great boost it gives the share price even if the deal falls through.
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