It’s not a surprise that Blizzard’s massive team shooter Overwatch is the US's third most googled game of 2016. What might be a surprise is that the top two searches were actually for browser games Slither.io and Agar.io. This is according to Google's 'Year in Search 2016', a breakdown of what we were all typing into our Google search boxes this year.
If you check out Slither.io or Agar.io you're doomed, both are competitive browser games that are time vampires with zero barrier to entry. In Slither.io you’re a snake, on a Freudian mission to increase your length and girth by gobbling up light orbs and avoiding snakes that are bigger than you. In Agar.io it’s a similar idea, but with circles instead of snakes.
The major sell for both games, beyond the sheer competitive thrill, is that all you need is a browser to play it, making it easy to sneak in a session at work, on your mom’s ancient laptop, or on basically any unattended computer. Go and check them out now, and say goodbye to the rest of your Wednesday.
Slither.io was created by Steve Howse and came out in March on browser and mobile. The iOS and Android versions topped the charts in both app stores. Agar.io came out in 2015 from a then 19 year-old Matheus Valadares and even played a role in Turkish politics. Last year, as Turkey prepared for an election, opposing parties featured the games recognisable aesthetic in political advertising.
And the overall search of the year across all categories and the whole wide world? Pokémon Go.