Whether it’s Pacman, Fortnite, Chess, Monopoly, or Poker… games have a way of capturing our attention, no matter what form they come in. The question is, will a game plugin hinder or help your website?
Is it really all fun and games? You’ll soon find out.
In this article we’re looking at 5 simple WordPress game plugins you can easily add to your website or blog.
We’ll also survey some other on-site gaming options outside of the WordPress directory and look into what makes games so addictive and powerful.
Because don’t be fooled, as well as being fun and entertaining, on-site games can also help create brand awareness, increase SEO, and drive more traffic.
The trick is knowing how to use them correctly.
But before we get to that, let’s play a little game of our own and dive into some simple and fun WordPress game plugins you can add to your website or blog today.
5 Of Our Favourite WordPress Game Plugins:
Word Search Puzzles Game is a plugin that allows you to embed your own word search game on any page of your website.
Word find, word search, whatever you call it in your neck of the woods… you know how the game works. You have a list of words to find amongst a group of jumbled letters.
It’s also super quick and easy to set up.
Start by giving your word search a name and then adding the words users will have to find. You can add as many as you want, the more you add the more challenging and longer the game:
Next, you can set the difficulty of the game and choose the different directions words will run in – you can also choose whether to show the game instructions or not.
You can select whether to mix capital letters with lowercase. And finally, you can add a small congratulations message for users once they successfully complete your word search.
Once you’ve done all of this, grab the shortcode of your game and place it onto an appropriate page.
And just like that, you’ve set up a fun little word search users can interact with on your website:
Download Word Search Puzzles From WordPress.org
You might recognise this next game plugin as the dinosaur running game “Chrome Dino,” which sometimes appears when you visit a website whilst disconnected from the Internet on Chrome.
This plugin lets you add the addictive dinosaur game to your own WordPress site.
The game itself is basic… you press spacebar to start and to jump, and the down arrow to crouch. With the aim of the game being to avoid and jump over obstacles for as long as you can. All the while your score increases.
To feature this game on your website, all you have to do is install the plugin, and then insert the [dinosaur-game] shortcode where you’d like the game to appear.
Next we have WHA Puzzle, a plugin that adds a unique puzzle to your website for users to put together as fast as they can.
You can choose any image or picture from your library, and this plugin will then create a puzzle out of it, breaking it up into several pieces.
When it comes to creating and inserting your puzzle again, the process is straightforward.
Start by giving your puzzle a title and adjusting settings like how many puzzle pieces horizontally and vertically there will be, along with the color of the canvas behind your puzzle and the opacity of the image.
Also, don’t forget to add a featured image – which in this case is the image of your puzzle.
Finally, you can create a custom congratulations message for your puzzle-enthusiast visitors.
Once you’ve done this, copy the shortcode, pop it onto a page, and it’ll be ready to go.
You’ll notice the final product also features a timer, so users can challenge themselves to complete the puzzle as quickly as they can.
Download WHA Puzzle From WordPress.org
The fourth game plugin on our list is also the final plugin from the team at WHA (thanks for coming through with the WordPress game plugins team!).
We’ve had the word search, so naturally the crossword couldn’t be too far behind.
For the two (maybe three?) people out there who don’t know how a crossword works… a crossword is a word puzzle made up of a rectangular grid of squares. The aim of the game is to fill the white squares with letters and words by solving the clues.
WHA Crossword makes it possible to create and insert your own interactive crossword onto your website. Like the other WHA creations on this list, it couldn’t be easier to set up.
Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, you’ll see a page of simple settings.
Start by giving your crossword a name and then enter the clues and words you’d like to include in your crossword.
You can also change the look of your crossword, adjusting the colors, and selecting whether you want to highlight correct and incorrect answers.
Finally, like the other WHA games, you can give users a nice custom congrats message.
Then all you have to do is grab your shortcode link and walla! You have a crossword on your website or blog:
Download WHA Crossword From WordPress.org
Okay, I know it’s not good practice to be biased in an article… but I have to admit, this last game would have to be my favorite.
This plugin / widget instantly turns your entire site into a game of Asteroids. Enabling you to fly around and literally destroy the contents of your website.
It won’t destroy your website content for good of course… hit escape, or refresh the page, and all will be normal again.
To enjoy this super fun plugin, once you’ve installed and activated it, add the Asteroids widget like you would any other widget on a page.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll also be able to make further adjustments.
Such as adding a title to the widget, adding a description, and adjusting elements like the button text.
As well as adding the Asteroids game through widgets, you can also add the game to any page by inserting the [asteroids] shortcode.
Once you’ve done this, you’re all ready to let users wreak havoc on your web page.
Check it out:
Download Asteroids From WordPress.org
Alright, now that you’ve seen some of our favorite WordPress game plugins, let’s find out why games are so powerful and why they deserve to be taken seriously as legitimate business tools for your blog or website:
Why People Can’t Get Enough Of Games
I’m sure most of us have spent way too much time on a video game at some point in our lives.
Whether it’s the latest Xbox RPG, or a simple mobile game – there’s something about them that makes it so hard to stop.
That’s why it comes as no surprise to learn:
The Video Games Market Is Expected To Be Worth Over 90 Billion Dollars By 2020!
Not only this, over 2.5 billion people play video games all over the world.
All games follow a similar formula, no matter how complex or modern they are.
These “hooks” lure gamers in and get them playing as much as possible.
Let’s look into what these hooks are and why we buy into them so much.
6 Factors That Make Games So Addictive:
Evidence suggests there are six different factors that influence the addictiveness of games:
See if any of these bring back horrible memories of overly competitive family gaming encounters…
1. The high score – Easily the most recognisable of the gaming hooks, the need to beat a previous high score or achieve a completion percentage has gamers playing over and over until they’re number one.
2. Beating your rivals – There’s nothing more primitive than wanting to best someone else. You see it nowadays with the rise of Esports and gamers competing online. The newly created gaming genre of “battle royale,” made famous by Fortnite, sums this hook up perfectly. With the goal being to remain the last person standing and to gain bragging rights over friends and rivals.
3. Conquering the game – Similar to the high score hook, the desire among us all to beat the game is strong. This desire becomes even stronger with games that allow you to “level up” or “find the next clue.” Stringing you along until you can’t remember what day it is.
4. Role-playing – This hook applies more to RPG style games, as players relate and develop an emotional attachment to the characters and the story. Another factor that makes it harder to put the controller down.
5. Discovery – This tactic is often used in “open world” style games. Giving players the freedom and thrill of exploring a new and exciting world. This hook makes gameplay even more compelling for players.
6. Relationships – This hook relates more to the online gaming community. These kinds of games allow you to build relationships with other players and feel part of a community. This sense of community and comradery brings players back time after time.
That’s Great And All… But Won’t An On-Site Game Distract My Audience?
We’ve determined why games are so addictive and why people love playing them.
But this still doesn’t prove they’re a good idea for your website.
After all, if you run a business you want people buying, not playing games. Won’t a game distract your audience from taking the action you desire?
Like most scenarios, the answer is yes… and no…
For example, it’s probably not a good idea to slap a game on a sales page, because in this case, we want to convert the prospect and have as little distraction on the page as possible.
On the other hand, if you’re using a game as entertainment and to build a rapport with your audience, you might designate a page where users can choose to play or not.
This gaming element can benefit your website or blog in a few different ways:
First, it gives the user something interactive, fun, and challenging to do.
This way they’re not bored and hopefully your game leaves a positive impression on them. Also, in the long-term, it’ll only make visitors want to interact with your brand even more.
On the technical side of things, having an interactive game on your website can be great for SEO. Because dwell time on a website has a big impact. It tells the search engines that this user likes your website and it’s giving them what they were seeking.
Finally, having an interactive game on your website can help you drive more traffic.
For example, let’s say you installed a word search puzzle game like we mentioned above…
Now let’s say you published a social media post challenging your audience to take part in this game.
Maybe you also sweeten the deal a little and offer a prize or incentive for the first 10 people who complete your challenging word search.
Depending on your audience, this could be a great way to get more traffic by leveraging a simple on-site game.
But at the end of the day, it all depends on the nature of your website or blog.
If it’s more likely to distract or deter someone from converting or taking action, then a game for your website might not be suitable.
On the other hand, if a fun and addictive game fits right in with your brand, and you can make it highly relevant to your content and website…
For Those Serious About Website Gaming
The MyArcadePlugin is another way you can add online games to your website. This option is a premium one and more suited to a full-blown game portal – rather than a simple game to add some entertainment to a website or blog.
The good news is, in addition to their premium package, MyArcadePlugin also offer a free version: MyArcadePlugin Lite. When combined with their free WP theme: MyArcadeTheme Lite, you can create a fully functional online games site without spending a dime.
If it’s a gaming portal you want, these plugins/themes are your ticket to doing it.
Websites That Let You Embed Their Online Games
As quirky and fun as the game plugins above were, I found that WordPress was limited with the amount of game plugins on offer.
That being the case, another option is to embed HTML5 games from other gaming websites.
The only downside is, you’re hosting other people’s games rather than your own. This means you’re limited as to how much you can alter the games to suit your brand or website.
But if that doesn’t worry you, here are two websites which I found worked pretty well:
HTML Games literally have hundreds of different online games that you can choose from.
All of which can easily be embedded on your website like the plugins above.
Simply copy and paste the code (as below) on to the page you’d like to host your game.
Another website I found easy to embed games through was Game Flare.
Again, this website has tons of unique games to choose from, and there’s literally something for everyone.
Once you find a game you like, click on it. After you’ve done that select “Embed code” as below:
You’ll then get the following pop up, with a code you can copy and insert anywhere on your website.
Both websites also encourage users to share and embed their games, so you don’t have to worry about any red tape or sneaky catches.
Also, be sure to check out the website’s terms of service if you’re unsure. But it should be fine for you to host their games as long as you…
- Don’t change the appearance or content inside the embedded game’s boundaries.
- Don’t claim ownership of the game or charge a fee to play it.
- Don’t host the game on a site with illegal or obscene content.
It’s All Just A Bit Of Fun and Games… Or Is It?
Adding a game to your website can be a great way to provide a bit of fun and entertainment for your audience.
But don’t underestimate the power of an on-site game either.
Even though it may seem like nothing more than a bit of fun and games… if you’re smart about the way you leverage your game, and you tap into the psychological triggers that make games so addictive:
A simple game on your website can result in better visitor engagement, positive SEO results, and more traffic.
The results you get will all depend on how you (insert Freddie Mercury voice) “play the gaaame.”
Whether it’s Pacman, Fortnite, Chess, Monopoly, or Poker… games have a way of capturing our attention, no matter what form they come in. The question is, will a game plugin hinder or help your website? Is it really all fun and games? You’ll soon find out. In this article we’re looking at 5 simple WordPressRead MoreDevelopment, Miscellaneous, Plugins, games, plugins, SEO, traffic, WordPressSEO