– Dominic Powell
Having just finished last semesters exams, agar.io is like an old friend. An old friend that lures you into their house with promises like ‘you can do that essay in 12 hours, don’t even worry about it!’ Agar.io has got to be the best procrastination game I’ve ever played. To the untrained eye, agar.io looks like a bunch of different sized, different coloured blobs moving around amongst many other blobs, also of different sizes and colours. However, to the trained eye…well, its pretty much the same thing.
The whole aim of the game is to get big. Really really big. You start off as a small blob, and the idea is to move around the ‘map’ (just a big square really) and absorb other smaller blobs until you are the blob messiah. Fundamentally it sounds pretty simple and maybe even a little boring, yet the game will trap you in its round squishy grasp for hours at a time. There are some intricacies to the game also. You can press spacebar to split your ‘mass’ in two, which is useful for catching other smaller blobs off guard (careful that your split mass is still big enough to absorb them!). Pressing W will dispense some of your mass in smaller static blobs, useful to make yourself smaller which in turn, makes you faster.
Upon loading up agar.io you get to choose a nickname. As I’m chronically terrible with online names, I went with SpicyPepperoni. You can change it each time you die, and some certain names will give you a blob ‘skin’ (‘Australia’ gives you an Aussie flag, ‘Hitler’ gives you a Charlie Chaplin moustache etc.). Unfortunately SpicyPepperoni gave me nothing interesting (surely an oversight) so I started my new life as lime green blob.
Things were going pretty well. Ideally, you want to be big enough to absorb smaller players, but small enough to not be a target for the big guns. I devoured a few of the static randomly generated dots, deftly avoided the larger players and even ate a few unsuspecting blobs. Things were looking up! The top ten leaderboard was firmly in my grasp!
Then I got eaten.
Not to be discouraged I re-spawned, this time as a rather garish pink blob. Still mildly unhappy at the lack of pepperoni colourings, I quickly got to work devouring. Luck plays a big part in agari.io, and half the time you’ll gain a large amount of mass just by being in the right spot at the right time. As a significantly larger blob split to escape from an even larger blob, I managed to sneak in and absorb his entrails. Now at an even larger size than before, I was on a warpath, aggressively splitting and chasing less fortunate players.
As they say, pride comes before the fall (or something like that) and I had a nasty run-in with one of the spiky green blobs that are scattered around the map. These are placed strategically, so big-ass blobs cant just totally dominate the map and absorb willy-nilly. As a result, your blob is split up into as many pieces as possible, which almost always results in instant death.
Third time being the charm, my yellow edition pepperoni quickly got to quite a reasonable size. Getting much larger than my other tries, I estimated I was fairly close to edging into the top 10 leaderboard. Unfortunately I made a bit of a mistake, and attempted to absorb a blob that just wasn’t quite small enough for me, which results in a kind of…awkward situation.
Shortly after this, I aggressively split in order to absorb a juicy looking blob with a Stalin moustache. This was my downfall, as in my reduced state I quickly fell prey to the blobbish overlords. That was it. Rest in pepperonis.
Agar.io is a fantastically simple game that’s done very well for itself quite quickly. It’s charming, entertaining, exciting, and requires nothing more than an internet connection and a mouse. If you haven’t played agar.io yet, I would strongly recommend giving it a shot, especially if you have something really really important to do.