Vivaldi heads back to ’80s with a pixel-pushing release of its Chromium-based browser

Norwegian software-maker Vivaldi has emitted an update to its eponymous browser, featuring some additional configuration and reload options as well as a ton of retro-pixelled gaming goodness.

The company is keen that users take an occasional break from the web, but even the most enlightened boss might be a little alarmed at Vivaldia turning up on the desktop and Android versions of the browser.

Vivaldi is the latest to pop a bit of entertainment into the code of a browser. edge://surf will send a surfer avatar down the screen of Microsoft’s Chromium browser. vivaldi://game will similarly fire up the pixels with some horizontal scrolling 80s-inspired arcade action.

“Pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the browser space,” eh?

We’re along for the [Manifest V3] ride. Not much we can do. But we’ll keep working towards replacing potentially lost extension functionality with native equivalents

Maybe not, but we spent a little more time than we should have guiding Vivaldia around obstacles before realising that just as this hack was rubbish at Manic Miner back in the day, so he was at Vivaldia. Maybe it was just the rendition of In the Hall of the Mountain King that proved too distracting.

Game aside, there are some thoughtful touches this time around, including the ability to configure context menus in the desktop version and the option to automatically reload a given tab once every user-configurable interval. Dragging one item onto another in Speed Dial will now helpfully create a folder and it is now possible to capture a screenshot (either full or part of the page) into a new note.

The Android version (running on Android 5 and higher) has received tweaks to the layout of Speed Dials in the start page as well as some general fixes. It has also been upgraded to Chromium 86.0.4240.77.

While its browser may be Chromium-based, Vivaldi has demonstrated more than a little antipathy to the antics of Google in recent times and lobbed a toy or two out of its pram around the debate concerning Manifest V3. With Microsoft set to adopt the controversial change, a Vivaldi spokesperson told us: “We’re along for the [Manifest V3] ride. Not much we can do. But we’ll keep working towards replacing potentially lost extension functionality with native equivalents.”

Inbuilt ad blocking in Vivaldi is already supported.

While the configuration options, such as the context menus, will ease a few workflows, Vivaldia and its Cyberpunk-inspired visuals and 80s cheese will serve to while away the minutes until a tab reloads (or the boss finds the setting to turn the game off.)

Things have certainly come on a bit since chrome://dino. Although we remain a little disappointed Vivaldi did not go the full xBill with its prodding of the world’s software giants. ®

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