Flash Bang! All you ever needed to know about browser-based games

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thepodge

Flash-based browser games are no longer simple affairs to while away the time while you’re bored at work; they’re now fully-fledged gaming experiences made by some of the most quirky, imaginative developers. Let James Francis clue you in on the best flash-based games available.

A Podge is apparently a short fat guy, presumably from sitting too long playing games. This UK studio has been pushing out games since last year, quickly establishing itself on the scene when it won a Mochi award for one of its games in 2010. In other words, if The Podge is a studio full of short, fat guys, they are certainly beavering away at it. Maybe a Podge is not lazy, despite its stature. Dwarves certainly aren’t. But then again, you’d never call a dwarf podgy. That’s how you get a battle axe embedded in your head.

infernomeltdown

Looking through the Podge’s collection, it shows a steady examination of some of Flash’s most popular genres. They all inhabit a side-scrolling 2D world, but within these confines a lot can happen. Sticking at first to the basic platforming fare are games like City Siege, a typical run-and-gun action game where you can use multiple characters, and Inferno Meltdown, a tricky title where you have to rescue people and extinguish fires with a special robot. Steam Droid doesn’t quite show the polish of the previous two titles, but blowing up steam robots and rescuing your own machine ilk is surprising fun.

cannibalcasserole

From here the genres vary quite a lot. No developer would feel complete without their own defense game, which is what Empire Island  is. Outfit your island with new technologies and fight off the waves of ships coming in for the kill. In Cannibal Casserole you have to fling dinner into the distant black pot, preferably hitting all the ingredients along the way. Stunt Crazy turns you into a stuntman – rack up points by destroying the set and collecting film reels, then spend the cash to upgrade your rig for more destruction! And then there is the one exception to The Podge’s 2D platform ensemble: in A Zombie Stole My Toaster you have to stop zombies from stealing your stuff by fighting them off. Simply click on a zombie and try to stay ahead from the undead appliance-stealing horde.

dibbles

Finally we get to this studio’s latest – and most impressive – game. Dibbles: For The Great Good is very much a Lemmings clone, but one that vastly improves on the original game. If you are familiar with Lemmings, you’ll know that the goal is to reach the end by using your characters to open up the way. Dibbles are no different: they have to clear the way for their king, using the skills available in each level. Nicely done, it is a gem in The Podge’s crown. Keep an eye on this studio…

Last Updated: July 7, 2011

James

A total movie glutton, nothing is too bad or too obscure to watch, unless it’s something like The Human Centipede. If you enjoyed that, there is something wrong with you. But bless you anyway – even video nasties need love…

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