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.
Okay, enough of developers already. The previous Flash Bang posts were to educate the masses, to exorcise notions that Flash games are generally quirky Mario clones. For a change of pace, how about a random selection of good Flash games that came out in the past few months?
Ugly Americans: Citizen Ugly
At some point one of these posts will certainly address the number of promotional Flash games, usually designed for movies. When that happens, this gem will be included. Ugly Americans is an animated show that would mix effortlessly with the stuff on Adult Swim, but paradoxically found itself on Comedy Central. Yes, Adult Swim is a part of CC, but the anomaly is highlighted to lend weight to how demented this show is. Anyway, Comedy Central commissioned a game for it – some promotional for the web – and they got the right guys in for the job. Using voices from the actual characters, this is a neat, short and twisted point-n-click adventure. .
There are many beautiful angles to Flash games. One of them is that little time is usually wasted on such things as plot. Take this game as an example. You appear to be a knight, wronged and killed, only to rise from the dead to kill plenty of things and eventually avenge your death. If we were to ponder this for a second, the irony is that the knight appears to be far more successful and dominant in his zombie form. Perhaps he should thank his murderers. But by the time you get to them, you are probably in a blood rage, what having to defeat every other area int eh game (including a bout with demons). Screw them – they had it coming.
This might not be a flash game. Okay, it definitely isn’t. This uses the Unity plugin, a 3D engine for your browser. Will it be crushed by something like WebGL? Who cares? Gamers win either way. Regardless, this is perhaps a good time to declare that in this column â€œflashâ€ is a pretty nebulous phrase, which might include stuff like Unity and HTML5. But regardless of who wins, this game shows the interesting stuff you can do with 3D and the freedom of the web. As a three dimensional being, you are the only hope in fixing a world gone dimensionally crazy. Born as a class projects for students in France, it ended up winning $25,000 in a Kongregate Unity contest. It’s weird and buggy, but almost brilliant.
Turned into a cactus and disgruntled with his previous bandit boss, McCoy sets out to take some names and kick some ass in this side-scrolling platform game. Helping him along are lots and lots of weapons – anything from a lowly stick to opening up with a chaingun. And why stop with just one weapon per category? Why settle for just a whip when you can have chains, cat-o-nine-tails or rattlesnakes? Bring on the pain for the bad guys in a nice variety of levels, all seasoned with small achievements and secret areas. Discover why dynamite is so popular. Learn to carry a chicken across a level.
Edu-games appear fairly often – often a non-profit is looking for a way to reach more people and a Flash team is happy to be paid to do so. London’s Science Museum wanted something to address the challenges of climate change, so they got this game which is vaguely about saving the world. Or maybe it is to show how screwed we are – at least that is the impression you get when trying to beat Rizk. You have to nurture an alien plant that crashed into a planter’s surface. Chomp up local resources, but be careful: the more a resource can give you, the more local plants will get angry and attack you. to win you have to be smart about what you gather when, lest you want the locals to get upset. So the lesson is really that if you plan to invade foreign soil, be sure they don’t figure out you are tapping them dry… it’s probably a useful lesson for when we start fighting in the post-apocalypse. For now Rizk is a fun game.
Last Updated: July 21, 2011