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Flash Games: Enigmatica, Submachine 4: The Lab, Scribble, Tiki Balls

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What would Friday be without Friday Flash Games? Friday, I suppose, but a disappointing Friday.

On good Fridays, the Fridays with Friday Flash Games, I present three or more games for you to play. All of the games depend on the Adobe Flash Player and the web browser of your choice. I'll let you know about sound and music for each game, in case you're playing in a quiet environment (like school or work). All games work on both Mac OS X and Windows, as well as any other environment that support Flash. The plugin is the computer!

Let's get right to it, shall we?

EnigmaticaEnigmatica is like a sliding-tile puzzle, but since it's virtual, you don't need a blank space, and things can wrap from side to side and top to bottom and back again. Which is handy, because you need to align every piece in the grid in either rows or columns – your choice. Sometimes the initial random assortment of pieces suggests a horizontal approach will pay off in fewer moves and less time, while sometimes the verticals stand out.

You'll need to choose whether to play "Relaxed" (where the number of moves you make and the time you take affect your score), or "Challenge" (where you have time limit and a limit on the number of moves you can make). You'll also need to choose a gameboard size: 4×4, 5×5, 6×6, 7×7, 8×8, or 9×9.

The 9×9 grid shown has one horizontal line completed, and I did go on to complete the board, but on "Relaxed" mode. Even 6×6 on "Challenge" mode is challenging for me.

There is music as soon as the game loads, but there's also a little speaker icon in the upper-left to turn it off.

Submachine 4: The LabBack in March, I told you about Submachine 1: The Basement. Then, three weeks ago, I also told you about Submachines 2, 3, and 0, and mentioned that Submachine 4: The Lab was coming soon. Welcome to soon. Welcome to Submachine 4: The Lab.

As with the previous 3.5 games, you've got to solve the mystery to complete the game. This time around there are secrets (in the form of little blue marbles) to retrieve, and you'll find yourself using lots of objects to get where you need to go. This one is very complex, and I finally had to resort to the walk-through twice.

The good news — or maybe bad news — is that this is it. This is the end. There will be no more Submachines. Or will there?

There is sound, which you can turn off with the "Ambient Sound" icon at the bottom, but sound effects remain. They're useful, so please don't mute unless you absolutely must.

Scribble!Scribble! is the first of a pair of games from jmtb02 Studios, so you know we're not going to stop with three games today. I've featured a number of John's games before, and Scribble! is a fun addition.

To play Scribble!, scribble. Specifically, use your mouse to drag your magic color-changing crayon through each numbered point in order. In between the points you can scribble as wildly as you wish, but you must hit each point in order. If you use mostly straight lines, you might yourself scribbling some familiar shapes.

Well, almost familiar. You might be surprised by just how difficult it is to draw a straight line with a mouse!

There is background music that starts when you click "Play" the first time, plus some sound effects. There are 20 levels.

Scribble two!As has been typical for jmtb02 Studios, John raises the bar with Scribble two!, improving every aspect of the game while keeping the principles the same.

To play Scribble two!, scribble. You're still using your mouse to move a multi-colored magic crayon, but now you're zoomed in and there are a few more helpful pointers on what to do next. Since you can't see the whole shape at once, you can't necessarily see where the next numbered point is, so there's a helpful arrow showing the way.

You do see the overall shape at the beginning and end of each level, so you'll know how badly you scribbled!

As with the previous game, the music starts the moment you click "Play" the first time, and there are another 20 levels.

You can also poke around the jmtb02 Studios site to find a place where you can help put John through college while he works on Ball Revamped V.

Tiki BallsLet's finish off the week with a highly-polished platformer, Tiki Balls: Curse of Tane. There's an elaborate story about having angered someone and been cursed, but it seems to be a needless complication, much like the ability to buy "powerups" before each level.

The game is actually this: you draw lines in place so that the ball (representing you) bounces in the direction you want it to go. Certain things on the board are dangerous, while others are helpful. Your goal is always to get to the exit, but sometimes you have a quota of things you need to do first, and that quota is always displayed on the right side of the game area. There are powerups you can buy, and they end up associated with an arrow key. You can tell which is which either by buying them one at a time and seeing which arrow key has just become useful, or by examining the symbols carefully.

It's not a particularly difficult game at first, but it does eventually get harder. You really do need to master the art of drawing lines in place while it's easy, because doing it quickly and accurately will come in handy later.

There is music, which starts as soon as the game loads. There are also sound effects. You can turn off both from the main menu by choosing "Options," and while you're there, you might want to turn off Dialogs as well. Although I had them on (by default) the first time through the game, I think you can probably figure the game out without them, and the back-and-forth between cartoon characters can be annoying.

This game keeps track of where you left off, so you can quit and come back later at any time, so long as you use the same browser. I love that!

That's it for this week. Next week I'm considering the Ultimate Tower Defense Roundup, since I've come across nearly a half-dozen more games in the style to along with the three I've already presented.

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