Some people might see it as a challenge, doing what I do. Every week, I have to play games. Every week, I have to remember when it's Friday. And … well, now that I write it out like that, it doesn't sound like too bad a gig!
Welcome to Friday Flash Games, where every Friday I present three or more games for you to play in your web browser, all of which depend on (and by "depend on," I mean "require") the Adobe Flash Player. I test all games on Windows and Mac OS X, and I'll let you know when there is music or sound, in case you need to play on the down-low.
This week I just can't keep it at three. I'm sorry, but there are so many good games, and I just keep falling farther behind, so I've got to catch up! So today, six games. Seven, actually, but… you'll see.
First up, a real reflex tester. New Car Racer has a very simple control mechanism. The on-screen car will move in the direction of the mouse cursor, and the farther from the car you hold the cursor, the faster it will move.
Of course, there are twists and turns on the track, so you have to balance your desire to hold the cursor far out in front of the car for speed with your ability to react quickly when you encounter a hairpin turn!
Don't think you can cheat by crossing a narrow strip of grass, by the way. You'll think you've made it, and then — boom! There's music and sound effects, though they're quieter than the other games featured this week.
Super Mario Sunshine 64 seems like a tribute to the early days of video gaming. Pre-PS/2, let's say. You're Mario — yes, that Mario — and you have to collect coins by jumping and riding and walking. The twist is that you can "fludd" to jump higher and farther than you normally would, at least as long as you have water in your tank.
Like many of the old arcade games, even the menu is chock full of wit. Or is it half-full of wit? Full of half-wit? I can't remember. Anyway, Mario wants you to play, and will go out of his way to make you want to start by snoring and making himself generally obnoxious. And yes, that means that there is sound.
The goal is to get to the very top and collect the "shine sprite," which is pretty easy to do if you're used to how these sorts of games work.
Another game that reminds of the games of yesterday is Hot Air, from Wiicade. In this game, you don't actually control the protagonist directly, but rather control a fan which blows the protagonist's hot air balloon around. Avoid all the pokey edges of things and collect the stars to clear each level.
Starting on level two, you'll need to collect keys to unlock areas and avoid even more interesting obstacles, like giant swinging axe blades!
There is music and sound, though you can turn off either or both from the options menu. Also, this game remembers your progress so you can return to higher levels later from the same computer.
That's three games, but I see no reason to stop now! Let's keep going.
If you've ever played Missile Command, you know some of what to expect from Red. But this game takes the concept to a new level.
You start with only one silo, though you can pick up one or two more auxiliary silos throughout the game. And you don't simply fire at missiles to destroy them. Instead, you launch either small or large projectiles to deflect meteors, either just to one side or the other, or even back out into space. Of course, you have limited ammo (though it automatically replenishes with time), and some of those inbound meteors move pretty quickly!
Eventually you have a monstrous inbound meteor, and then the wind starts to pick up…
With Red this good, I'm looking forward to the other colors the author has planned. There is music, and the scoring method is simple: how many seconds can you survive?
For a puzzle game, well-coded and simple, try Threesome, a game which asks whether three friends can work together to accomplish their separate goals.
Which is a fancy way of saying, can you solve these puzzles by moving three "friends" onto variously-colored spaces?
The first level, pictured here, is very simple. A few levels later, though, you'll find that pieces, I mean people, have to move first close to their goal, and then away from their goal to help another person, before heading back to their own goal.
There's no sound or music, just a series of clever puzzles. I've featured the work of Klas Kroon before, and probably will again.
Finally, the games that make this a six-or-seven game week, depending on how you decide to count it. I'll call it seven. I actually thought I'd featured Boxhead: The Rooms quite some time ago, but it turns out that it was sitting in the queue, overlooked and bypassed week after week. The sad neglect came into sharp relief with the release of the sequel, Boxhead: More Rooms. So here you have them together, a double dose.
The concept is simple, and the execution is marvelous. You stand alone, one person against the hordes of ravenous zombies. They lumber toward you while you shoot them. It takes a few shots to kill them, but fortunately your pistol has unlimited ammunition. Convenient, that!
Of course, a game in which you shoot a pistol over and over and over again would eventually get boring, so there are more weapons. As you defeat more zombies, you'll "find" an Uzi, and a shotgun, and the ability to place barrels wherever you wish (they blow up when shot), and grenades, and mines, and more. With everything but the pistol, you'll need to manage your limited resources, too. At least until you get that Uzi upgrade!
Plus, in the sequel, the devil shows up to throw fireballs at you. There are sound effects, but no music.
That's it for this week, Enjoy!