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Flash Games: Temple of Zoom, The Simpsons Movie: Wrecking Ball, Belter

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Every Friday, even Fridays the Thirteenth, it's Friday Flash Games.

It's simple: on Fridays I present three (or more) games to play, all of which depend on the Adobe Flash Player, and all of which can be easily accessed in your web browser. Unless, that is, you're silly enough to use an operating system or web browser for which Adobe doesn't supply Flash. But why would you? What would you do on Fridays then?

I'll let you know which games have music or sound, in case you're trying to play on the sly, or don't want to wake someone.

This week, some unpaid corporate shilling.

Temple of ZoomWant to buy a camera? Maybe one with a wide-angle zoom lens? Then Temple of Zoom is the game for you! Actually, you can play without buying a camera, just like you can play JellyJumper without actually buying a keyboard. Still, the corporate sponsorship is there, and it's obvious, but fortunately the game is fun anyway.

You're a little stick figure, and your mission is to collect a wide-angle lens — oh, let's just say it's to collect a magic 'W' — and then exit to the next level. There are also little baubles you can collect along the way for points.

There are 25 levels, and the game remembers which levels you've completed, so you can come back at any time, so long as you're using the same computer. There are sound effects within the game, but no sound at the menu.

The Simpsons Movie: Wrecking BallJust in time for the new movie, The Simpsons Movie, comes The Simpsons Movie: Wrecking Ball, a skill game in which you play Homer Simpson, piloting a crane with a wrecking ball attached. Your goal is to swing the wrecking ball into an armored car, freeing the rest of the Simpson family. I’m guessing this plays a part in the film.

You can first back up, to give yourself more time to build momentum, and then drive forward until you hit the berm, which tips the crane, which sends the wrecking ball into the side of the truck, sending it spinning and then freeing the family. Fortunately, the truck always ends up on four wheels, and the family never seems worse for the tumble.

A roll as little as 0.5 (feet? meters?) will still free the family, while rolls in the 30s or higher will result in glorious music. The berm is a little farther from the truck on each level, so you'll need to adjust the height of the crane to ensure it still makes contact. The best possible results seem to come from hitting the truck as low as possible — while missing the ground.

There is sound, even at the menu, including crane sounds, armored car rolling sounds, and cheering sounds. There is also a cute animation when you eventually miss the truck. It was cute the first time, anyway.

BelterActivating the way back machine, back to a time when games weren’t sponsored by major companies to promote new products, we find Belter, a beautifully-polished update to Asteroids. While there are options to downgrade the visuals so that you end up playing something that looks very much like the original Asteroids, the default is a smooth and colorful game.

You control a little triangular ship, and your job is to destroy asteroids. Some of which are actually mines, or time bombs, or “ice roids,” or “gas roids,” or are made of dark matter, or have evil little things inside that shoot back at you. You only have one ship, and it can become damaged. You can sometimes collect little red cross symbols which partially repair your ship, or bonus symbols which upgrade your ship. You start with four missiles, and you can acquire more throughout the game. They’re powerful, but don’t waste them!

Your score is based on what you’ve destroyed, obviously, but also on a time bonus and accuracy bonus, the latter of which really puts a crimp in my usual style of shooting continually. The ship turns oddly, which may take time to get used to. It doesn’t turn right away, but once it does, momentum builds up, and it can turn farther and faster than you expect.

There is a volume control on the main menu, and no sound before the game starts, so you can play perfectly silently – aside from the click of the arrow keys and space bar and ctrl key, of course.

One might wonder why I didn’t take the occasion of Friday the Thirteenth to present thirteen games. One big reason is that this is harder work than you might think, but another reason is that I’ve been spending my free time this week playing one game repeatedly, and I’m ashamed to admit it’s not even a Flash game. I first discovered Brickshooter‘s iPhone version, which is nice and compact, but it also has a “full-size” version, which is oddly less appealing to me. I will say no more about it, since it isn’t a Flash game, but there’s your reason.

That’s it for this week! Don’t let paraskavedekatriaphobia get you down; just be happy that it will be 11 months before you encounter another Friday the Thirteenth.

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  • I can’t stop playing Brickshooter, but I didn’t want to spend too long describing it within the article, since it’s not Flash. It’s the smoothest, most polished javascript game I’ve ever seen, for sure.

    I’ve been playing it with eight colors, so it’s challenging but not impossible. 🙂