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Friday Flash: Kittens, Tangerines, and Much More

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It's the last day of the work-week, which seems like as good a day as any for something I like to call Friday Flash.

I could do this on Thursday, but what's the alliterative fun in that? Instead, every Friday (that's the "Friday" part of Friday Flash) I list three or more games, all of which work in your web browser and require Adobe Flash Player (that's the "Flash" part of Friday Flash). I test each game on both Windows and Macintosh, and also make note of music and sound, in case you're trying to play in a quiet environment.

Careful observers may note that I missed a week. I'll make up for it today with a double batch of games.

Kitten CannonLet's start with the game that's going to upset people. Kitten Cannon is as horrifying as it sounds, and perhaps more disgusting than you might imagine. If you're sensitive about the suffering of electronic animals, this is not the game for you. I'm not concerned about your outrage, though, because these aren't real kittens and I can tell the difference. So save the outrage and just move on to the next game.

For folks who can make the distinction between reality and video games, or are sick twitches who want to hurt baby kitties, just use the arrows to aim the cannon higher or lower, then hit the space bar while the little red power meter is where you want it to launch that kitty. It'll fly for a little ways and then land, and if it lands on a venus flytrap or some spikes, the game is over. If it lands on explosives or trampolines, you go farther and farther. It's relatively easy to get 708 or 804 feet with a few bounces, but I imagine with practice (more than the two times I tried it) and luck, you can launch that kitty much, much farther.

There's music the moment the game starts, and sounds effects of (fake) screaming kitties and explosions throughout.

Fancy Pants AdventureFor a game that plays so much like Sonic the Hedgehog that the filename is actually hedgehog.swf, try Fancy Pants Adventure. Animated in a nice, almost hand-drawn style, your job is to run and jump and bounce on trampolines, and collect symbols while bouncing on spiders. There are doors and levels and it's altogether amazing.

There is music from the get-go, and a screenful of instructions to let you know what keys to use. It's 'S' to jump (logical, right?), the up-arrow to open doors, the down-arrow to duck, or to roll if you're on a hill, and you can pause with the space bar.

Ping-PongBounce, bounce, bounce. It's not really Ping-Pong, but rather more what you do when you've a ping-pong paddle and a ball but nobody else to play against. Bounce, bounce, bounce.

There are sound effects both as the game loads and whenever the ball hits the paddle.

The art is lovely, and the control is quite smooth — use your mouse — but there are few things more frustrating that a ball that comes down where you can see it but not quite reach it.

Which, come to think of it, is just like real life.

This would be where we would normally stop, but since I missed last week, I've got to make it up to you!

BowmasterThere's an ad for this one, and a too-wordy introduction on the page, but at least Bowmaster is actually hosted by the original author, unlike many of these games, so that's forgivable.

Bowmaster is part physics simulation, and part fun game. Honestly, maybe more a good physics simulation than fun game, especially if you like it fast-paced. But give it a shot, it's fun!

The instructions are in the game, but basically you aim the bow and try to knock out all attacking enemies. It starts with simple soldiers, but grows increasingly complex as the levels progress. Aim higher, aim lower, pull back just a little harder, and let it fly!

There are simple sound effects.

Board DotsThere's only one combination per level in Board Dots, and it may take a while to work out each one. There's a starting point and an ending point, and multiple steps in between, and you get nothing.

You choose a starting point on the grid, and then pick a direction in which to "move." The marker will keep going until it hits an obstacle, and you want to eventually touch every open square on the grid. So don't go sending the marker in a direction that cuts off squares!

There is sound and music, but there is also a little button you can click to turn the music off. You can't turn the sound off.

Tangerine PanicTangerine Panic has simple graphics, but it's funny!

You control a simple stick figure while a funnel pours out giant tangerines all around you. And occasionally, your character "blurts" (in a little text bubble) things like "I HATE TANGERINES!!" or "WHY ARE THEY SO BIG?"

Sure, at first it's just a few pieces of fruit, and you can run from side to side, easily dodging it all. But then, wow, do the tangerines start coming quickly!

You move side to side using your mouse, and the music is pretty overwhelming throughout.

That's it for this week!

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  • I really enjoyed this set of games. The Kitten Cannon had me cracking up. Also, the Fancy Pants Adventure is really well-made. Thanks for the great lineup this week!

  • 1596 feet on the Kitten Cannon!

  • You’re welcome, Sterfish!

    Wow, Chris, that almost makes me want to try again, but since I’m at home, with my own cat walking around, I think I might feel guilty.