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Friday Flash: Proximity, Orbit, Double Wires

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Let's mix it up a bit, shall we?

It's Friday. You probably already know that. This is Friday Flash. I'm sure you know that, too- it's in the title of the page, after all. Perhaps you're even a fan, and have worked your way through the entire list of already-posted games. Or perhaps not, in which case a little explanation is in order.

Every Friday, I list three or more games, but usually three. So far they all require the Adobe Flash Player. I'm not ruling out the possibility of Java or Shockwave games at some point in the future, but this is Friday Flash, not Saturday Shockwave.

As always, I've tested each game on both Mac and Windows, and I'll let you know whether the games feature sound.

ProximityFirst up, a delightful treasure called Proximity. I say "delightful" because I find myself playing it a lot. I load it up when I'm waiting for something to finish running, and finish a game. Even today: I pull it up to get a screenshot, and then get almost to the end of a game before I remember to take the screenshot. Oh well, might as well finish. I pull it up again because I forgot to note if there are sound effects, and find myself playing a game! It's been several weeks since I started playing this, and — for me, at least — it doesn't seem to get old.

It's a series of hexagons, laid out in a grid, wargame-style. You're given a marker with a random number between one and twenty. Lay it down on an empty space, and you own that space. If there are markers on any of the surrounding six spaces, things happen. If the marker belongs to you, its "strength" increases by a point. If the market belongs to your opponent, lower-numbered markers become yours, while higher-numbered markers remain impervious to your charms.

It's actually easier to play than to explain, so I recommend hitting the Quick Play button and jumping right in! At the default settings, I've never lost. You can tweak the settings to make things more difficult, or even make it a two-player game. I set both players to be the computer, playing at "expert" level, and learned some things by watching.

There are low-toned beeps on every move, and a fanfare at the end of the game.

OrbitFor a change of pace when you need a break from the action down on the fake ground, head into fake space with Orbit. Your goal is to keep the comet from becoming a flaming "shooting star" by directing it to miss the planets on the screen. You've got a timer, so can you pick an orbit that doesn't lead to collision?

It starts off easy on level one. One planet, that should be easy to avoid, right? You pick the initial location and trajectory for your comet, and then watch as the timer ticks down and gravity works on your comet. It's a two-stage timer, but you only need to "survive" for the first stage to "level up." If you survive long enough for both timers to run down, you get to skip a level. Level two features two planets of different masses, complicating the gravity calculations. Level three features three. Do you see the pattern?

Sometimes you can pick an orbit that seems like it will last forever. Two large planets, placed just so, and you can sneak between them. Other times, not so much. By the time you get a scattering of eight or nine planets on the screen, well, it's a wonder comets make it through our solar system at all.

There is sound from the moment the game first loads: bouncing effects, orbiting effects, level-ending effects, and more.

Double WiresThere are several similar games that I've seen, but I love the simplicity of Double Wires. There's an oddly loose-limbed person who need to get from left to right, and he has the ability to shoot webs from his hands like Spider-man. Sorry, not "webs" — wires! The wires don't reach very far, and they don't last very long, but you can fire two of them and swing on both. It take some concentration to get very far.

I keep blowing it shortly before hitting 200 yards, which seems to be an odd measurement. Must be a metric thing. Maybe "YD" means something else in Japan?

There's no sound at all, which I think is nice. I found it helpful to change the Flash quality from "High" to "Low" on my circa-2002 iMac, because things didn't seem to respond to my clicking quickly enough otherwise. The graphics are very simple, so the switch in quality is unnoticeable. My 1.4GHz Windows machine had no real trouble, though it seemed to play slightly better at "Low" as well.

That's it for this week. All three of these games can be slightly addicting, so be careful to keep an eye on the clock!

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About pwinn

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Ken Edwards

    Phillip, I get a 403 error on Double Wires. The only way I know that (since it is all in Japanes) is because the file name is 403.html.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    403 is a sacred Japanse number, which means a winner is you.

    But I found the page on which the game resides.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    That’s weird. I tested it when first published, so they apparently moved the game. Thanks to Suss for the blog link!

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    See, I updated the URL in the article, and then had to play a game of Proximity. What an addicting pleasure!