This is Friday. This is Friday Flash Games.
Every* Friday, I present three or more browser-based games, all of which depend on the Adobe Flash Player and your web browser. Sticking strictly to Flash games means that all games should work on Mac, Windows, Linux, and any other operating system that supports Flash — but not the iPhone. I note whether each game has music or sound, so you can decide which to play during "quiet time."
Long-time followers of this column — or people who've checked the archives — will note that I have missed two weeks. I'm sorry, and I will try to make it up to you. I included nine games (nine!) in my last column, so I hope that bought me a little leeway. Still, I'll include nine — no, twelve! — today to help ease the pain. Okay? Forgive me now?
Twelve? What was I thinking? We'll start with a trio of puzzle games, to slow you down.
The object of Nodes is to light up all the blue balls on each level, turning them red. You've got laser "chains" that you can arrange by grabbing the nodes (aha!) at each end and dragging them around. Sometimes you'll wonder how to arrange the limited number of laser segments to light up all the balls at once, but that's the challenge!
There are tricky nodes: some can't be moved. All the nodes are connected, making arrangements... interesting. Sometimes the balls appear to line up along one line, but careful consideration will reveal that they actually line up along another line. And if you don't find the "Medium" difficulty setting challenging enough, try "Hard," which has a 60-second countdown timer on each level.
The games has poor sound control. There are sounds as the game loads, and music at the menu. Once you've actually started the game, you can hit "Mute," but that only mutes the music, not the sound effects. The music returns once you return to the menu, too.
"Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage." That Smashing Pumpkins lyric, sung by Bono in one of the several U2 concerts I have on DVD, keeps floating through my mind as I play Ratmaze 2. Not to put too fine a point on it, you're a rat. You can choose whether to be a white rat — which makes sense, given the maze — or a gray rat — think of Ratatouille. Your goal is to run the maze (you can choose "Original" or "New") and collect 54 pieces of cheese before the time runs out. It's hard. It makes me want to get out a piece of graph paper and make liberal use of the pause key (the space bar) to map it out, including cheese locations.