5 Flash Games You Should (Have) Play(ed)
It’s 2021. We have now entered a post-Flash age. Your mileage will vary if you go searching for them now depending on your browser, persistence, and current version of Flash. Though Internet libraries such as the Flash Game Archive and BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint have preserved a collection of them, you’ll be hard pressed to find them in the way you were used to.
Flash games were an important part of my life as a latch key kid looking for free new games to play online. In their honor, I have compiled a list of my definitive Top 5 Flash games, in no particular order, that you should (try to) play and absolutely remember.
1. Line Rider
Just a man, a sled, and a pen. When it comes to simple mechanics and endless possibilities, Line Rider holds the crown easily. What sprung forth from this small physics-based Flash game was a highly imaginative, death-defying, pain-staking crowd of artists that engineered entire worlds that impress us to this day.
Line Rider is still available as a browser-based game here. The original Flash game is also available on Flash Game Archive and Flashpoint.
2. Platform Racing 2
Before Mario Maker and LittleBigPlanet, there was Platform Racing 2. An innocuous and on-the-nose sequel for a game that did as expected–platforming and racing. However, online multiplayer, hat-collecting, items, and a very accessible level editor turned this game into its own community in the Flash game space. I spent unknown dozens of hours creating new game modes and difficult challenges alongside a talented spread of gamers-turned-designers.
Platform Racing 2 is not available on any alternative outlet at the moment. This may be due to its online infrastructure being tethered to Flash.
Is there a millennial on earth that doesn’t know about Neopets? An early pet simulator internet darling turned media franchise, Neopets was everywhere in the early 2000s. McDonald’s toy deals, video games, and promotional tie-ins out the wazoo came from this site. The website was a place for children of all ages to begin their internet journeys, including Flash games of every genre.
While Neopets messaging has promised that the bulk of their content will be migrated into a Flash-less format in the future, at the time of this writing it has not yet happened. Lucky for us, virtually the entire library of Flash games are available on Flashpoint.
4. Bloons Tower Defense (series)
Must. Pop. Bloons. I don’t think it’d be a huge leap to say that a substantial amount of e-kids learned about the tower defense genre from Ninja Kiwi’s Bloons Tower Defense. Defend your base from the encroaching horde of latex by building monkeys, boomerang monkeys, and air raid assault monkeys. Unlike many other Flash games, the Bloons TD series has made an effective transition into mobile and tablet based games and has collaborations with the likes of Adventure Time.
Bloons Tower Defense 3 to 5 are available on Flash Game Archive. Bloons Tower Defense 2 to 5 are available on Flashpoint. Bloons Tower Defense 5 and onward are available on the Google Play Store. Bloons Tower Defense 1, 4, and 5 onward are available on the App Store.
5. Meat Boy
Meat Boy is the Mario of the 2000s. There, I said it. When it comes to sheer platforming prowess, this bloody Flash game had the guts to leap past what we were all used to. Sliding, wall-jumping, deft mid-air dodges made you feel fast and dangerous. Your failures made you get good satisfyingly fast. Team Meat capitalized on their success and created hit after hit, becoming indie juggernauts with Super Meat Boy and now Super Meat Boy Forever.
The original Flash version of Meat Boy is available on Flash Game Archive and Flashpoint.