Two things sprung to mind while taking in the disappointing news that Apple’s new iPad will not support Adobe’s Flash. One of them was obviously the 1980 movie Flash Gordon starring one of my favorite actors Brian Blessed, or more precisely the film’s title score by Queen. The other was a reminder of a time when I used to while away the hours waiting for a computer to load its base software or a server to build by playing a multitude of online flash games.
Flash Games are a Blast
Rather than discuss the movie (“Gordon’s alive?” – classic), I thought I might share a few of my favorite ten minute time-wasters. They’re listed roughly in how many hours I’ve wasted on them so I start my list with Blast Billiards from Mousebreaker Games. Free to play online but with some games available for download and offline play, the game appears deceptively simple being a variation on billiards, snooker or pool.
Players are presented with a familiar table where the power of a shot is determined by how long you keep the left mouse button pressed down and the angle by the direction of the mouse pointer. But each level is timed. And if you accidentally pot the white ball it’s game over. Most levels also include dynamite or bomb obstacles too, touch them with any of the balls and it’s also game over. Not rocket science but frustrating and highly addictive, I’ve wasted a whole portion of my life trying to get on the high score board. Players can register or login as a guest.
Numeric Brain Melt
Requiring slightly more brain power, well actually A LOT more brain power, is the daily Sudoku offering from Miniclip. When the Sudoku craze first hit I really couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. Who has the time to methodically solve a complicated-looking number grid puzzle. Not me, that’s for sure. But as I started to see more people with puzzles in their hands and pencils poised for head scratching and error correction, curiosity got the better of me and before too long I was hooked. Miniclip doesn’t require any registration or login, just load and play by first clicking on the number and then clicking to place it in the grid square of choice.
Horrific Zombie Madness
I have always loved horror movies but have never been particularly scared by zombies. Slow moving, twitchy and smelly with a fondness for entrails or brains but not especially frightening. When a game comes along that further ridicules the walking dead, I’m in. Plants vs Zombies from Popcap but available online via Zylom is just such a game. The aim of the game is to plant enough zombie-hating vegetation to protect your house from an ever increasing apocalyptic onslaught from the undead. You’ll also need catch some sunlight to bolster up your defenses quickly, for which you’ll need a crop of sunflowers. It’s not particularly difficult but it’s unique and engaging enough (watch the trailer) to fill the odd few minutes you may have going spare.
Some Puzzling Escapism
Next up is a collection of games as I simply can’t make a top choice. Not so long ago escaping from a room by solving some (often very) cryptic clues swept across the web and my laptop wasn’t going to be left out. I found a good selection on Escape The Room Games, which vary in difficulty and game length but most, if not all, are brain-numbingly challenging.
Kill! Kill! Kill!
Harmless shoot ’em ups don’t come much stranger than Friendly Fire. First you need to select the amount of gore you want to experience and then your skill level. Then it’s a shoot-the-cute-but-bloodthirsty-animals-as-quickly-as-you-can kind of affair. It’s a platform game in which you play a gun-toting, monocle-and-hat-wearing sharp shooter with a moustache who has to walk and jump around killing the cuties before they kill you. Weapon upgrade possibilities keep things interesting and it’s great fun.
As you can probably tell, I’m not a serious, shoot everything in sight, full-time gamer at heart but do enjoy the odd web-based distraction from time to time. There are literally millions of flash games to play online so am I missing any must-play classics? Do you have any recommendations you’d like to share?