Far, far from Skid Row, in a make-believe land (somewhere that's green,) lives a meat-eating plant in a terra-cotta pot. Now this plant is no ordinary meat-eating plant, for it can use its powerful jaws to grab ahold of ceiling or floor and pull itself along. Use the mouse to move the plant through 15 unique levels in Feed Me, a new platform game by Nitrome.
Timed Climb is yet another simple idea made into a unique and challenging Flash game. Using only a single button for platform jumping, the objective is to reach higher platforms to 'conquer' them. Timing is everything in this game, as the name suggests, with one bad jump often ending it all. An addictive game with a novel high score system.
Jussi and Marko, Flash game developers at OOPixel, borrow a little gameplay from several classics and wrap them all together into one nicely polished and addictive game. Asteroid Adventure is an arcade action game that will be both familiar and new to anyone that has played Asteroids before.
Although you may have played similar games recently, such as Geometry Wars, Grid Wars, Rainbow Wars, and the like, this next one was very nicely done in Flash and requires no download other than the usual loading within a browser. Engaging from the second it starts, Neon is one of those rare games that just feels great to play.
Cubic Exploding Goro is nearly as strange as the name suggests. This 3D action game from Japan puts you in the shoes of Goro, a grim angular anti-hero in a violent, polygonal Shockwave-powered world. Weird, fun and, with over 24 levels and a wide variety of enemies, quite challenging.
Monster Trucks Unleashed is an impressive 2D action driving game involving huge-wheeled monster trucks (of course), unlockable levels, and upgradable trucks. From the amazing Stimunation group of European Flash game developers.
A stylish Flash Breakout clone from GameDesign, Block Kuzusi demonstrates a great deal of respect for its roots while offering just enough originality to feel fresh. It is one of the better versions Breakout I've seen online, and well worth a look.
There is more than one way to enjoy this simple but effective Flash platform game construction set. Leveraging the power of player-generated content and the Web, Block Action puts platform game level design into the hands of millions and thus offers virtually unlimited variety in ways to enjoy its gameplay.
Hit the dance floor in this foot-stomping, original new take on the connect-three puzzle genre of casual gameplay. In Disco Jungle, play as a funky blue elephant with a special ability to absorb the color of any dance floor tile and then drop it anyplace else. Use it to match three (3) or more same-color tiles, horizontally and/or vertically, to score points and clear levels.
Gamma Bros. is a deliciously slow-paced old-school space shooter created by PixelJam. It's written in flash and offers both an online version and downloadable files for the Mac and Windows. Although simple in looks and design, Gamma Bros. gives the illusion of a massive game world interspersed with moments of action and quiet space floating.
Brain Strainer is a physics-based construction kit with which the player creates a quasi-perpetual machine from a palette of objects including bumpers, kickers, conveyor belts and other contraptions. The objective is to score enough points to launch a rocket.
From David Thorburn, the fertile mind behind the enormous Teagames site, Orangutwang is a cute and original Flash-based action game. As with most of the other work available on Teagames, Orangutwang manages to blend Thorburn's remarkable physics expertise with simple and intuitive casual gameplay.
Combo! and Blockdown are two great flash puzzle games by Anders Pousette. They're remarkably simple and build upon classic puzzle gaming themes while throwing a few fresh ideas into the mix. Each comes with a public high score board to give you a chance at your 15 minutes of fame. You'll have to earn it, but with the amount of time you'll spend playing each game, odds are you won't really mind.
Chick Flick is an action game of rescuing little chicks by bouncing them on a trampoline up into the safety of their nest. It incorporates a simple and accessible gameplay mechanic that is similar to Breakout, and yet there is surprising depth to enjoy here. Excellent casual game design, as usual, from UK-based Nitrome.
An intense, fast paced game from developer f1ash, Iconien plays like an modern update to the arcade classic Missile Command. Put your basic click & drag mouse skills to the test as you defend your base from wave after wave of stubburn missiles, creepy bugs, mindless circles and powerful tanks.
With an aim to get everyone online and sending email with the click of a mouse, the British Computer Society has commissioned this cute, Flash action puzzler called Mouse Mailer, starring PC Mouse. (Apparently they don't care much about Mac users ;)
Uchuwars is a classic-style shmup with weapon power-ups and bombs. I found this shmup when I visited Babarageo for the banner game reviewed recently on JIG. The instructions are in Japanese, but it didn't take long to figure out what to do.
Babarageo STG Banner is a tiny 15 pixel tall space shooter. Most banner games have a single goal that can usually be accomplished in a few seconds. However, STG Banner introduces something a little different: rotating images with clickable hotspots. It may not sound like much, but it adds a surprising amount of strategy to an otherwise mindless game.
Akai Ryu, or Red Dragon, is a surprisingly addictive little shooter created by Jason Reinsvold and available to play on his LostVectors website. The object of the game is to stay alive as long as possible while shooting down all of the various enemies that come into play.
The enviably talented crew at Nitrome have just released their latest game and it's an ambitious effort to put it mildly. Roly Poly is a Flash action game of skill with a unique mechanic: Click and drag to tilt the play field and use gravity to roll the little hedgehog to the goal of each level, and within the time limit provided.
As anyone who's worked in an office knows, staving off boredom is your primary objective. Enter Binball Wizard, a simple flash game similar to Cyrkam Airtös. All you have to do is kick a ball into a trash bin located somewhere in the office. Control the power, height and direction of the ball and smash objects in the room. Then sit back, finish your coffee, then maybe file that TPS report when you have time.
Soccer Challenge, the latest from JP at Pepere.org, is an online flash game where you play eight different mini-games with colored soccer balls. They're all very simple and you can jump right in and start playing. Say goodbye to the next hour of your day.
A minor release from flash game developer LUT!, known for the plasticine game Tomb of Doom and the point-and-click horror games Darkness 1 & 2, Invasion of the Space Invaders from Outer Space is a little on the wacky side. You fly a disguised space ship above the streets of Earth gathering humans and evading the police. Use your mouse to toss cars and people skyward, or just devour them in your toast slots. Stay alive long enough and you'll unlock a special bonus.
Following on the success that Arseniy Shklyaev enjoyed with his two previous action puzzle games, Orbox and Orbox B, his latest game is a rather odd combination of action and puzzle elements that will challenge both sides of your brain. The objective of Warp Forest is to collect all of the keys to activate the exit, and then make it safely to the exit to advance to the next puzzle/level.
Air Support is a relentless one screen platformer with pixel perfect control. Try to stay alive as long as possible while deadly missiles fall from the sky and a parade of wicked monsters strut their stuff on the ground below. Unfortunately, every single missile is aimed directly at your head and you will need excellent reflexes to guide them to their targets without getting hit.
The talented crew at Gamesheep has just released their latest Flash game, and this one is a new take on the classic gameplay of miniature golf. Dumbolf stars a club-toting elephant that needs your help to make par on each of the game's 18 unusual and tricky holes.
Invader360 is a great little Flash based tube shooter, similar to arcade classics Tempest, Gyruss or, more recently, ABA Games' downloadable Torus Trooper. Developer f1ash brings this exotic branch of the shmup tree to life with frantic action and a minimal, well defined style.
Those shifty (har, har) 8-key critters are cruising down the screen towards you, an intrepid, er, lightbulb, as you ascend the y-axis in this evasion flash game. While 'don't touch the sprites' is a very (very very very?) common game mechanic, this is a superb execution with twists that make it less about endurance than about nerves.
Anyone who has ever attempted Sega's chaotic masterpiece Chu Chu Rocket will feel right at home with Puzzled Sheep's familiar arrow-dropping action. The cute graphics and proven concept make it a joy to play but, with only 20 levels to the demo, the fun doesn't last as long as you might like.
Ryan and Matt over at Grubby Games have a Flash version available of their award-winning downloadable game Professor Fizzwizzle, and it's now up and ready to play online in your browser. See what all the fusswussling is all about in this online version of the exceptional, award-winning Fizzwizzle puzzwuzzle game.
Another diamond in the rough of the Adult Swim games section, Fullmetal Alchemist: Iron & Flame is a Shockwave-based scrolling beat 'em up, reminiscent of arcade favorite Final Fight. Iron & Flame benefits from and is faithful to it's license, and fans of Fullmetal Alchemist will appreciate the cut scenes featuring several familiar characters, as well as attempts to place the story within continuity.
From Lightning Games and Playaholics, the Flash-based Lightning Pool brings all the accoutrements of modern electronic entertainment to the classic game of billiards. Race against the clock as you collect power-ups and coins, unlock secret levels, avoid obstacles and, of course, clear the table with style and finesse in this addictive take on pool.
Naked Melee Armageddon is one of the most aptly named online games ever created. Your simple goal is to overwhelm alien attackers by placing naked humans on the screen as fast as you can. Why everyone's naked, no one really knows, but you don't have time to sit and ponder. After just a few seconds the aliens will attack, at which point all you can do is kick back and watch the armageddon.
String Avoider is an online flash game where you slide a string through a series of mazes using your mouse. Coded by fwe and part of the Gamenet network, String Avoider has the nasty habit of being both addictive and maddeningly frustrating all at once.
Orbox B by GameBalance is a game of striking simplicity and compelling puzzle solving, and is the sequel to the original Orbox game previously reviewed here. A pure puzzle solving game with 30 levels, this one isn't the most innovative game you'll play this week, but it could very well be one of the most mind-bending.
The Fancy Pants Adventure is an gorgeously animated platform adventure game created by Brad Borne. You play a hip, hand-drawn character who, as one might have guessed, wears a very fancy pair of pants. Run and jump around levels in this beautiful and enaging Flash game.
SpaceCab is an online flash game created and hosted by Sporkle. This tough little game has you piloting a round spacecab through dangerous terrain to rescue lost miners from aliens. Navigate through tight tunnels, uncover secret pathways, and scream/curse every single time you crash. It's a jolly romp in space, bring the kids!
Nest of Moai is an online flash game that will take you exactly 90 seconds to beat. Fortunately there's a little more to it than just one run through, and with its quirky sense of humor you'll play it several times in a row.
Roboclaw is a simple game of skill that will test your dexterity of hand-eye coordination in your attempts to move a small blue sphere into a goal by controlling a 'robotic' arm. The easy-to-understand gameplay paired with a not-so-easy challenge is the perfect combination for a quick lunchtime distraction that is sure to test your skill, and your patience.
A masters in fine arts thesis project created by Jenova Chen and Nicholas Clark of the University of Southern California, flOw is a mesmerizing game of primordial life, evolution and survival. Dive deep into the wild blue to seek out and consume other organisms on your path to simple cell nirvana.
A delightful game integrating sight and sound, ARC is a game of chain-reactions and music-making that will likely go directly into your Favorites list. The elegant simplicity with which ARC blends audio and visual stimuli with interactivity is like sweets for the senses, and a refreshing change from the usual.
Available on Uminin's Flash Game Zone, home of several other previously reviewed works, the curiously named Brain Force is not very intellectual. No, Brain Force is purely an elegant exercise in agility, a beautiful example of how little is needed to make a successful twitch game.
An official Katamari Damacy mini-game is now available on Namco's Japanese website. It appears to have been designed to illustrate the main concept of the game, which is to joyfully roll the katamari over smaller objects to collect them and make the katamari bigger so that you can then roll over even larger objects. To this end it works quite well; however, the mini-game does not even come close to the fun of the original.
Pong with a pretty face. That is how I'd sum-up this gorgeous game that Rich Nelson just released on his Merciless Games website. Puff Ball is a single-player arcade action game played under the sea against a computer-controlled opponent bouncing a puff ball back and forth until a player misses.
Remember the typing game, Letters, that was reviewed here in November? Well, the author, Hannu Pelkonen, has released a very significant addition to the series: Words! Though lacking the power-ups of Letters, Words uses the same slick interface and addictive dynamic high score display that updates your rank in real-time while you play.
Blueprint is a brand new blue brainteaser similar in concept to the previously reviewed CCL Game and to the Incredible Machine series of games from as far back as 1993. The object of the game is to arrange the component parts on the play field so that when the ball is released it will hit the target.
A finalist in this year's Independent Games Festival in the Best Web Browser Game category, Dodge That Anvil is a gorgeous and adorable Shockwave 3D platformer with unique and original gameplay, created by Jake Grandchamp of Rabidlab.
Pretty Pretty Bang Bang is a simple action game of avoidance, bosses, and chain reactions. It's the pretty chain reactions that occur that gives this game its name. Very easy to pick-up and play and it can be a lot of fun once the rules are understood. Featuring the effervescent Hairdresser Corndog and Bumbershoot Evangelist. Not to be missed!
Take three (3) complementary University students, all with strong backgrounds in Flash; pour in their hearts and souls and mix well. Add a year's worth of caffeine and just a touch of obsession, and then bake for long hours and many long nights. The result is this very impressive ninja-fighting 2D side-scrolling platformer that performs as only a ninjaman can.
Award winning digital marketing agency, Kerb, was recently commissioned to produce their latest effort based on Sega's classic arcade game, Choplifter. RAF Global Rescue is an arcade action game that makes you the pilot of a Merlin helicopter on a mission to save hostages from enemy territory.
In what could possibly be seen as a game in less than desirable taste, this next one has all the glitz and polish of a real celebrity. Peerflix Paparazzi is a picture-taking advergame in which the object is to snap photos of celebrities to earn money. Yes, I know what you're thinking, but play along, hmm?
Megatons of action packed into a tight little Flash package that features appealing graphics and effects, and a dynamite soundtrack. Combat Heaven is an insanely great shooter with periods of non-stop over-the-top action that is intense and gratifying. Amazing fun awaits just beyond the learning curve.
Triglav is a single-player action RPG for IE browsers in which the object is to make it to the top of Triglav Tower, which is 50 floors high. It is an exquisitely detailed effort by SmokymonkeyS and composed in DHTML. Overall the game is an amazing accomplishment, and is truly one of the finest browser-based games I have ever seen.
The latest and, in my opinion, greatest of the Ball Revamped series has been released. John has returned to the original stationary playing field from his previous scrolling version in both parts of III, and added plenty of new obstacles and power-ups in 100 new levels to keep you satisfied for a good half an hour or so.
To be filed under the "simple but highly addictive" category is this latest game by Max Abernethy of flecko.net. Simplistic but challenging is Cubefield, a strangely beautiful dodge-the-obstacles type of game. The author of this 3D Flash game even offers an explanation of the technology behind it for those interested.
From South Korea comes this stylized side-scrolling shooter that features over-the-top action and two (2) playable characters, Happy & Smile, a bunny and a cat. But don't let their cartoonish good looks fool you: these cute and adorable animals pack a mean punch, carry lethal weapons, and have fearsome special attacks that will fry any enemy to a crisp.
Yard Invaders is a Shockwave action arcade game similar to Space Invaders, and yet with some unique gameplay twists. The game features RobotDuck's characteristic child-like hand-drawn graphics and animation, and yet it is packed with gameplay that is surprisingly refined for the game's appearance.
Swoop-to-Nuts is a side-scrolling action game in which you control a flying squirrel gathering nuts for the long cold winter. Dive to gain speed and lift to fly higher. Gathering nuts earns both points and energy to keep you flying through all four seasons.
Robobug Blaster is a gorgeous platform shooter with an unusal vertical orientation. The object of the game is to protect the cargo boxes, as they travel from top to bottom along the conveyor belts, from the cargo-hungry robobugs. The robobugs will latch onto a box and damage it quickly, so fast action is required to navigate the entire system and keep the path clear.
You might know XGen Studios as the makers of Fishy, Motherload, Stick RPG and Defend Your Castle. Well, they have created another excellent Flash game, only this time it is a top-down shooter and features over-the-top multiplayer melee action in any browser. In Stick Arena, you take the role of a stick figure aiming to kill everyone else in sight to elevate yourself within the ranks.
Gold Well is an action arcade game in which the object is to clear, or "exploit", each well of all its gold by 'eating' it Pacman-style with a special machine designed for the task: Think Pacman on a string and you'll be close to describing the gameplay mechanic in this one.
From Romania comes Manole, a simple little Flash game in which you try to fly as far as you can by clicking the mouse to flap your wings. Wing flapping burns energy, and once you're out of energy your flight is over.
Hot Air is a delightful action game with irresistible pixel graphics reminiscent of an old-school Mario game. Navigate a hot air balloon from its green starting platform to the red landing platform within each level. To succeed you will need to maneuver around obstacles and onto platforms, collecting keys to open gates while avoiding just about everything that will make the balloon pop. Much easier said than done.
Snowman Salvage is a fast-action Flash game in which you are tasked with maintaining a number of snowmen against increasingly heavy odds for 30 seconds. Later levels introduce hazards, such as snow plows and campfires, and eventually alien abductors. An upgrade system between levels allows the player to influence variables that affect game play.
The modest and lackluster appearance of this game hides well the exceptional gameplay beneath its surface. And yet with the very first serve across the net, one can immediately tell this is no retro game of Pong. Challenging and exciting, this is the latest game by the very talented Taro Ito of GameDesign in Japan. Arigatoo gozaimasu!
In a plea to save the whales, Greenpeace has posted this cute and delightful Flash game on its website for the world to play. Whale-Flip! puts you in control of two (2) different whales on a cooperative mission to rid the waters of the nasty polluting submarines.
Drifts is a Flash action game based on a very simple idea: collect the green bubbles while avoiding the purple ones. And yet the simplicity of the game is deceiving: underneath the surface lurks a challenge that is difficult to master. It's an exceptionally well-designed casual game that is fun to play.
Bugs is a gorgeous and enjoyable addition to Ferry Halim's Orisinal site, a sublime collection of casual Web games made in Flash, and it fits in perfectly with the others. Send bugs flying simply by jumping up and down. The game offers light-hearted gameplay that will tickle your funny bone with delight.
Pixel Field is an action strategy game that shines from its intuitive gameplay, immersive physics, soothing soundtrack, and excellent replay value. The red base that dangles and stretches as it is moved around each level creates an immersing sensation in which you can almost feel the physics in the game. Another brilliant game from Tonypa.
Winter Tales is a classic game of construct-a-path using the pieces given and all within a time limit. I have seen games like this use pipes and others use train tracks. In this case, you are laying tracks in the snow for a jolly snowman on cross-country skis, go figure.
Letters 2 includes everything that made the first version great, plus it adds power-ups and an expanded high scores table to the mix. The result is an even better game, one that can help you be more productive while at the same time having some fun.
This action puzzle game uses physics as the basis for its gameplay. There is a package that must get to the exit of each level. In construction set style, utilize a palette of contraptions to build a system that moves the package to its final destination.
Klax 3D is an action strategy game in which the object is to catch colored tiles as they fall off a conveyor belt and stack them into horizontal, vertical, and diagonal rows. A fun an addictive casual game that has been around a few years, this Flash version is actually an adaptation of a classic Atari arcade game from 1989, also called Klax.
Balls and Walls is an absolutely fantastic game designed for the equally brilliant British band Athlete by Mortalbug and Quiet Phil. The game is extremely simplistic and very easy to get the hang of as soon as you start playing. Multiplayer mode is where the game's real beauty lies.
Si et JP of Pepere.org sends word of his brand new game, Ringmania. A new take on a Puzzle Bobble clone, the object of the game is to clear the play field of all rings by connecting three (3) or more rings of the same color to make them "explode."
From Robotduck comes this delightfully original and fiendishly challenging platformer with a sweet Halloween theme. Run and jump around platforms while avoiding enemies to grab all the candy on each level. And since Villiam is a vampire, he can turn into a bat and fly for a short duration, except that he needs candy to fuel his flight.
Deanimator is an elegantly simple, gorgeous and gruesome shooter that was inspired by one of H. P. Lovecraft's short stories, Herbert West: Reanimator, which is the gruesome tale of an eccentric young doctor with a penchant for experiments that involve reanimating the dead. If you have the stomach for survival horror, don't miss this one.
Soul Master is a decent game and one that fits with the current Halloween theme. The object of the game is to free enough souls within the time limit to make it to the next hell (level). There are ten (10) hells to complete, each requiring more souls to advance than the previous one.
Hellydrop is an action arcade game in which you have but one chance to fly the helicopter as far as you can. Avoid terrain, lightning bolts, and those ominous evil winged creatures lurking in the sky. The one-button game uses the mouse button only. Click to take-off, and then keep clicking to fly.
In Translymania, you play as a cute little vampire whom is trying to get some rest. Unfortunately for you, those pesky villagers are up to their antics again and have invaded your castle. They are milling about everywhere and disturbing your sleep. Use your vamptastic powers to turn them all into the undead, and return to your coffin before sunrise.
A recent addition to David Thorburn's Teagames.com website, Zombie Romp is a 2D side-scrolling melee shooter the likes of which are beyond this world. The object of this simple shooter is to stay alive by shooting zillions of zombies and battling a battalion of bats.
Hosted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) as part of the Game On initiative, Kelman to the Rescue was a previous winner of the "Best Game" category at the Flash-in-the-Can festival, held each year in Toronto.
As far as casual game design is concerned, I find much to celebrate about Gas Games. All of the games on the site have been created with a consistent appearance and style, and many of them feature gameplay that is unique and addictive. A few of my favorites are Fulfillment, Gravity, and Centrifuge.
Panda Fruit Bounce (original name is "Boong Boong Panda") is an action arcade game that is a variant of Breakout. Its object is to collect the indicated quantities of fruit by bouncing a panda bear around the play field. The Korean developed casual game is both gorgeous and full of charm, and is a joy to play for gamers of all ages.
Sporting stylized graphics and an infectious soundtrack, GunRun delivers the goods with flair in classic arcade action style. This beautiful 2D side-scrolling shooter was created in Flash by Felix Reidl of Germany.
This next game offers fun via the buying and selling of houses on a rapidly changing real estate market. Mansion Impossible is an action strategy Flash game in which the object is to make enough money to buy the millionaire's mansion and end the game, all within the quickest time possible.
An fantastic Flash shoooter with fast action and stunning visuals, ShoOot is the certainly one of the greatest and most addictive games from the house of Tonypa. Borrowing an element of gameplay from Pang and Duo, the veteran casual game developer serves up an accessible and immediately gratifying experience using Web-efficient stylized graphics.
An action puzzle Flash game played by using only knight moves from the game of Chess, Troyis is a simple yet challenging casual Web game for people of all ages. The objective is simple: fill all of the white squares of each level by landing on them with the knight.
This next game is inherently gratifying to play, and it just feels good even though it's very short. Mr. Figgles is an action arcade game in which the object is simply to collect all the stars on the play field, within the time limit, while avoiding any traps and enemies.
Bania Kururin is a wonderful Japanese action game in which you play as an anime-style cat-girl character with a rocket-pack on her back. The author of the game has kidnapped your little cat-friend and plans to eat him, so you must rescue him by collecting stars. Tricky at first to control, and yet very gratifying once you get the hang of it.
You are a fish dropped into a fish tank. Your job is to eat any fish that are smaller than you, which makes you grow. As you grow, you can therefore eat larger fish. Become king of this tiny sea world food chain.
Infect is an action arcade game in which you play a virus. Your mission is to survive by infecting red blood cells while avoiding white blood cells and antibiotics.
Anyone familiar with Ferry Halim's Orisinal collection of games will immediately recognize his characteristic style of art in the image to the right. Those who are not yet familiar are in for a treat: These playful pups are the main characters in his latest Flash game.
Kill Time is a short and cute Flash game in which you must keep the mouse cursor from being caught by the little guy. There is a variety of methods he will employ to grab it from you, and most of them are quite amusing. This one might not keep you busy for long, but it's a unique little game worthy of a few minutes of your time.
Next up is another great little mini-game from GlobZ that offers addictive gameplay with the press of only a single button. Rotobo is a top-down platformer where the object is to find and land on a green ore block hidden in each level through a succession of jumps.
When each level...
Raiden X is an excellent Flash shooter game that is a lot of fun to play, though it was a bit easy for me to complete on Normal difficulty. The trick is in the power-ups, which are many. Tons of enemies and larger boss-types in this game. Excellent Flash work by a talented, young (age 13!) game developer.
Just when you thought you had mastered the art of waddling back and forth in a straight line across the screen using only one button, the folks at GlobZ release 40 new and more difficult levels for you to waddle through. Truly for the hardcore and not for anyone who gets annoyed when frustrated by a game. Level 37 is a killer. Consider yourself warned.
A recreation of a WarioWare for GBA mini-game, this lightweight Flash game is good fun for a short diversion. Pyoro is an action arcade game in which the object is to avoid the falling plants by eating them using a very long tongue.
The very talented guys at Square Circle Co., Chris "iopred" Rhodes and Chris "DayDream" Hildebrand, have just released their third Heli Attack game, and it's available exclusively at Miniclip.com.
This action arcade Shockwave game is a cross between Breakout and Space Invaders: Throw a bouncing ball around and knock the space invaders from the sky before they advance. Another uniquely enjoyable arcade game from Yoshio Ishii.