Let us guess. You're new around here. You stumble in, bleary-eyed and confused, reeking of desperation from trying to ring a worthwhile result out of "good flash games" on your search engine of choice. You've stuck around because you love the daily content, but you've failed to crack open the archives. Or maybe you've been around for a while; you know the drill, you've posted a walkthrough or a helpful comment or two, and we no longer have to hide the fact that we don't know your name by awkwardly covering it with a cough when we bump into you at the water cooler. But you've still missed out on a lot, because, let's face it, six years of JIG is a lot of awesome for anyone to keep track of.
Whatever the case, welcome to our newest feature, The Vault, designed to highlight the vintage casual titles of yesteryear you may have missed or should renew your acquaintance with. Each week we'll bring you a handful of our favourite games that may be a little long in the tooth (at least as far as the attention span of the internet goes) but definitely deserve to be taken down off the shelf and enjoyed.
- The Asylum - Part puzzle, part narrative, this classic from 2004 centering around traumatized toys who need your help to unravel their pasts by delving into their psyches. There are five patients who need you to figure out how to reach them, and while some of their issues may seem silly, the game is surprisingly touching in places and uses almost no dialogue at all to tell a story. It also has the distinction of being the first game I played on this site, and one of the only flash games to ever make me tear up. (No, you're a big baby! I'M TELLING.) I hadn't thought about it in a few years, but once I saw it again, I wondered how I'd ever forgotten it. Highly recommended.
- Nanaca Crash - Chances are, if you're a fan of launch games, you already know about this gem from 2005. If not, prepare to be amazed. And bewildered. Mostly... bewildered. Centering around using a bicycle driven by an exciteable teenage girl to violently slam into an unsuspecting lad and send him hurtling into the air, the goal is simply to make him fly as far as possible using power-ups and a cast of other anime characters along the way. It has nine different characters to "interact" with, and doesn't make a whole lot of sense, which means Nanaca Crash is one of those sneaky "one more time" titles that can potentially devour your entire afternoon if you let it. Don't believe us? Ask any older siblings who might happen to be casual gaming fans. Their haunted stares and twitching fingers should be answer enough.
- The Dark Room - Friend, how's your gray matter today? Feel up to a little puzzle-solving with minimal instruction? Then might we recommend this fine title from Jonathan May? Trapped inside a small dark cube, all you have are your wits, your mouse, and the strange spots on every visible surface that seem to react to touch. If you want out, you're going to have to figure out what, exactly, you're required to do. At the time, The Dark Room seemed like an incredibly impressive achievement for its 3D-in-Flash visual style and sink-or-swim approach to gameplay... and it still does seem like one, frankly. Not only is it visually striking, it's filled with great "Woooooooow" moments of epiphany that makes this a classic example of puzzle done right with a load of style to boot.
While we welcome any comments about this new weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!