Classic style arcade gameplay recreated in Flash, SwfRoads is an absolutely brilliant fast action driving game with simple controls, great minimalist visuals and an energizing soundtrack. Take to the sky in your spacecraft and navigate the geometric terrain of each of the game's 18 selectable roads.
Plasma Worm is a free (until September 15th) downloadable arcade action game for Windows, and it is an evolution of the traditional snake-eats-the-pellet games that have existed since time began. The game pays homage to Douglas Adams, and the storyline (such as it is) involves the piloting of a plasma worm through a tank within the Improbability Drive, eating stray probabilities that could gum up the engine.
Skatefall is John Freeborn's tribute to one of the earliest platformers, the Atari 2600's Pitfall! With a bodacious new skateboard, online scoreboard, bonus items and powerups, 2D platforming has a new name: Skatefall Harry. As a homage, Skatefall is extremely effective and faithful; the graphics and sound are perfect and the difficulty, while formidable, is appropriate.
Ray-Hound is a simple, well executed downloadable Windows shmup with a creative twist that sets it apart from other indie or commercial releases. Like Ohkubo's previous game, Warning Forever, Ray-Hound is a tiny download and absolutely free.
Bullet Bill is a fan-made side-scrolling action game that borrows a couple of characters from the Super Mario Bros. games. The gameplay is pretty standard for a side-scroller. Use the arrow keys to navigate while trying to hit the breakable blocks, Goombas, and even occasional Mario or Luigi. The challenge is to avoid the green platforms that you may remember jumping on from the original SMB games.
Four Second Fury has been around a few months, and now a sequel to that game has just been released, called Four Second Frenzy. While both games feature the same fast-paced action and gameplay, the sequel offers even more mini-games than the original (50 total).
Lacking any sort of plot, Four Second Fury launches the player into a series of 20 randomly selected, four-second mini-games ranging from simple dodging games to "Simon says" type games. It doesn't try to be anything more than that: just a simple, quick Flash game when you have a few minutes to kill. And don't expect it to last longer than that.
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.
Up next is a great pair of Java shmups (shoot-em-ups). Both are simple and small, and yet each offers an unusual idea; there are no run-of-the-mill 1942 or Gradius clones here. The miniscule Fuzetsu was Jos Hirth's entry in the Java 4k competition, and HIZ's Lash is a shmup with a defensive twist.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rainbow Wars is a retro-style arcade shooter available as a free download for Windows, and it is one of those rare finds that becomes an instant favorite once you see it in action. Sporting similar controls to that of the classic Robotron, in which two joysticks are used to control movement and firing separately, this game captures the essence of a classic arcade experience in a well-developed albeit small package.
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.
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.
Warning Forever is a downloadable 2D shooter written by Hikoza Ohkubo of Hikware software. You pilot a tiny green ship with a single versatile weapon and must face off against a constant stream of bosses. No stages, no obstacles, no power-ups, just epic fights with massive enemy ships. And the surprising thing is they learn from your patterns and fight back. Yikes.
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.
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.
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.
With apologies to those on Macs and non-PC computers, I simply had to follow-up the jaw-dropping visuals of Triglav with another creation by the same team. In fact, it was this captivating clone of classic Breakout gameplay that led me to the SmokymonkeyS site to begin with.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Let Swarm take you back to the golden days of classic arcade shooters with this fast-paced and addictive DHTML action game from Brent Silby. Like its name implies, bugs swarm onto the play field single-file, as in the classic arcade game Galaga, and begin infecting solar cells. Protect the cells by shooting the bugs to kill them off. You may also shoot the cells to disinfect them and earn additional points.
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.
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.
Poom! is an action arcade game in which the objective is to bounce a ball, for as long as possible, on a randomly generated platform. The tricky part is the platform, as it randomly changes each time the ball bounces on it. It may even be composed of several missing tiles that the ball will fall through. If the ball falls through or misses the platform completely, the game is over.
Created by Hans Oxmond and Thomas Poulsen of Oxmond Interactive in the Denmark, Bumperball is an action arcade game where you can play against the computer, or against a friend or co-worker using the same keyboard.
If your things is playing alone against the computer, then your controls are the arrow...
Uminin strikes once more with this gorgeous Flash shmup from his Flash Game Zone website, titled: Floatin' Assault. Well, that's not exactly the way he spells it, and yet I am sure that is what he means. =)
Floatin' Assault offers two different fighter types to choose from: Heavy and Standard....
Bloc Media is responsible for the latest Club 404 diversion on Sony's Playstation UK website: an amazing Flash shooter that is packed with fun and gameplay to boot. And you're in for a real treat, because just a peek under the hood of this little shmup reveals a stash of pleasant...
UK vacuum sweeper manufacturer, Dyson, has just released a new Flash game to promote their brand new line of cleaners. Similar in quality to their Telescope game previously highlighted here, The Ball Game is an action arcade game in which the player guides a yellow ball to the goal in...
A remake of 2004's Penguin tossing games, Nanaca Crash adds depth to the original by featuring nine (9) different characters that affect game play in unique ways. There is a lot of fun packed into this deceptively simple looking game, including summoning, combos, special abilities, and some very nice graphic effects.
Jumping right into some addictive gameplay after finals is just what I need to escape from all the stress and pressure. I want something fast with lots of action and adrenaline, lots of explosions and particle effects, and a rocking soundtrack.
Brent Silby's DNA delivers on all of these fronts. The...
The über-talented Preloaded folks have done it again and released another Flash game to promote their own skillz, and this one does a fine job of showing off the Flash magic they are capable of. Heart Attack is an arcade action shooter in which you play as Cupid trying to save the love from the darkside by shooting arrows at little devils and other assorted gremlins.
I was playing Christian's games all weekend before I realized they were written in Java. Very nice. Not that Java isn't a capable language to write cool little games like this, it's just that the graphics in Christian's games look hand-drawn, a characteristic that I've come to associate more with...
Arguably one of the greatest video games of all time, and certainly one of the classics, Asteroids was released to the arcades by Atari in 1979. Twenty-five years later the game is still captivating gamers with its gameplay and its physics.
But Belter is better.
From creator Russ Duckworth's Truantduck Games comes...
It's always a happy day when discovering that Ferry Halim has released a new addition to his Orisinal line of fine Flash games. Just like Grandma's delicate china reserved for those very special guests, Orisinal games offer game play experiences for discriminating tastes.
A Daily Cup of Tea is his latest...
Oh My God! The Bugs are Coming! is quite a large name for such a small Flash game, and yet the name fits the theme of this game well. Created by Tonypa, this game features lots of creepy crawlers that move across the screen with uncomfortable realism. The objective is to avoid the bugs altogether for as long as you possibly can. Once a bug bursts your bubble, the game is over.
Panzo the Panda bear got more than he bargained for in this Shockwave remake of Pang from Japan. Geru Geru Panic roughly translates to Gel Gel Panic, a reference no doubt to the gelatinous goo that the aliens appear to be made of. Although it may seem odd, you don't need to speak Japanese to enjoy the amazing good times packed into this little gem.
Barbados is a Shockwave action arcade game with instantly familiar gameplay. The objective of the game is to collect all of the dots by moving your ship around the concentric circles of the play field while avoiding the enemy. Easier than it sounds. Great arcade fun wrapped in a tight little package.
A Worm's Life redefines the classic game of Snake and turns it into a fresh new experience. The game features an array of elements that change-up the gameplay formula of the simple arcade game and transforms it into even more addictive, fast action fun.
While on the topic of Snake, here is a variation of the game for all those who believe snakes should appear, and move in paths, with round edges.
Brent Silby has created one of the coolest arcade games I have played in a very long time. Think retro-cool as in Galaga, Defender, Centipede and Robotron, and you'll be close to what the action is like in surely one of his best games to date. Replicator captures the essence of arcade action fun and delivers it lovingly in a browser window.
Swinger is an odd little arcade-style Flash game that offers familiar "clear the board while avoiding the enemies" gameplay in a unique style all its own.
Created by Mark Arenz of Ridiculopathy.com, the object of the game is to swing the bar from post to post to clear all the colored dots from each level—some colors require more than one vis...
It's a cute parking game with a unique twist that is sure to get people of both genders involved playing. There are three different parking scenarios of increasing difficulty, and you are given 60 seconds in which to complete parking your vehicle. Press the [Z] key on the keyboard to begin, then use the arrow keys for steering the wheel left and right, and for moving forward and back. And yes, the guys are better at parking cars. Is that surprising?
PelPets move according to set rules that you may influence only by altering the structure of the ladder within their path. Guide your little yellow PelPet down the ladder to collect coins, pearls, gems, hammers and other power-ups along the way. Avoid other colored PelPets that are working their way up the structure to thwart your advancement and end your game.
This pair of Flash games, hosted on Nobelprize.org, teaches you about the physics of liquid crystals while playing.
Crystallite is an action puzzle game, similar to Tetris, where you position the falling blocks by rotating them before fitting them in their place. Use the right and left arrow keys to position the blocks, and the up and down arrows ...
The classic game of Qix, released by Taito in the arcades back in 1981, and brilliantly reproduced in Flash by Drunk Men Work Here. The objective is to claim portions of the play field by drawing Stix, or block areas, with the cursor marker. This Flash version of the classic game is very close to the original design and captures the essence of the game well.
Tontie is a remarkably accessible and addictive action game from On of Eyezmaze. This now classic Web game uses the numeric keypad for hammering enemies whack-a-mole style as they pop-up on the grid. Some enemies require more than one hit, others require hits with precision timing. Numerous power-ups and special features give its gameplay surprising depth.
Swivel Sweep is a unique and original concept Shockwave game by veteran Japanese game designer, Yoshio Ishii. The game features a top down view of a play field that swivels by moving the mouse around it. The object is to bounce the ball around, inside the play field, to hit and knock out all of the squares in each level.
XGen Studios is behind this Flash game that is reminiscent of the old-school arcade games Dig Dug and Boulder Dash. Hired to mine the dangerous planet of Mars, you are given a robotic mining pod and sent off on a mission to bring home the Motherload, a fabled cache of rare and valuable minerals. Dig far below the surface of the Earth to earn money for upgrades and find treasure.
The Grrr Game puts you in control of a white rabbit, on a quest for carrots, using the arrow keys to move around the isometric pseudo 3D environment. Landing next to any hateful object will cause the rabbit to whip out his gargantuan hammer and whack the smithereen stars out of it, and thus turning it into a lovely object of affection.
Borag Thungg, Earthlets! From the UK's 2000AD comics comes this Flash game of Thrill-sucker culling using the Rigelian fireballs of Tharg the Mighty, 2000AD's alien editor and resident galactic spokesman. Thrill-suckers threaten to remove all the excitement and fun from the world leaving only the dull and boring, and it's up to you to help Tharg in his quest.
PixelHugger in the Field of Typography is about defeating the evil Auntie Alias who has mesmerized the Typographic World with her ultra-smooth ways. As a result, many perfectly good pixels lie abandoned in the Field of Typography, and your mission is to rescue as many as you can.
Alien Hominid is a fast-paced 2D side-scroller in which players must run, jump and shoot their way across the globe in pursuit of the alien's coveted UFO. Also sporting 2-player madness, this game is a truly original title with outstanding hand drawn cel-shaded graphics and animation.
Tontie deserves its own entry—and this way I can also add it to the "Recommended" section in the side bar. Posted a while back with the magnificient Grow game by Eyezmaze, Tontie is simply one of the most accessible, fun-to-play and challenging Flash games I've seen. Anyone with a numeric keypad can play: Just follow the on-screen instruction...
While on the subject of Pacman, several months ago there was a posting on Slashdot games about a Japanese programmer who re-created Pacman entirely in an Excel spreadsheet. Upon reading the story I was both amazed and curious, so I downloaded the zip file from the site linked-to in the story. And it really was Pacman, right down to the cut scenes b...
Another classic game, and this one needs no introduction. Arguably the single game that injected the most excitement into arcade video games during their infancy. Original game: copyright Namco, 1980; this version hand-coded in Flash by Paul Neave.
From the BBC show featuring the same Blobs comes this cute little Flash game that is actually a bit of a challenge. Similar to the classic Lunar Lander game, the objective of Blob Lander is to fly and land your spaceship gracefully.