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.
JP of Pepere.org recently released a new version of his Ringmania game, creatively called Ringmania 2. In this latest update to the connect-three game based on magnetism, control is now with the mouse allowing more freedom of movement as you try to eliminate all of the colored rings from each level's initial configuration.
You may remember the name Hannu Pelkonen as the creator of the infectiously addictive typing games, Letters and Words, both of which were previously reviewed here. He now has a new game that was recently added to his collection at 2addicted, and this one is based on a familiar classic arcade hit from days gone by.
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.
Betty's Beer Bar is a great arcade-style indie game by Mystery Studios. The game features a very simple mouse interface where you control Betty, the small town bartender with aspirations of running her own bar on the beach. Help her raise the money to fulfill her dreams by serving beer to customers as fast as you can. This online version serves as a quick taster of the downloadable version for Windows and MacOS.
Almost twenty years old, Woody Pop isn't as visually stunning or innovative as recent titles such as BreakQuest, but the collision detection and level design is solid, and the bright, chunky pixels still look good.
1UP is a great Flash web toy from Tanaka U over at Nextframe. In a twist on traditional scoring, the number of 1UPs you collect are representative of your progress while coins and points are a means to that end.
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.
Mono is a downlodable Windows game that is described as 'one part Asteroids, one part Robotron, and one part Paint Shop Pro'. Created by the talented guys over at Binary Zoo, you play as a plucky yet resourceful circular object set on changing its surroundings from black to white (or white to black, depending on mode). Coupled with three difficulty modes and the ability to import your own music, Mono is a well-designed little game.
BreakQuest is great fun, and it raises the bar to a dizzying height for future Breakout clones. The presentation and attention to detail is top notch, as are the pleasing sound effects and visuals that include some very impressive particle effects. Most importantly, the wide variety of levels is so compelling you will actually want to unlock and experience every single one of them.
Breakit 2 is a brand new game from Terry Paton in which he takes classic casual gameplay elements from Breakout and Arkanoid, and energizes them with stunning Flash graphics and a high-tech soundtrack. The result is a gorgeous game that is a lot of fun to play.
Back in 1980, Midway released an innovative maze game called Rally X. It involved the player driving a rally car through a maze collecting flags while avoiding enemy cars. Baja is an excellent Shockwave 3D implementation of the traditional gameplay first seen in Rally X, and delivered to you within the convenience of your browser.
Hot on the heels of our Massively Multiplayer Pong review, Plasma Pong, a downloadable Windows game, takes the old favorite table tennis formula and fills it with liquid plasma. Using fluid dynamics you can push the ball around the screen or charge for a cannon shot. The game ends up playing more like a visual experiment than a serious Pong clone, but it's worth a few minutes of playtime nonetheless.
GridWars is a free downloadable (for PC or Mac) old-school-style shooting game that's remarkably similar to Geometry Wars on the Xbox. Your small ship sits in a one-screen grid and vectorized enemies spawn to attack. Use your any-directional gun to stay alive while you rake in points.
A completely different approach to a DDR game, Beat Bubbles offers an enjoyable music-game experience that doesn't rely on precise rhythm to do well with it. Instead, the player must repeat the sequence of keys shown within the time limit to advance, while making music in the process.
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.
One of the first playable games available from the promising Dot-Invasion studio, Meteor Busters is a simple and beautifully designed top down shooter. If you're already a fan of shmups or retro pixels, you'll probably appreciate Meteor Busters. The graphics are lovely and extremely polished and the gameplay is fun while it lasts.
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.
This next game offers some thrilling Shockwave 3D fun, four-wheeling under the sun in the hot Sahara Desert. The BP Ultimate Rally Challenge is an excellent 3D racing game that delivers an awesome sensation of speed and realistic physics all through the convenience of your browser.
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.
Another amazing shoot-em-up just released from the ultra-talented folks at Bloc Media in the UK. Pop Pirates is an arcade shooter with a hi-tech computer network security theme: Prepare to be digitized to eradicate all bugs and virus threats while reclaiming your music files as you go. Shmup-dilly-umptious and terribly addictive!
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.
Take a trip through the history of games with a brand new Flash game offering from the MTV Obsessed website. MTV Obsessed: The Game contains roughly 20 mini-games that are organized within levels called "eras" that must be unlocked by playing through the Time Travel mode of play.
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.
Another one for the classic games section, I made a reference to this game when reviewing Swarm due to the way the enemies swarmed onto the play field.
Galaca is a Java applet 'clone' of the classic action arcade game Galaga. Originally created by Namco and released as a coin-op amusement...
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.
Pong was an amazing and innovative game in its time. Unfortunately, after the novelty wore off there just wasn't much gameplay left to hold our interest. And by today's standards, it's just too simple a game to be much fun anymore.
GameLab leverages the simplicity of Pong, as well as that...
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...
Flash-in-the-Can 2005 award winner, Grant Skinner, has put together an impressive and ambitious pseudo-3D first-person shooter in Flash. There is even a back-story in case you need a reason to shoot at cute little creatures.
Puki: The Swarm begins after a routine mission to a space station, in a far away...
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...
Take to the streets to compete against and win your opponent's vehicle in this street racing Shockwave 3D game. Redline Rumble features eight (8) souped-up racers of increasing grade of speed and style that you must earn the right to drive. The game starts you off on the low-end of the bunch and you work your way up from there.
This Flash remake of Taito Corp.'s now classic Puzzle Bobble (called Bust-a-Move in the US) looks and plays just like the original. Use the arrow keys to aim, and press the space bar to shoot. It's just that simple to play. The music is a bit repetitive, but otherwise the game plays great.
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...
Your basic mission is to terminate all the "unknow" creatures by firing missiles at the creepy crawlers. For the first couple of levels this is rather easy since the creatures are barely moving: Simply click on any of the bugs and the missile will eventually land on it, though several direct hits are required to do away with each one.
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?
This Mr. Driller clone, created in Flash by Max K., is a decent version of the original game by Namco. Driller uses the arrow keys for movement, and the space bar for drilling. The object is to drill down through the blocks as far as you can without running out of air, or getting crushed. The level of difficulty determines how many rows of blocks y...
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.
From Preloaded in London comes this sweet, entertaining game filled with combos, skill shots and wonderful particle effects that explode when you shoot a star. Its simple and addictive gameplay is as easy as pressing the right key at the right moment.
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 1982 classic arcade game of Q*bert, re-created in Shockwave for online play over the Web. The object of the game is to move your Q*bert around the play field, hopping onto each square to turn it to the target color shown. While the default keys to use for movement are U, K, H, and M, the game does allow you to change them to suit your preferenc...
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.
The tree of Vanilla grows rapidly and becomes difficult to manage and balance if not cared for properly. Like the tree it's named after, Vanilla is a deliciously refreshing and original game from Eyezmaze that is simple to pick-up and play, but difficult to beat. The objective is to see how high you can make the tree grow before it tips too far towards either edge of the play field.
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.
Gold Miner is a cute and addictive little Flash game that has you mining for gold using just a claw and reel to unearth valuable treasures in a race against the clock. Each level provides a dollar value goal that must be met within the time limit to move on to the next. It's a well produced game with cute, appealing graphics and sound effects.
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.
Robo Pinball is an excellent, original concept, Shockwave 3D pinball game from Germany. It combines old-school pinball action with 3D graphics and elements of a first-person shooter, all wrapped up into one. The game is a beautiful implementation of Director 3D with realistic physics and all sorts of secrets to discover.
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...
Written in Flash by Johnny Slack, an interactive multimedia technology student at Purdue, this version of Duck Hunt uses the mouse for aiming and shooting. It looks, acts and sounds just like the original (though it offers only one mode of play).
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.
A fantastic Asteroids recreation from Shawn at Hot Flash Games, and boy does it rock! Very authentic classic gameplay with a serious modern soundtrack that just... ROCKS! Shawn did an excellent job designing the sound for the game, as it contains a mix of classic Asteroids samples and some phat rocking beats.
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.