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Along with a variety of tutorials for writing tile-based games in Flash, TonyPa has available on his site several unique and original Flash game designs. Some he created for various online game competitions, and all of them are worthy to derive some fun and inspiration from—especially to someone interested in designing or developing games. Highlighted here are PixelField, Robootik, Spots, and StarRunner.

PixelFieldThe object of PixelField is to move your rotating red base around the pixel field to collect the blue energy pixels while avoiding all other "bad" pixels. Clicking the mouse moves the base to that location, however the movement will include some elasticity that you must plan for carefully. Your score increases the fewer moves you make. Unusual yet realistic physics make this game both fascinating and challenging. Click.

RobootikRobootik is similar to those mechanical arm games at a carnival where you try to pick up a prize. The object of the game is to switch between the various joints using the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard to maneuver the robotic arm to collect the springs and mystery prizes that randomly appear. Time gets added on as you pick up items, so this game is a race against the clock. Not difficult, but fun to play with—like a Flash-based erector set. Click.

SpotsIn Spots, the object is to join all the spots together in a continuous line to complete each level within 60 seconds. Clicking on a spot will rotate it clockwise. Bonus points are awarded based on how long it took to complete a level. It's a puzzle-based brain teaser that gets more difficult with each new level. Randomly generated levels increase the replay value of this very creative concept. Click.

Star RunnerStarRunner is a basic 2D platformer that has you collecting all the stars on each level, while avoiding all the enemies, to advance to the next. Move with arrow keys, and use the ladders to climb up and down. The controls are tight and the game moves along at a comfortable pace. The programming is solid and makes this cute little platformer an enjoyable diversion. Click.

Update: Some of the above referenced games are no longer available on Tonypa's website. He is currently updating them and, if we're lucky, they will be once again available to play. Many thanks for the games, Tony! =)


Nils von Barth August 20, 2004 3:32 AM

!!! PixelField and Spots are incredible !!! They're clever games, very stylishly done (great, clean graphics, great music). These are instant classics (and you know how critical I am of games; see my other comments). I'll write more about them later, but just briefly about Spots: the jazz background fits perfectly -- it's strangely effective: jazz and the speedy puzzle game; who'd've thought?
Also, Spots would work much better if you could use a control pad/arrow keys to move around instead of the mouse -- and 2 buttons: clockwise/counter-clockwise, would help (actually, a "turn 180 degrees" one would be good too).


Nils, you're absolutely right about the music for Spots and PixelField. I didn't even mention that in the post, and I'm very pleased someone else found those games as wonderful as I do.

Nils von Barth August 22, 2004 2:44 AM

Some additional comments:
Spots is a great example of a "small game": a simple concept, that's fun to play and executed (very) well. It reminds me a bit of Minesweeper in the simple deductions, but I like it better (partly b/c it's more stylish): you often can't tell if any particular piece is right until the whole board is completed (there's some pieces that admit only one correct solution, like pieces with 2 legs in a corner).

TonyPa's matured a lot -- some of his older work (on his site) is pretty basic, but his recent stuff is quite sophisticated, polished and good.

Of the other games, I rather liked Bars: it's a simple and elegant puzzle-ish game.

PixelField is the best of the lot. Firstly, it's graphically elegant and abstract, and well-polished (the "thunk" when you hit something and the little "zoom in" on where you hit is very slick). More importantly, it's a good game. The key tension is between moves and points: you can advance safely at the cost of points, so it pays to take risks. One can play it as essentially a puzzle game: which path takes you through safely and with minimal moves? It might also admit an action strategy: you can move again mid-jump, so perhaps this can be done (I don't know if it's a good strategy, but I suspect so). The physics of the legs stretching and swaying is graphically elegant and meaningful in the game (it's the whole challenge). It also creates tension wonderfully, as your legs swing so close to the mines or walls. Also, that your legs (and not main body) have to pick up the blue things is a good choice -- otherwise it would be a bit too easy, and this encourages crazy strategies.

A nice addition would be if it told you the best performance anyone's given on a particular board, to see how you measure up, and it might be fun to be able to select boards (instead of playing from the start), but that's about it for kibbitzing.

I think this is my favorite game you've posted, perhaps my favorite flash game period.


I'm surprised you liked Bars, Nils. Initially, I thought about including Bars in this post but decided against it after playing it a second time, after having figured it out, and the game just wouldn't end. Without going into a matematical analysis of possible moves, I wonder if it is impossible to lose if you place each piece appropriately. It seems to have a design flaw, but I can offer no proof. The game does have potential, and as you said, it is simple and elegant.

Nils von Barth August 24, 2004 10:25 PM

Re: Bars

Heh -- perhaps my tastes are a mite eclectic? I don't like every game for the same reasons, and Bars is pretty okay for the "relaxing pastime": the game setup is elegant (it's a basic "make order from chaos" game) and the gameplay is simple and unrushed (and it's pretty polished) -- it's a fine game to zone out to (as many people do with Solitaire, say).

It's clearly possible (theoretically) for the game to throw you pieces you can't handle: a long enough string of pieces taking up width 2 can't fit (if you get 5 on a clear board, each of the first 4 take up a line, and the fifth can't fit; if you get 9 in a row, then you die regardless of the initial setup), so there's no winning strategy -- just a best strategy given the odds; I think you figured out a pretty good one, or hit a string of good luck and got bored.

If you play for a while, it can sometimes be easy for a long time (and kinda boring), but suddenly it'll throw you several hard pieces, and you'd better have kept your board in good state or you'll soon lose.

From my limited playing, it seems generally pretty easy to go for a long time given a few easy strategies (keep the middle column free or width 2 will kill you, move height 2 preferably at the top/bottom, not in the middle (so have space for another one)), and chance plays a major role in when you die, but it's a slightly subtle game. You can play it at several levels: a mindless pastime (not a bad thing), but also strategically: you can look several moves ahead, and figure out what combinations of moves will keep you alive (and the board pretty clean). It's possible that there's a simple optimal strategy, but it doesn't seem obvious.

The most major bug is that it doesn't display numbers more than 3 digits correctly, so if you get into the thousands (or 10 thousands, as some highscorers did), it looks wrong.

It's also a little tricky to see what your existing piece is -- a bigger shadow (so it's not hidden by the existing pieces) would work.

Oh, and the music is maddening! This is a slow, long game, and the short, repetitive loop is obnoxious (yes, you can turn it off, but you should be able to leave the sound effects on) -- something more like Brian Eno might work for this pace.

Also, he omits many potential blocks: L-shaped, Z-shaped (like Tetris), U-shaped, a -square-.

Other than these, the only change that springs to mind is giving extra points (and some graphic/sound effect) when you get a double: eliminating a horizontal and vertical in the same move (I'd suggest highlighting the lines that get removed and flashing them/decaying them in a pretty way) -- this would break up the monotony a bit, and give you a conflicting goal: rather than just trying to survive for a long time, you can try to line up a double, which adds a bit of risk and excitement.

I particularly like how certain configurations have looks (lots of verticals and not many horizontals, say), and that these are meaningful: the aesthetics reflect the gameplay meaning of a configuration. I also like how the horizontals and verticals are somewhat independent (you eliminate them independently), but somewhat linked (you need space for both to place them).

Graphically, the slight animation to the pieces adds a bit of movement -- else it would look a bit "dead".

As it stands, it's a bit slow (most of the time it's easy, but sometimes a pile of difficult blocks arrives) and kinda monotonous, and I don't see how this could change within the constraints -- it's just a mostly slow game, but there's a place for such games.

There's a few embellishments to be made, and there's lots of parameters to be varied (most importantly the possible shapes (and how frequently they come), the size of the board, the number of blocks ahead to look), and other games possible with the "place shapes on a grid" genre (it could even be a 2P vs. game, though I doubt this latter would be good -- too slow) -- I think I'll try implementing this game sometime (with a drone soundtrack ;-).

It's philosophically similar to Tetris (and probably inspired by it, indirectly?), but slower and more complex (and pretty monotonous).

One other interesting feature is that it's not obvious from a glance how "good" a position is; this makes it a more demanding game to play seriously, but also hence less exciting (at least for a casual player) -- it's easy to lose suddenly if you're not paying attention -- contrast with Tetris or most pit games, where "how high the pile is" is a really obvious measure of how well you're doing. Part of why it's a rather draining and monotonous game is b/c it's sometimes necessary to keep a close eye on what's coming and adjust accordingly, but usually this is a waste of time.


The Bars game was made within 48 hours for a competition. That includes writing the code (I did use some parts from tile based tutorials), drawing the graphics, finding sounds and music, and of course lots and lots of testing. As with all my games, I dont know how it turns up before I play it and I usually rewrite the whole game several times, changing the original idea completely.

Im surprised to read so many good things and so few bad things about it. If I would think about making it any better, I would add most of things mentioned here and fix all the bugs. Sadly, I dont like to touch old games, once they are finished, they are finished, with all the good and bad sides.


> I dont like to touch old games, once they are finished, they are finished, with all the good and bad sides.

Yes, I understand your feeling about this, Tony. And yet there are benefits from taking the best elements from previous games and incorporating them into entirely new games. Especially when you're the author of the game from which you are borrowing. =)


Hi! Wonderful site! was just thinking whether theres a game here that matches this profile:

There would be a static cross at the center of the screen and you'd get to control 2 lines (vertical & horizontal) with your joystick. To move the horizontal line you could either pull back on the joystick or push forward. And for the vertical line its either left or right. Due to the virtual 'wind factor', the 2 lines would be moving constantly. The objective here is to steer the 2 lines together so that they will be upon the static cross.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Thank you, Zapata. Although I am unfamiliar with the game you describe, I will keep my eyes open for it. If it's a game that is fun to play, it will likely show up here eventually!

Good luck on your quest. =)


I have the highest score in Spots! 2700! I bet no one can beat me~


This sites Awesome!


Some of the games are cool, but definitely hard. ^_^ Jay, I think the screen needs to be made a bit bigger or allow for a scroll - too many games! ;)


Thanks, KumikoDee. I have updated the links to reflect the current state of Tonypa's website.


^ Scroll Up | Homepage >

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