Do you remember as a kid when you were in middle school or high school when you would go home to your computer and go on the internet and play a poop ton of flash games? Those were the days, right?
As a kid, we didn’t have a computer at our home, I had to go to the local internet cafe to play some games with my friends! That’s why it was an important part of my childhood, and I’m guessing that’s why it’s important for a lot of other people as well. Flash games became a gateway drug for people who didn’t have a personal computer or gaming console!
Well, it’s 2023 now, and it’s not recent news that Adobe pulled the plug on Flash, a software that helped the internet become what it is today.
Why Did Adobe Retire Flash?
In 1997 HTML4 was released, and although it brings a welcome update to make things run smoother on the internet, it wasn’t enough for what people wanted in the upcoming years.
To help HTML4, Adobe released Flash, which gave developers the ability to process videos, animations, and games that you can access and play on a website. This was kind of revolutionary at the time, but when HTML5 rolled out back in 2014, Flash was outdated, posed a ton of security issues, and there was just no reason to deal with the software anymore.
Where and How to Play Flash Games Today
The death of software or a platform doesn’t mean that you can’t play the games you loved back then! In fact, there are two ways in which you can play flash games today!
First off is still through websites, yes, Flash is dead, but you have to remember that HTML5 replaced Flash, so with a few sites porting their top games from Flash to HTML5, you have access to some of your favorite games.
But to be honest with you, while HTML5 games are convenient, I find the whole HTML5 a bit clunky, and since these sites have to keep afloat, they also run ads that kind of take away some of the experience a bit.
A better solution is to install emulators like BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint; the best thing about it is it’s entirely free! There are also no ads, and you have the option of running the whole thing completely offline.
You can pick between two versions of Flashpoint: Infinity and Ultimate. Flashpoint Infinity is more manageable, it’s only a 768MB download, then you can download the games that you want only. The Flashpoint Ultimate, however, is indeed ultimate! It’s a 1.48TB download, but you will have an entire collection of over 150,000 games and 25,000 animations. Did I mention that with everything downloaded, you can play everything offline? It’s certainly the best program to include on your computer before an apocalypse comes!
Best Flash Games to Revisit!
Now you know your options on where and how to play Flash games today, here are a bunch of nostalgic Flash games to revisit or play for the first time!
As gory as it is, no Flash games list is complete without Happy Wheels!
Happy Wheels is developed and released back in 2010, and it quickly gained a following. It’s a physics-based vehicle game where you can choose from several characters, each with a distinct vehicle, there’s a shopper on a mobility scooter, a pogo-stick guy, a dad on a bicycle with his kid behind him (poor kid), and there’s even an old guy on a wheelchair. The interesting thing about all this is characters with different vehicles will have different controls and abilities, the pogo-stick guy might jump higher, and the couple on the moped might be great with speed.
With a character selected, you’ll need to get from start to finish, but what’s between that are usually a ton of traps and obstacles, often resulting in a fatal and spectacularly gory end for your character.
But hey, if it’s just another gory physics-based vehicle game (which, let’s face it, most flash games in the day are), what’s different about it?
Happy Wheels has a level editor that anyone can access to create their own levels, and your imagination’s the limit! You can create an extremely hard and brutal level, you can create cool autoplay levels where the player just needs to watch or hold down a key, or you can create complicated puzzle maps. Happy Wheels became more than just a fun game; now, the game has a massive library of user-generated maps that might never seem to end.
This led to a ton of YouTubers frequently creating videos playing the game, which made it even more famous. If you were a teenager or even a kid back in 2010-2015, you most likely watched a Let’s Play video of this game and might’ve even played it. Either way, Happy Wheels is cemented to be one of the best and most famous Flash Games out there.
You can either play Happy Wheels on PC, Mobile, and the Web, either through apps or browsers!
The Impossible Quiz
Created by Splapp-me-do all the way back in 2007, The Impossible Quiz is one of those flash games that you’ll replay over and over again until you get everything right; why? Well, it’s not your usual trivia general knowledge quiz, and instead, it presents you with random, cryptic, or non-sensical questions and tasks that you can either answer through having good intuition, sometimes a good understanding of dad jokes or puns and, in some cases, pure luck.
The quiz will give you three lives to answer or basically guess the questions as you go, and if you’re playing the quiz, you’re going to have to spend hours repeating the whole quiz until you get everything right!
If you’re not feeling up to it, the quiz also gives you some lives or skips, which, as it’s called, can be used to bypass the questions you can never seem to get; of course, that is an added strategic element to the gameplay, but if I were you, try to get on with it the hard way and try to solve without any skips, it’s much more fun that way!
Overall, you can play The Impossible Quiz on sites that ported it on HTML5 and, of course, on any Flash emulator, but I find that this site is the best one to play it on!
Ever since I was a kid, when I go to an amusement park or the local traveling carnival, I always play the game where you shoot the balloons with darts, I was kinda good at it, and I even trained a bit in darts back then! This is why when I discovered Bloons TD when I was like around 10 or 11, it was kind of addicting to me! I played the first game and most of the sequels that were released on Flash. I can still hear those popping sound effects to this day.
Anyhow, Bloons TD is a tower defense game, perhaps one of the firsts out there, and in this game, you control and put dart-throwing monkeys along the path that these balloons or ‘bloons’ take; your only job is to make sure to pop all these balloons before they get past your defenses and damage your life.
To keep things fresh, Bloons also kept improving and adding more characters and abilities in the game. Some shoot one dart at a time, some will shoot multiple or faster darts, and some don’t use darts at all and shoot tacks instead. There are also elemental towers in Bloons games, but they mainly started with glue and ice to slow the bloons down and fire to easily pop bloons.
There are also special characters like monkeys who shoots laser in their eyes, and there are also special Bloons games like the Bloons Adventure Time TD!
Overall, you can get a bunch of modern Bloons games on mobile app stores and Steam, which I think were great games, but if you want to experience the first games on Flash, you can head on to your emulator or go to sites that ported Bloons games on HTML5 like on addictinggames.com.
Henry Stickmin Games
This right here is what I believe the be one of the most entertaining flash games out there! The Henry Stickmin series, created by Puffballs United, is a collection of choose-your-own-adventure style flash games to follow Henry Stickmin’s adventures. You can attempt heists and break into high-security facilities, and there’s even a game where you break out of prison after failing some of your adventures!
Each game will present the player with a series of critical decision points like how and where to break in, what tool will you use, and like the impossible quiz, the option that makes the most sense probably isn’t the one to go with, but it’s always fun to see everything failing in spectacular ways!
Like a classic interactive visual novel, you can reach different endings in Henry Stickmin games; this leads to a ton of replay value and maybe even seeing what happens in every choice you make.
Fireboy & Watergirl
Fireboy and Watergirl, developed by Oslo Albet, is one of the most beloved series of puzzle-platformer flash games that debuted with “The Forest Temple” in 2010. The games revolve around two elemental characters, Fireboy and Watergirl, who must work together to overcome the challenges and obstacles presented in various temples. The whole series has been praised for its cute graphics and well-thought-out cooperative gameplay, and it even brought a cooperative multiplayer all-in-one keyboard! No need for separate controllers or keyboards like a ton of multiplayer games requires back in the day.
In each game, players must simultaneously control both characters, utilizing their distinct abilities to solve puzzles, avoid hazards, and reach the end of each level. Fireboy can interact safely with fire and lava, while Watergirl can traverse water and ice without harm. The characters must use their powers in harmony to complete the levels successfully, and it needs a lot of communication and teamwork for the players!
Fireboy and Watergirl have left a lasting impression on the flash gaming community with its clever level design, endearing characters, and emphasis on cooperation. The series remains a celebrated and nostalgic part of flash game history!
If you want to play Fireboy & Watergirl games, you can find that a ton of sites have ported these games to HTML5, but the best way to play it is by using a Flash emulator!
Crush the Castle
Developed by Armor Games in 2009, Crush The Castle is an addictive physics-based flash game that combines elements of strategy, precision, and sheer destruction. The game’s simple yet engaging premise involves using a trebuchet to launch projectiles at various castles, with the goal of eliminating all characters and causing as much structural damage as possible (sounds familiar?). Crush the Castle’s satisfying gameplay, creative level design, and the challenge of achieving mastery have made it a nostalgic favorite among Flash game fans.
The game consists of multiple levels, each featuring a unique castle design populated by the King, Queen, and their subjects. Players must select and aim their projectiles, adjusting for factors such as distance, angle, and projectile weight, to maximize the destruction. As players progress through the game, they unlock new types of ammunition, such as stones, metal balls, and explosives, which add variety and strategy to the gameplay.
Crush the Castle’s success can be attributed to its intuitive controls, satisfying physics, and the gratification derived from watching intricate structures collapse. The game has inspired several sequels, but the series has also inspired other popular games in the genre, like the Angry Birds franchise!
There you go, folks! Those are some of the most iconic flash games that you might want to revisit in 2023! I’m sure I left out some flash games since there are so many good ones, but if you have a game to recommend, please do leave them in the comments below!