QWOP

Ten Great Free Flash Games

In my years of gaming, I’d sometimes get bored and type “games” into Google and see what came out.  A lot of times, I’d get a couple decent flash sites that I’d peruse and eventually run across a gem.  Here’s a list of ten games (or sites) that I’ve enjoyed greatly over the years, and a bit about how I learned about them, and how much of my life was consumed by them.  (This article was inspired by an old feature here, Flash Fridays.  Check out some of the old FF reviews here: Bloons, Ultimate Sonic, Paper Cannon 2, Good Game Farmer, Haunt The House)

This list will be in no particular order.


1. Mega Miner

I ran across this one when searching for mining flash games.  At first, it had an attractive styling to it that reminded me of older pixel art games, however it has quite a bit more resolution than that.  The gameplay of this game reminds me of a scaled up Dig Dug, with the allure of money making, upgrade progression, and deep discovery like that in Minecraft.  You can discover coal, metals (iron, silver, gold), and gems (sapphire, emerald, ruby, diamond), as well as quest items like dinosaur remains and ancient jewels.  All of this goes toward money for repairs, gas, and upgrades to make your mining rig that much more efficient.


2. QWOP

This game, featured in this article’s cover, is a very challenging and funny game involving the control of a sprinter’s thigh and calf muscles to make him run.  Only issue is figuring out the proper time to apply muscle contractions to properly make the sprinter… sprint.  Most of the time, this game devolves into maniacal laughter and/or frustration.  It is incredibly difficult, but with practice, a patient player can figure out the timing to make it all the way to 100 meters.


3. Into Space 2

Into Space 2 was a game I ran across while browsing engineering games back when I was studying mechanical engineering.  It is another money making, progression upgrade game that allows you to build a rocket with certain upgrades that take advantage of fuel economy, power, durability, speed and other important aspects of rocket building and design.  The game gives you the ability to upgrade the engines, boosters, fins, and main body pieces to adjust its capabilities.  I love games where good performance is rewarded with the ability to perform even better.


4. Trial Bike

The game that started the Trials series, Trial Bike was one of the earliest flash games I remember truly enjoying.  The ability to climb and jump over obstacles as well as do flips was so enjoyable that I couldn’t stop playing.  When Trials 2 came out, I played it just as much, and I bought Trials HD a week after it released on Xbox 360.  This game started it all, and is still somewhat relevant today, if only as a nostalgic piece of game history.


5. Drag Racer V3

Again with the upgrade games.  I found this several years ago, looking for a fun racing game on a flash site.  And find one I did.  This game involves modification, performance upgrades, internal audio/video upgrades, car shows, and of course, drag races.  The drag races can be performed for cash or pink slips, and you can compete in tournaments to earn trophies and unlock more vehicles and races.  The graphics are amateurish, but the gameplay makes up for it, and the inclusion of real parts and real cars makes the game easier to relate to.


6. Bowman 2

This game is one that has come in and out of popularity for a while.  It’s a physics based archery game that involves the angle and power of an archer’s shot required to hit a target at an indeterminate distance.  The player needs to adjust for distance as well as wind (if the option is turned on).  A two player mode makes it possible to be fired back at (the second player can be the CPU), and there has even been a bird hunting game mode added to add more challenge and interest to this enjoyable, and slightly intellectual, game.


7. Neopets

This site, targeted toward the younger audience, contains themed versions of many of our favorite games from growing up.  Playing these games earn points that can be used to improve your Neopets’ abilities.  Now personally, I haven’t played many of the games since Nickelodeon acquired the site, but in its heyday, this was a very fun site to visit and spend an afternoon.  It was like Pokemon with exclusively minigame content.  There was a combat system, but the site more or less revolved around trading interesting items and supporting the combat players than actually participating in the combat itself.


8. Tanks

To be honest with you, if you’ve ever played Worms, this game plays more or less the same way.  Your goal is to destroy the enemy with an array of weapons.  After each level you are given the ability of buying new weapons and armor to better survive combat, and then your goal is again to use trajectory attacks and explosives to destroy the enemy and environment around him.  The game is relatively old, so the graphics aren’t top notch, but again, when the gameplay is good, it outweighs graphical appearance to a certain extent.


9. sugar, sugar

This game is basically a puzzle game built around the classic Falling Sand game that gives you a goal of getting enough of the proper color sugar into each cup.  The game includes obstacles that can be avoided with an accurate drawing of a ramp or a wall to divert the stream of sugar to the proper cups.  This game is much harder than it sounds, unless you are quick witted and good with drawing with a mouse accurately and quickly.  The sugar can overwhelm a spot quickly, and make it difficult to recover.


10. Jacksmith

Likely the newest game on this list, Jacksmith combines elemental superiority with a crafting game to give an excellent fantasy game.  In this game, you play a blacksmithing donkey, learning crafting recipes as you venture through the woods, supporting a band of warriors by crafting them weapons and shields to take on enemies imbued with fire and water, among other things.  The better you do at crafting the items, the better the warriors will fare, and the more money and crafting items you will be able to loot from the corpses of the fallen.


Honorable Mentions

These games managed to sneak in under the radar for one reason or another in this process, but for sake of completeness, will be mentioned here:

Happy Wheels: Partially made popular by YouTubers PewDiePie and Tobuscus, this game involves completing obstacle courses in a deadly world.

Surgeon Simulator 2013: While not technically flash based, this online game puts you in the role of a surgeon, with individual finger and arm control.  Read Cassidee’s article for more information.

Share some of your favorite flash games in the comments section!

Game Links:

Mega Miner

QWOP

Into Space 2

Trial Bike

Drag Racer V3

Bowman 2

Neopets

Tanks

sugar, sugar

Jacksmith

Happy Wheels

Surgeon Simulator 2013 (Requires Unity)



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