Exam time procrastination: Flash Games

‘Flash games’ or ‘Java games’ are those little video games that run completely within your Internet browser.  They don’t need any downloads, or CDs, or… well anything you shouldn’t already have on the computer.  That’s why they were always perfect for a slow day at school in Jr. High (remember kids, back when I was a kid iPhones didn’t exist… and we walked uphill both ways).

Actually, flash games have existed in one form or another since before some students at St. Thomas were even born. These creations are ancient by any modern computing standards.

From their simplicity though, comes their beautiful elegance.  Many of these games, now over a decade old, still retain all of their playability, and all of their addictiveness.

Here’s a list of some of the games that got me through Jr. High, and now threaten my university career with their ability to kill time.

This internet original spawned hundreds of spinoffs, but is still fun to play today.
This internet original spawned hundreds of spinoffs, but is still fun to play today.

Fly the Copter / The Helicopter Game

The history of many of these games has been lost to the internet.  With such much reposting and appropriating of content (I’m looking at you, eBaum’s world) it’s hard to tell where some of these games even came from.

Helicopter Game is one of the oldest.

The game is simple.  Click to go up, don’t click to go down.  Try to avoid crashing into the ceiling, the floor, or any of the obstacles they throw at you.

Sounds easier than it is.  Give it a try and see how far you get, then let us know.

Oh slime volleyball. What a waste of time. It came in 1 or 2 player versions.
Oh slime volleyball. What a waste of time. It came in 1 or 2 player versions.

Slime Volleyball

This game was introduced to me in Grade 8, it got me through a lot of Keyboarding classes (yes we had those) during high school.

The simplistic game involves bumping a ball (well… a circle) back and forth.  Don’t let it hit the ground though.

Pro tip: Unlike meat-space volleyball, you can bounce the ball against the back wall.

Tower Defense

This is actually an entire subset of games first developed two decades ago.  The first game was called Rampart, and was released by Atari in 1990.

Tower Defense involves strategically placing towers along a route that waves of enemies will travel down.  It’s a war of attrition, and you’re on the side of attrition.

The style was later picked up as a mini-game attached to largest franchises.  Notable iterations include the popular Starcraft and Warcraft III versions.

Math, and blood!

Bow man

Making math fun is a miracle.  But now you too can use trigonometry for what it was meant for: striking people with weapons at a great distance!

Adjust the angle and power of your shot to land a killing blow to your stick-figured opponent.  Play against the computer in 1-P mode, or go head to dead with a friend.

Pro tip: play close attention to your opponent’s attacks, you can judge your strikes off the angles they use.

Warthog launch

Any real gamer remembers the original indestructible Warthog (looks like a Puma) from Halo.

The vehicle’s ability to take a beating and become a deadly projectile in its own right is the thrust behind the flash game Warthog Launch.  Adjust the amount and location of propellant below the vehicle to send is spinning towards the enemy… well, I’m not sure what they are.  But they look like they need to die.

Halo: The Flash Version

Do yourself a favour. Play this game.

Ok so this one is cheating a bit.  This isn’t a ‘traditional’ flash game.  It was designed to mimic the hugely successful Portal released by game designers Valve.  This flash version of the full game is surprisingly just as addictive and entertaining as the original, despite the loss of a full dimension.

Pro tip: As in the original, you’re only limited by physics and your own imagination.  Try anything, don’t give up, and you will be rewarded; possibly with cake.


Do you have a favourite flash game you use to kill time? Let us know what it is in the comments below.

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