You’ve probably seen the ominous notification in your browser that makes you realize you’re definitely at least in your ‘20s. It hits you like the grenades you used to throw in Territory War as you realize your childhood computer lab memories are on the chopping block. Rather than sulk, let’s celebrate all that Flash has given us and cherish what little time we have left before it disappears (or at least until someone creates a program almost identical to it and websites use that port instead.)
Why did Flash die?
There’s no one clear reason Adobe is discontinuing the software. Some sources say it’s due to the rise in online gaming platforms like Steam that have massive popularity and don’t require the player to operate. Others say with the invention of smartphones, apps have replaced flash games, giving consumers the same sort of experience but on a handheld device. Flash player isn’t even usable on ios devices.
Yet, some blame the software itself, citing security risks. Whatever the cause, the answer is multitiered, and rather than fixate on the “why,” players can, and should, take advantage of the nostalgia before the games become obsolete, (like this article will be in a few months.)
The Flash Hubs
Strolling down memory lane, one can recall fond (or aggravating) memories of particular websites. The names Miniclip and Addicting Games will resonate with a large percentage of the online community. These “flash hubs” were home to thousands of Flash games ranging from mindless clickers to full-fledged adventures that put some console games to shame.
For example, Territory War.
Arguably one of the most viral online games of the early 2000s, this stick figure “strategy” game pitted players against a CPU, their friends, or online strangers using a team of stick figures to kill the other team. Weapons included a grenade, a shotgun, or sometimes just a good old kick off a cliff.
Over at Armor Games, the world was forever changed after meeting game designer jmtb02, who brought us games like This is the only level and Achievement Unlocked.
These simple-to-play, difficult-to-master puzzle games featuring everyone’s favorite elephant sprite were not only fun, but truly inventive. Even now, going back and visiting this game before it is inevitably unplayable, I still have a blast!
Then there’s Coolmath Games, the site that covered the screens of every computer lab in the country while teachers begged their students to pay attention to their boring lecture. There was also coolmath.com, A.K.A. the un-fun game-less side of Coolmath Games.
Other than games like Civiballs, Abducktion, or regular flash games you could find on other websites, Coolmath Games featured many originals. I will also say, in my middle school this was the only approved gaming website, so I used to visit any gaming website I wanted, change the URL to coolmath-games, never hit enter, and get away scott-free. (If I get in trouble now, I’m pretty sure any statute of limitations is by far exhausted.)
To list every game from sites like Addicting Games, Miniclip, Armor Games, would be a fruitless endeavor, so I’m not going to. But you should play Abducktion. It has “duck” in the title.
Anyway, let’s move on.
Pour one out for Club Penguin, an amazing flash-based online hub that I begged my father to pay 20 dollars to get a six-month membership for when I was 12. This amazing MMO had players creating a penguin character, playing games, drinking coffee, and getting banned for thinking that “Fuq” would get past the moderators. I spent hours playing this game and truly felt blessed to be a part of a fun, kid-friendly community that wasn’t Neopets.
This online marvel was so popular, it was bought by Disney, who, in total Disney fashion, promptly ruined it, eventually closing the site.
So, if it’s closed, why am I mentioning it in an article urging people to play games? One, it’s my article, so stop asking questions. Two, you can still play it! Club Penguin Rewritten was created by a team of developers who used the Club Penguin engine and made everything free for everyone– no membership required. In the remaining month that we have until flash is discontinued, I’d highly recommend playing.
Plus, if you want to be a secret agent, it still takes 30 days of real time, so you better get on it.
Flash may disappear from our browsers, but never from our hearts. While you still have time, play those old games, relive your nostalgic years, and above all else, buy a Sushi Cat plushie. It’s goddamn adorable.
Get on this player while you can — it’ll be gone in a Flash.