Playing “Dead” Flash Escape Games with Flashpoint

Flash Player is Dead! (Or is it?)

If you haven’t heard yet, Adobe’s Flash Player plugin has been permanently sunset. That brings down every Flash game on the Internet. While Flash developers had plenty of notice before their games became unplayable, many didn’t have the time, resources, or interest to transport their 10+ year old games to a new platform. To save the utmost amount of games from getting lost in the void, Flashpoint and a handful of similar projects were created.

Many different teams are attempting to archive the vast array of Flash Player games. Newgrounds has developed a way to play their collection of Flash games from over the years, including a smaller yet substantial repository of ~20,000 titles.

While other smaller projects exist, Flashpoint is by far the leading platform in game preservation efforts.

BlueMaxima's Flashpoint website.

What is Flashpoint?

A reader tipped us off recently about this project aimed to preserve tens of thousands of games that used Flash Player and other depreciated web software. Flashpoint is a non-profit, open source project with over 70,000 web-based games included in its extensive database.

The developers of Flashpoint are constantly adding new webgames from various websites and plugins requested by users. If there is a game you loved and cannot play anymore due the death of Flash Player, you can submit a request to revive your cherished Flash game memories.

Flashpoint's launcher, loaded with point & click escape rooms.

The database alone has more than 9,150 games that include the word “escape” in the title, so you’re bound to find almost every escape and puzzle game made in Flash that your heart desires.

How to Get Going

Flashpoint has two options for downloading: Ultimate (download the entire repository of games off the bat) and Infinity (download games individually, as you please).

Compared to playing the games in-browser back in the day, Flashpoint offers an impeccable gameplay experience. Every game feels flawless, and setup is incredibly easy. While running the games, you can even be directed to external links, i.e. clicking on the walkthrough button in-game will open your web browser and show the walkthrough (cue terrible early 2000s web designs).

Every game I’ve played so far has run identically to the old web-based versions. Flashpoint is guaranteed to work on Windows 7 and up, and has experimental versions for MacOS and Linux. The FAQ goes over these requirements in more detail.

Not Sure Where to Start?

The launcher includes a Hall of Fame with the most popular games, as well as a “choose a random game” button that displays 5 choices. They also have a handful of categorized game lists including Flash Food, Puzzling Pursuits, and Escaper’s Encyclopedia.

Some of my most memorable, non-puzzle favorites include the original Thing Thing Arena, Super Crazy Guitar Maniac Deluxe, Stick RPG, Bowman, and Amateur Surgeon. (I’m not sure if these games are actually good or are just nostalgic.)

An escape game running in Flashpoint.

In the realm of escape rooms, some notable classics include Crimson Room, Cube Escape (from the Rusty Lake team!), and the AN Escape Series.

Flash Player’s History with Escape Rooms

While escape room predecessors include adventure puzzle video games (Myst), text adventures, and UK game shows (The Adventure Game, The Crystal Maze), the escape room genre really took off with Flash Player’s ‘Escape the Room’ video games. Crimson Room was one of the most well-known escape the room games, and truly paved the way for the industry as we know it. Check out David’s 2017 article A Quick History of Escape Rooms for more on this history.

Thank You, Flashpoint

Flashpoint is an incredible effort to preserve many fantastic games that otherwise would have been just a lost memory. Thank you, from escape room fans to the folks behind this amazing journey and accomplishment. Without Flashpoint, an important part of our history could have been forgotten.

If you have any fond memories of Flash-based games, please share them in the comments for all to play!

Thank you to the REA reader Andrew Nicholson, who let us know about Flashpoint.

The 2021 Cryptex Hunt is On

A quick reminder: This year’s Cryptex Hunt has commenced.

Pokemon meme depicting a trainer facing off against a Nevins cryptex reads, "Wild Cryptex appeared!"

Justin Nevins, Errol Elumir, and co (which includes REA’s own Sarah Willson, among many of our friends), have created a unique puzzle hunt through 8-bit text adventures.

Errol made a remarkable text-based puzzle game a few months ago that blew my damn mind.

Text adventure: Pixel art kitchen depicts your character's wife and the plate of eggs she made for you.
Errol’s Present Quest

If you’re new to puzzle hunts, I strongly suggest that you take a look at my Puzzle Hunt 101 primer.

If you aren’t already participating, I’d suggest gathering your puzzle friends and getting involved. This crew always does interesting, innovative, and fun things.

The Reality Escape Pod Episode 1: Trailblazing Game Designer Elan Lee (ARG, Exploding Kittens)

Episode 1 is an interview with trailblazing game designer Elan Lee, creator of the first ARG and founder of the Exploding Kittens company.

We cannot imagine a better first guest. Elan is brilliant, funny, and so giving of his knowledge. Interviewing him was an utter delight, and I think that it shines through in every segment.

Elan sitting cross-legged on a stool.

Episode 1

Episode Summary

In this episode, David and Peih-Gee chat with Elan Lee, one of the creators of the ARG (alternate reality game), and co-creator of Exploding Kittens – the most-backed campaign on Kickstarter at the time.

David manages to surprise Elan with interview questions that he’s never been asked before. Elan talks about creating the world’s first ARG and shares stories about what happens when you don’t properly define borders in immersive gaming. We also talk about escape rooms (of course) and Elan’s post-game ritual. We find out that Elan is a huge fan of Survivor and he tells us why he considers Jeff Probst to be one of the world’s best game designers.

Elan tells us that the best-designed games aren’t entertaining in and of themselves, but rather, that the best-designed games make the players entertaining.

Reality Escape Pod mission patch logo depicts a spaceship puncturing through the walls of reality.

Topics Discussed in this Episode

  • Elan talk about the connective tissue in Jar Jar Binks neck. (1:40)
  • Elan tells us about his mentor, creative director at Xbox Jordan Weisman, and the most valuable correction he gave Elan including how that launched his gaming design career. (3:00)
  • Elan talks about being one of the creators of the ARG format. (7:15)
  • Elan tells his favorite story from his first ARG, a promotion for Steven Spielberg’s movie A.I. (10:30)
  • We discuss what happens when the rules of the game are contradicted by the rules given to you by a gamemaster. (14:30)
  • Elan discusses his escape room post-game ritual. (18:35)
  • Elan discusses his indicators for a poorly designed escape room. (22:22)
  • We talk about the possibility of having save-points in escape rooms. (22:58)
  • We talk about resetting escape rooms and Elan shares a story about how one company games their players into resetting the room for them. (24:07)
  • We ask Elan about his favorite emotional buttons that get pushed in well-designed games. (26:42)
  • Elan talks about working with Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal, on Exploding Kittens (31:02)
  • Elan tells us about a viral video with which he was involved. (33:55)
  • Peih-Gee finds out about Elan’s Survivor connection. (34:37)
  • Elan tells us why he considers Jeff Probst to be one of the world’s best game designers. (36:02)
  • Elan fanboys over Peih-Gee. (39:22)
  • We talk about a mutual friend, Myles Nye, who will be our second podcast guest. (39:40)
  • Elan talks about why he loves Survivor so much, what makes it so entertaining, and how the best games are toolsets that make the player entertaining. (39:51)
  • Peih-Gee talks about twists in Survivor and why they create interesting gameplay (41:10)
  • Peih-Gee talks about the twist that had her fruitlessly searching in the jungle for hours. (42:57)
  • Elan discusses his new game A Game of Cat and Mouth (44:37)

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Podcast Launch Giveaway

Please see our post on Instagram for details of how to enter the REPOD Launch Giveaway. Special thanks to our generous sponsors of the giveaway.

Support REPOD

Thanks for listening!

Guest Bio

Elan Lee, Co-Creator and CEO, Exploding Kittens

Elan Lee is the Co-Creator and Chief Executive Officer of Exploding Kittens, the hit tabletop game company. In this role, Elan oversees the operations of the company as well as the development of new games and other corporate initiatives. Under Elan’s leadership, Exploding Kittens has expanded its portfolio to eight games and has sold more than 11 million games to date in over 45 countries since its founding in 2015.

Lee’s pioneering work in entertainment has spanned everything from multiple startups raising millions of dollars to creating the Alternate Reality Game (ARG) genre. Before founding Exploding Kittens, Elan was the Chief Design Officer at Xbox Entertainment Studios where he was responsible for the Interactive Entertainment Portfolio for XBOX Entertainment. Prior to that, he was the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Fourth Wall Studios as well as co-founding 42 Entertainment (the company behind ARGs: I Love Bees, Nine Inch Nails- Year Zero, and The Dark Knight). Elan began his career at the Microsoft Games Studio where he was a Lead Designer on the original Xbox.

A 20 year veteran of the games industry, Elan has served as an international expert on the future of gaming and storytelling. He has won a Primetime Emmy for the series Dirty Work, the Game Innovator of the Year award for Exploding Kittens, and an IndieCade Trailblazer Award for a distinguished career in interactive entertainment. He has also won awards for Best Web Game of the Year, Best Advertising Campaign of the Year, and Best Idea of the Year, and Most Innovative Retailer.

Support Room Escape Artist’s Mission

There are lots of ways to support Room Escape Artist, like buying from Amazon or Etsy after clicking into the links included in this post or backing us on Patreon.

The money that we make from these helps us to grow the site and continue to add more value to the community that we love so much.

Eleven Puzzles – Unboxing the Mind of a Cryptic Killer [Hivemind Review]

Unboxing the Mind of a Cryptic Killer is a point-and-click adventure game created by Eleven Puzzles in Poland.

Illustrated point and click interface depicts a locked treasure chest surrounded by modern technology.

Format

Style of Play: collaborative point-and-click adventure game with asymmetrical information

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 90 minutes

Price: $20

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

You are trying to track down a killer by solving an assortment of clues. You must divide your team into 2 groups, each of which has access to only half of the clues within the web app. By sharing your information with each other across a chatting mechanism of your choice, you piece together solutions that you each must enter to proceed.

Hivemind Review Scale

🚀 Patreon Backers are Getting New Perks!

This month, we introduced a podcast: The Reality Escape Pod. We’re super excited about the upcoming interview episodes, hosted by David and Peih-Gee Law. You can listen to Episode 0 now.

Some of you have been telling us for years that we need a podcast, and honestly, we agreed. Because of the support that you have been providing, David has been able to invest more of his time in learning the skills that he needed to do this at the level that we hoped for.

What we have is far from perfect, and over the coming episodes you’ll see him slowly improve at editing and mastering. Also, we have some audio recording kinks to get out of the system.

We are so eternally grateful to you all for helping us continue to grow our passion project into something more. I hope that you enjoy what David and Peih-Gee are making. They are pouring themselves into it.

Reality Escape Pod mission patch logo depicts a spaceship puncturing through the walls of reality.

New Perks

With the podcast, we’ve introduced new Patreon perks at many different levels.

These include access to the bonus after-show episode, a monthly game club where David and Peih-Gee discuss the game of the month (spoilers included!), and a personal shoutout on The Reality Escape Pod to thank you for your sponsorship of REA.

Plus you still get all the original REA Patreon perks including access to an exclusive Discord channel, early access to some of each month’s best blog posts, and early access to tickets to Escape Immerse Explore Tours and future events.

Thank You, Patreons!

Because of you, we’re able to try new things, like this podcast. You are all amazing and we cannot do this without your support.

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To those of you reading who have the means, we hope you’ll considering joining this wonderful group of supporters. Just click here!

Support Room Escape Artist’s Mission

There are lots of ways to support Room Escape Artist, like buying from Amazon or Etsy after clicking into the links included in this post or backing us on Patreon.

The money that we make from these helps us to grow the site and continue to add more value to the community that we love so much.