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.
What is Flashpoint?
A reader tipped us off recently about this project aiming to preserve tens of thousands of games that used Flash Player and other deprecated 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.
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 I’m just nostalgic.)
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-based ‘Escape the Room’ video games. Crimson Room was one of the best 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.