To Boldly Go
Culture, Gender & Games

Five Flash Games (2)

Five more fun Flash games, accompanied by the standard disclaimer which is that I'm really only digesting other people's discoveries.

Alien Abduction

This one is very simple and basic, but it reminds me of the classic Spectrum game Cyclone and as such amused me. It's let down by the level structure... once you've cleared a game level once, there's little draw to do it again. It makes me think about how long the play window for a Flash game should be...

The Asylum

This is a lovely and unusual game in which one performs psychotherapy upon abused stuffed animals. Built on a recombinant branching structure, the only disappointment for me is just how much progress you can lose if you 'make a mistake'. I'd love to know what kinds of players are tolerant to this degree of unratcheted progress.


A very simple game, but delightful for its clarity of vision. There is one game mechanic - drawing loops - and the designer has used this for the interface as well (a trick which most games with a novel control mechanism love to do).


I've been playing this for a while... I think I might finally be sated upon it. It greatly appealed to me in many ways, as the processes of unraveling a two dimensional knot became quite hypnotic. However, past level 18, it was taking me forty minutes to clear the levels which is just a little too slow for what it is. Around the teens, I was solving them in 10 to 20 minutes, which was about right for me.

I'm interested in the different ways this game can be approached. It seems to me that people who primarily employ the Tactical skillset can solve the early levels lightning fast - but then somewhere on the way to level 8 find that there is too much information to approach in this way. My impression is that I used Strategic (pattern spotting) and Logistical (optimisation) skills... In fact, I think I have lost interest because I have learned all the relevant patterns and now use only Logistical skills. I loved it most when what I was doing was almost mystical, in that I was taking actions that worked to unravel the pattern but I was operating in a state of subconscious flow.

(Skill sets and games is one of several topics I keep meaning to post onto the blog - in particular, because I feel us being drawn in this way for the DGD2).


This is a dead simple Ninja game which is in the vein of old slightly abstract platform-puzzle games (Lode Runner springs to mind). What makes it so absorbing is its mimicry and freedom to play - the little avatar is gorgeously animated as it jumps, slides and walljumps its way around the environments. Also, the interaction model is very generous towards the player - for instance, you can climb up any wall by repeated walljumping (and without too much difficulty). Only the threat of death (which becomes more and more prominent) detracts from this. The game then becomes more puzzle than toy, which is about where I lost interest - although I don't doubt this is also where the game gets more interesting for many players.

No Japanese games in this batch, as far as I know.

With thanks to Jay is and Richard.


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