Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash was officially discontinued on January 1, 2021. Its “death” might have been good for people who like a clean, sleek web-browsing experience, but it’s bad for people who, like me, enjoyed the free games that took advantage of Flash. Some of these games offer free downloadable versions, some are available via BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint project, but some of them are sadly vanishing from the internet, maybe forever.

So I felt like sharing some of my favorite Flash games that are still playable in 2021. I found it really interesting to re-explore these spheres of underground gaming, and to expand my knowledge on the topic. I hope you find it interesting too.

Let’s now look at five of my favorite Flash games, with the caveat that some of these unfold into recommendations for multiple other games. So really, there are more than five games in this article, but five of them are official entries on the list, while you can think of the others are further recommendations.

Need for Madness?

Need for Madness

Need for Madness? is a racing game specifically designed to make its in-game physics feel “cool” rather than emulating reality. The result is that you perform aerial tricks to charge your car, and you fly through gates to repair it. You win if you finish the race first, or if you “waste” all the other cars by smashing into them. Some maps are built to encourage you to win the race, and some are built for “wasting” others. Some are even built as a survival-style match, where you try to finish the race before you are “wasted” yourself. The game is always throwing something new at you, and there’s hours of unique content to keep you entertained, even before you get into the online sphere.

Need for Madness? was available as a Flash game at some point in its history (and it’s archived on Flashpoint), but you can also download a free standalone version of it from the official website (which includes the sequel Need For Madness? TooOo!?).

And it is a vibrant and full game for being free! I loaded the multiplayer mode and found a server easily. At 3 p.m. on a Friday.


Not only that, but there is also a Wiki page that is just… fascinating.

After completing The Mad Party, the player is congratulated with messages of gratitude and appreciation of finishing such a marvelous game.


I mean, I agree, ZX. But I also feel like we’re trying to keep some objective distance when writing a wiki article? Or maybe the message is saying it’s marvelous? I’m not sure.

Okay, but outside of that, the game also allows you to make custom maps and custom cars, some of which are posted on YouTube and the Wiki page. Someone posted a YouTube video of a custom track a week ago.


Need for Madness

I feel disoriented falling into the rabbit hole that is the apparently-still-very-active Need for Madness? community. But at the same time I don’t, because it’s just that great for what it is.

I highly recommend this one. Whether you’d like to give it a short evening to ease some boredom or curiosity, or if you want to dive into the still-active online community, this game has plenty to offer.

Territory War Online

Territory War Online

On the flipside of that coin, most Flash games have lost their multiplayer community by now. Territory War Online seems to have reached its expiration date. Correct me if I’m wrong — I would be thrilled to be wrong about this — but the online community seems to have disappeared. 

This is where this rabbit hole took me: I searched for Territory War. I was able to find the original game on Armor Games. It’s decent, but it’s nowhere near as realized as Territory War Online. The closest I got to actually loading Territory War Online was that I found it on Addicting Games. Except that all this one is is a broken demo version. I tried to play an offline game and the ground didn’t even load, so all the players immediately fell off the map.

Territory War Online

The game tells you to go to, which redirects you to Territory War 3, which seems to be unplayable due to the Flash wipe.

After all of this effort, I realized that this game is on Flashpoint. In fact, Flashpoint has Territory War, Territory War 3, and Territory War Online. The multiplayer servers still don’t seem to work (it’s possible that they technically do work but are just dead), but you can play a local game with two people on the same computer, or you can play vs. A.I.

If you are comfortable using Flashpoint, it is a great resource in the post-Flash era.

All of that being said, Territory War Online was a very addictive online turn-based fighter that had you select from a team of stick people, who you’d move one at a time and then fight the other team using various weapons. There was a lot of strategy involving weapon use and positioning, so I’m sad that the community has dried up.

Maybe give one of the offline versions a try if you want to see what Territory War is all about, but it’s a shame that there’s a lot more to the game series that has disappeared with time.



So this is sketch as heck, but I was able to play the original N on Kongregate after downloading the SuperNova player.

But actually, don’t do that, because a red flag went off on my device for malware, which my antivirus software seemed to take care of… but who knows? Maybe I have some sort of malware on my computer now. I’m paranoid now, and playing N for a bit probably wasn’t worth all that.

There seems to be debate on Reddit about Kongregate’s SuperNova player. Some are saying they’ve had it for months with no issue. Some, like me, got red flags from their antivirus software to immediately delete malware. Some, unlike me, said that a proxy server was set up on their accounts after installing this software. I think I’m safe. It’s hard to know for sure, but let me be an example right now of why you shouldn’t download anything when you don’t know exactly what it is.

Well, anyway, I played N again, and it’s just as fun as I remember it. I’ve always assumed that the N stands for Ninja, as you are sort of this ninja-like character who platforms across hundreds of levels. It was never anything extremely new or genre-bending, but I think it still stands out as a masterclass in getting the gameplay “feel” just right. It also has great level design, and it’s really good at creating gameplay loops that were subconsciously teaching the player how to play it.

Each set of levels gets more complicated as it introduces new concepts and enemy types. You have to avoid lasers, homing rockets, motion-detecting robots, and a host of other obstacles and enemies in order to reach the end of each stage. Your goal is simple: Press a button to open a door, then make it to that door. That’s it. You have only your platforming skills and the geometry of the map you’re presented with to complete this goal. You have a limited time, but you can collect coins to give you more time.

The game gets hard quickly, but it always feels fair because everything follows a rule system that’s consistent. There is a way to beat the level, but you need to be exact with your movement. It’s great — it’s not worth getting potential malware over, though.

This is breaking the “free” rule of this article, but you are honestly much better off paying $15 for N++ than you are trying to get the free version. 

N++ has everything N had and more. Thousands of maps, a multiplayer mode, a custom map maker. N is also just a great game in every iteration. Level design is great. The feel of the controls is on its own level, really. And N is just always fun. It gets frustrating easily, but it’s always an enjoyable experience — one you can get wrapped up in it for hours.

One Chance

One Chance

On my search to replay One Chance, I started with a version on Gamenora which runs without installing anything. However, I’m not sure how well-implemented or maintained this version is, as I got partway through the game before my progress was halted. I saw another version on Newgrounds in which you had to install a player to get it to run.

So I installed the Newgrounds player.

This time, I did look into it before installing it and it seems to be safe. I guess this makes sense when you think about it. Kongregate is using a third-party player to run their games, but Newgrounds made their own. If what they’re trying to do is preserve their games, it makes sense that they’d make something that works rather than trust a third-party who might have malicious intent.

Besides, I can tell you firsthand that this one works. Nothing sketchy happened when I downloaded this one. It’s made by Newgrounds. I trust this one.

That said, One Chance is also on Flashpoint. If you only want to install one thing, Flashpoint might be the more worthy of the two, as its library is immense.

As for One Chance itself, this is a narrative choice-based game, with the central idea being that the world is about to end and you have “one chance” to make choices about where to go and how to spend your last six days. Every choice weighs on you by the end. There are multiple endings, and every single one is tragic.

The idea is supposed to be that you only have one chance to play, as the game is designed to not let you play it over again. Even so, I’ve played every ending. There are various ways to do that, though it’s probably more difficult to pull off now. When it was still new, I would load it in different websites to get different endings. Of course, you can always just watch a playthrough of it with all the endings, but it’s a little harder to follow and it takes away some of the agency. I’d recommend playing through it once before you watch a playthrough, though I can’t blame you if you’re hesitant to download a player for it.

As for how the creators are doing, Awkward Silence Games has their own website where they sell some of their games. There’s also a Newgrounds page where you can play a few of their games for free, if you have the Newgrounds player.

It’s great that some of these games are still available via various players, but this does make me mourn the loss of Flash as a convenient and centralized player. However, it is nice to see that so many of these games have survived in some way, and that these developers still find ways to create.



One great thing about Coma as it exists now is that it just runs on the Armor Games website without needing any sort of downloads. Perfect. Let’s hope for more of these.

The game itself is very simple. It’s a platformer, but a very easy one. It’s a very linear narrative-based experience, so it’s almost on the level of something like Dear Esther (though I enjoyed Coma a lot more than Dear Esther, if I’m being honest).

Coma was created by Thomas Brush, who has a characteristic style and a unique approach to letting a story unfold through gameplay. Even if you think these games are easy or basic, they still have an engrossing quality. Part of that is the amazing art design, but it’s largely due to the sort-of-meta approach to storytelling.

I know of three more games made by Thomas Brush since Coma.

Skinny was released in 2011, and you can play on Newgrounds via the Newgrounds player, though I wasn’t able to get it to work. It’s on Flashpoint, though, so that might be a better option for anyone who’s interested in these games. You could also try watching a playthrough.

Here’s a fun fact about Skinny: All the hidden items are intertextual references to Coma.

Then there’s Pinstripe, which Thomas Brush and his studio Atmos Games took to the next level. Pinstripe takes more than an hour to beat, and it’s available on Steam, as well as several consoles. It’s not free (like Coma and Skinny), but is worth the $15 price point. Sure, it’s a single story without a whole lot of replayability, but it captures the meta gameplay and reality-shifting style that Brush brings to all his games. You do unlock a few things with repeated playthroughs, and it can be fun to replay once you’ve seen the ending. It also features a beautiful art style, so it’s worth playing just for that.

And then there’s Neversong, which I can’t say much about because I haven’t played it. I do intend to play this one soon.


Overall, revisiting some of my favorite Flash games has been a mixed experience for me. It saddens me to learn that Territory War Online is probably dead forever, and that so many Flash games have just been wiped from existence.

But, while there have been losses, I recognize that things change and that a lot of these creators have been clever enough to adapt. Need for Madness? is a downloadable game now, and it managed to maintain enough of a community to stay alive, even in 2021. Studios like Metanet (of N++) and Atmos (of Pinstripe) went on to get real money for their games, which is probably a lot better for them. And the underground game-creation community doesn’t at all die with Flash. If anything, a new era of creators emerged with tools like GameMaker, GameSalad, Unity, and especially Twine.

If you’re curious to learn more about the future of Flash games, check out Armor Games’ statement on the matter, or the Flash Game Preservation video by 2 Left Thumbs.

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