Now that the holidays are over and people have gone back to the grind of reality, I have returned in an attempt to make your productivity plummet. In what will likely be the last of my â€œsurveys of the Flash gaming world,â€ I will be like the mother bird and feast upon the flesh of my runt offspring. I josh. Instead I shall provide you with wings, so that you may begin to wander the wild world of Flash yourself.
Founded by Tom Fulp, the programmer behind the dynamic developer duo that is Behemoth (creators of Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers), Newgrounds is likely the largest site of user-submitted and peer-reviewed content on the web. The site primarily relies on amateur or very small independent developers to submit their Flash game/video to the community. Then it is up to the community to either protect it and push it to the top, or to â€œblamâ€ it and keep it from ever seeing the light of day.
But the selection here isnâ€™t limited to only Flash games. You can also find a huge supply of music, art assets and many flash videos – some excellent, some not so. In fact there is so much to explore and discover that it seems like a lot of the great stuff could easily get lost in the muck. Fortunately, the site does a great job of featuring some of the best submissions on their front page, saving you a lot of hassle. However, if you are brave, there are many deep, dark horrible holes you can crawl into to see what is likely the best representative of the darker side of humanity – at least the more â€œdick-jokeâ€ centric side of humanity. A site both for consumers and producers, Newgrounds is great if you want to create, critique or just see whatâ€™s new.
Kongregate may be my favorite Flash portal if only because Iâ€™m a dirty achievement whore. Thatâ€™s right. They took your achievements, and they got Flash in them. Or did they take your Flash, and get Achievements on it? Either way, the badge system set up in Kongregate provides incentive to really dig deep into certain games. It helps that they typically only give badges to games worth spending a large amount of time on. And why would you want badges? To get more points! What do the points do? Increase your level, duh. And the level doesâ€¦well, nothing really. But you can still vote on your favorite flash games!
Kongregate even includes a pay-out for the most popular new release of the week and of the month. All in all, the average quality seems to be a little higher than what you might find at Newgrounds, but there is much less content and games here tend to be on a â€œsecond runâ€ of sorts.
Now these two portals are far from the only ways to find new Flash games. Armor Games is similar to both Kongregate and Newgrounds, but usually games sponsored on Armor Games will find their way to either of the two featured portals. Jay is Games is a really good site for uncovering some really neat gems, but so much of their selection skews to the very casual that there is a lot of sifting required to get to the good stuff. I am also partial to the Indie Games Blog, but again the focus of the site is on indie game development, regardless of whether it is or is Flash.
So there you have it. There are many doors to chose from – many more pages added to your choose-your-own adventure novel called “Life.” No worries, Iâ€™ll still be here. I just want to spend some time not only showing where to find great Flash games, but really celebrating where Flash is heading and what it could become. Donâ€™t get me wrong, if I stumble upon greatness, I will absolutely let you know. But Flash is in a place to really change the future of gaming. Will it start a revolution? Maybe, maybe not, but thatâ€™s a debate for later. For now, waste some time enjoying and discovering some great Flash games.