Flashy Friday: Vol. 5
This week’s Flash games are all about being quick on your feet. Ninjas, dinosaurs, and aliens galore! Happy gaming weekend!
Dino Run (June 2008)
In this 2008 classic, you are a raptor struggling to escape the aftermath of an asteroid impact threatening mass extinction of you and your prehistoric buddies. You must run, jump, and/or fly through the levels while picking up eggs to collect DNA to upgrade your characteristics such as speed and acceleration and pouncing prey to net yourself bones to buy goodies.
If you dally too long in a level the screen will adopt the ever-ominous color scheme of red and black, and you’ll soon encounter the “Doom Wave,” a pyroclastic tower of black gas and rock which threatens to swallow you up and wipe you off the face of the Earth.
The pixel art visual design is top-notch, and little scripted events such as rocks hurtling around you, trees toppling over, and meteoroid impacts flow in and out of the gameplay well.
House of Dead Ninjas (January 2011)
This fast-paced action game by Megadev has you barreling through obstacles and strange foes in a race against the clock. The object is to survive as long as you can in this tower of death by descending the floors while avoiding the onslaught of traps and enemy ninjas, critters, and demons.
Even as a ninja with the fleetest of feet, you still have to wisely utilize your limited supply of shurikens and bombs to quickly defeat the increasingly difficult enemies and break open new passageways. You can also use your sword by either indefinitely swinging it in front of you or dispatching death from above with a downward thrust, Link-style (I highly recommend the latter).
The floors transition between different atmospheres and color schemes smoothly. With the horror film-inspired music with a few Asian influences and the old school Mortal Kombat-esque grunts and groans, the game on the whole feels like a fresh blend of East and West.
There is a long list of in-game achievements to collect, and a retro instruction manual replete with a humorously used “Notes” section to boot.
Run 2 (March 2011)
This game can be described as “skating on a treadmill made out of 3D Tetris blocks in outer space.” The concept sounds strange, but the controls are simple and the mechanics are fun enough.
Just as with Mario and Luigi, you can choose between two characters: a runner (easy to control, smaller jumps) and a skater (harder to control, longer jumps). From there, you’re quickly thrown onto the aforementioned space treadmill, and you must avoid failing through any holes or hurling yourself into outer space, as tempting as that may be. But don’t worry, if you “die,” you’re back in action within half a second.
You’ll also see yellow orbs that you can collect, and sometimes they’re out of reach, under the floor you’re on or above you, which means you’ll have to defy the laws of physics to get there. To do this, you must lean against a wall to flip the whole level over on its side (think of a less mind-blowing version of Echochrome). And oh, did I mention you don’t ever stop moving?