As 2020 transitioned into 2021, Adobe bade farewell to Flash Player, consigning it to computing history.
Though its technology had long been superseded and it had faced frequent criticism during its lifetime for the security vulnerabilities that it posed, a soft spot will always be held for it by those that attended school in the late nineties and early noughties.
Along with other browser-based timewasters, Flash games were king in providing distractions during IT or any other class that involved the use of desktop or laptop computers.
A comparatively new subject at the time, IT generally consisted of basic projects such as the creation of presentations in PowerPoint (bonus points if you used every possible animation or WordArt style!). This, coupled with the fact that the teaching staff were largely seconded from elsewhere, generally had only a basic understanding of the subject and possessed a limited ability to monitor the screens of 30 children at once, meant that far more time was spent gaming than actually working.
Here are ten of the most fondly recalled games of the era. Most remain playable in some form today, even with Flash now gone, though their time in the limelight has long been usurped by newer technologies, more demanding IT curriculums and higher standards of vigilance.
It has been a few
years since Flappy Bird, the iOS game that involved navigating a bird through
obstacles that were suspiciously similar to the pipes seen in Super Mario Bros,
became an overnight sensation, with phones that had it installed attracting
ridiculous bids in the sums of thousands of dollars on eBay after its creator
removed it from circulation.
Anybody that had ever played Helicopter would’ve wondered what all of the fuss was about. One of the simplest browser games out there, it tasked players with flying a helicopter through procedurally generated and increasingly more difficult ‘terrain’ in the form of blocks at the top and bottom of the screen. Success was measured in distance, with bragging rights afforded to whoever could go the furthest without crashing.
Popular for its simplicity (requiring just the left click button of a mouse to play), as well as the fact that it could be shut down at a moment’s notice without losing anything but the progress of a current run if a teacher came around, though Helicopter got repetitive quickly, it was always good for a five-minute break from whatever Publisher or FrontPage project was on the cards that day.