The Flash Game Archive: Everything You Need to Know.
For many years, Adobe Flash Player has been the heart of multimedia content on the Internet. If it had video, animation, or interactivity, then it was probably Flash. On December 31, 2020, Adobe ended support for Flash Player, removing it from Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS, disabling all Flash content on the web, and removing Flash plugins.
Well, that’s not entirely true. As we explain in How to Play Flash Files After 2020, there are many ways to access Flash content that modern browsers don’t play. Flash Game Archive is one such project, and they’re working hard to preserve Flash games.
What Is the Flash Game Archive?
FGA is a project to keep as many Flash games as possible. They have created a standalone application that plays these Flash games using emulation and using the original Flash Player software. The app also works as a game collection launcher and offers information about each game.
The developers of the app used the Unity game engine to create it and offer the software for free with no ads. However, as far as we can tell, this is not a free and open source application.
If you look in the FGA application folder, you will find copies of various Flash Player and Ruffle executables. Ruffle is a great Flash emulator that third-party users like FGA developers can use to run Flash games or Flash animations on modern hardware and operating systems. It works by converting Flash to modern HTML5 and is generally effective.
Why Archive Flash Games?
It’s easy to think of flash games as disposable curiosities. However, flash games from sites like Newgrounds represent a defining era in the early days of the internet. We saw something similar in the early days of cinema.
People didn’t see the films as valuable or important, which is why most of the early films are now lost to time. The Internet will be with humanity as long as we are a high-tech society, so the preservation of Internet artifacts representing a specific time and place in its history is valuable in itself.
The FGA Philosophy
For many of the reasons listed above, the FGA believes it’s worth keeping Flash games. Their main argument is that a thriving emulator community has helped keep console games alive long after the consoles themselves are gone, but there is no console for Flash games.
Flash Game Archive is user software that does not have the advertising and privacy issues associated with playing in a web browser. After downloading the game, no internet connection is required.
FGA Is Small
Today, one of the most popular solutions for accessing flash games is Flashpoint Infinity from Bluemaxima. However, Flashpoint installation sizes range from a few gigabytes to several hundred gigabytes!
In contrast, FGA downloads are less than 50MB and you only need to use disk space and bandwidth for the specific games you want to play. When you select games from the available titles, they are downloaded to your computer.
How to Use FGA
Using FGA applications is easy to figure out on your own, but why beat around the bush? Here’s how to get into the game as quickly as possible:
Download the latest FGA. This is for Windows only. Sorry Linux and macOS users!Unzip the downloaded folder.Launch Flash Game Archive 2.
From the app’s main screen, select Categories.
Choose any category.
Select a game from the list, such as 3 Foot Ninja.
Press the play button.
You can add a game to your favorites by selecting the heart icon on its page. Then, when you go to “Favorites” on the main screen, you will see all the titles that you have added to the shortlist. You can also find games by searching or checking the Favorites section on the home screen to see which games patrons and developers think everyone should know.
There aren’t many settings in the Flash Game archive that you can tweak, but they’re worth highlighting.
In the upper right corner of the home screen, you will see several resolution presets for the app. Just choose one that fits your screen, or choose one that’s lower than your screen’s native resolution if you want it to display in a smaller window.
If you select “Settings” on the main screen of the app, you will have the option to allow all flash games.
This restores removed functionality from Microsoft Windows where the OS might otherwise have blocked games. You can also undo this setting change and fix it using the Restore Old Settings button on the right.
Contributing Games to the Archive
You can upload Flash games to the archive using the Upload option on the site. All files required to run the game must be compressed into a single ZIP file and downloaded from this page. As far as we can tell, direct archive requests are reserved for FGA Patreon subscribers.
There isn’t much information on this page about how the approval process works. Unfortunately, you also can’t provide personal details when uploading, so you’re more likely to become a patron.
What About Copyright?
Most flash games in FGA are created by individuals or small groups of amateur enthusiasts. Some of them were made by professional teams with the support of large companies. In any case, these games are the intellectual property of their creators.
Anyone can submit a game to the FGA, creating a situation where games get archived when the copyright owner doesn’t want it. The FGA has a dedicated page where copyright holders can request that a game be removed from the library. It’s essentially an “apologize later” approach, but it’s impossible to track down the copyright holder for every flash game. Most of these games have anonymous authors who cannot be traced.
Supporting the Flash Game Archive
Flash Game Archive is free to download and use for everyone, but it costs money to develop and maintain such software. So, FGA relies on the support of like-minded people and allows you to donate money through cryptocurrency or a subscription to Patreon.
There are three levels: grey, blue and gold. They cost $5, $10, and $20 per month. All three tiers are named in the software, but if you’re a Gold Patreon holder, you can request that the games you’re interested in be featured in the Featured section so more people are more likely to play them.
The FGA Discord
Since FGA is a community driven project, it’s no wonder it has a thriving Discord server. You can get a Discord invite on the main page by clicking the Discord button. Alternatively, you can click the Discord button on the app’s main screen.
Discord by FGA is full of features. There are channels where you can donate money, request features, and learn how to change the default password (it’s just “password”). There are even FAQs that cover the most common questions and misconceptions about FGA.
Playing Your Own SWF Files
If you have your own Flash SWF game files, you can download them directly using the FGA application. All you have to do is select “Load Local SWF” from the main application menu.
You can choose which versions of Flash to use for maximum compatibility, but the developers have not done anything to make the game work properly.
You can find SWF files all over the Internet, but we recommend that you first take a look at the Internet Archive’s Flash Game Library.
More Than Flash Games
Although FGA is mainly about saving and allowing us to play flash games, there is also a collection of flash animations. They may be interactive, but they are not games. However, they have the same general historical value as flash games, and much of the history of internet culture is contained in these animations. If you want to view a collection of FGA animations, swipe right on the home screen to open them.
Adult Content on FGA
In case you haven’t noticed, FGA has a lot of adult flash games and animations. You must not allow minors or sensitive users to access the FGA. While these categories are password protected, it’s easy to find or change the default password. It’s as easy as opening the password-protected text file in the FGA folder and editing the contents with Notepad.
We couldn’t find any version of FGA that didn’t have this explicit content, so a responsible adult should always keep an eye on it.
The Flash Game Archive: Everything You Need to Know
The Flash Game Archive: Everything You Need to Know