In the early 2010s, free online Flash game sites were massively popular. Collections of hundreds of games all free, maintained by ads typically displayed as banners around the games. These games ran on Adobe Flash, a program no longer supported by the major internet browsers like Chrome and Edge. While the sites figured out how to preserve these games for play still, the staggering amount of ads these sites stuffed into any given page remind me more of mobile games than my nostalgia for these sites themselves.

Take for example. A decade ago I would have played games on this site for hours at a time. Nowadays I have an adblocker, but going onto this site shows me over 80 ads being blocked on one page and that number grows exponentially the longer you stay. Even then, there’s still a banner ad and 3 in-page ads that all load before your game does.

Can I blame the site for trying to make money? No, but now it’s at the point that 30% of the screen is ads and I can’t help but feel that this isn’t a games site, it’s an ad page with games next to it.

Conversely, smaller sites like are solely maintained for the purpose of playing games. It makes me feel like I’m back in sixth grade, hunched over a laptop struggling with a trackpad to play games designed for a mouse.

2 Minutes to Escape is a clever platformer with a smart central concept. You proceed through basic rooms avoiding traps and turrets to get the door. No single room is extremely difficult, but once you realize your timer never resets upon death, you’re sprinting through these rooms and making small errors that slow you down. was designed with no ads, just games. There is a large collection of games, and sure, many are proof-of-concept quality. But it also leads to exciting finds when you come across a game you really like. This feeling of bouncing around the site looking for the best things to play is exactly the feeling missing from the bigger sites, where the best/most popular games are presented front and center, leaving little room for hidden gems.

Cannon Minimal is a one-mechanic game where you shoot cannonballs into baskets, Cannon Minimal has the same appeal as Google Chrome’s T-Rex. If it seems so simple and easy, why can’t I do it one try? Gah!

Many of these games benefit from their extremely low-budget concepts. Most have between 10 to 30 levels, and can be completed within 15 minutes. The perfect time-killers offer enough ideas for their length, and many have score systems to incentivize repeated play. Cannon Minimal is one of my favorites. There’s no score difference on how many tries it takes you to get the cannonball in the basket, but I always feel I can improve.

The cream of the crop take classic games and adds twists to keep them fresh in the modern era. BreakOut, Tetris and others are remade with small twists to keep them fresh. These are the safer bets for finding a game you know you’ll like, if you’re not up for searching the wide collection.

Super Tetris is similar in feel and aesthetic to NES Tetris, a more old school and difficult version of the classic game. While you can keep a “Hold” piece like modern Tetris, the completely random nature of the pieces means you’ll lose to random cruelty if you don’t adapt quickly. gets updates daily, with new games coming constantly. Some games are very similar to popular mobile games like Angry Birds, but again, the beauty of this site is exploring the catalog. It’s a completely free collection of web games with zero ads, since the founder solely wanted to focus on the fun of play and not the revenue. While the collection there is smaller than the bigger sites, the spirit of Flash game sites of old live in the simple pleasures of a site like this.

Jeremy Brown is a resume writer based out of Chicago, IL. For a free consultation email or call (312) 368-8888.

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