To misquote Mark Twain, it seems that rumors of Flash games’ demise have been grossly exaggerated. They might not have the hyperrealism of today's top console games, but that hasn’t deterred anyone, and more people are playing flash games than ever. The current fascination with retro and retro-style games is part of it. But that in turn is down to more variety and broader gamer demographics.

It is also a demonstration of how sometimes realism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. After all, the enduring popularity of Disney animations isn’t because of the lifelike imagery. On the contrary, people relish the opportunity to escape awhile into a “cartoon world” that is quite different to the real thing.

Flash Games

Flash games are quick and easy

Back when we were young and carefree, we might have spent hours on end gaming. Few have that luxury once they are beyond their mid-20s.  People approach gaming today in much the way they might once have approached picking up a magazine or a newspaper. They might play a quick game while waiting on hold, while the microwave is working its magic on a ready meal or during the commercials while watching a TV show.

Firing up a game of FIFA or CS:GO just doesn’t fit the bill in these circumstances, but a quick Flash game that takes seconds to load and perhaps a minute or two to play is just right.

Flash games are better than you might think

We’ve already mentioned that Flash and retro are strongly associated in people’s minds. It’s true, there are some fabulous retro games like Tetris and Frogger and so on that you can play in Flash, and we will look at a few more examples in just a moment. But developers didn’t stop making Flash games in 1994, they have been working on new titles for years.

If you’ve not explored Flash games in a few years, you might be in for a pleasant surprise at just how good they are now, both in terms of appearance and the complexity and detail of the games themselves.

Flash casinos appeal to older demographics

Online casinos constitute one of the most popular gaming niches for older gamers. That’s no big surprise, if you’ve ever had a chance to visit Las Vegas, you’ll notice 50+ more gamblers on the casino floors than any other demographic. Older gamers value convenience highly and tend to have minimal patience with popups and other such distractions. The ability to get straight into the casino gaming with minimal sign-in processes and no download necessary is a big deal, and that’s exactly what Flash casinos deliver.

At the same time, they typically include all the most popular casino games, including dozens of different slots, roulette, blackjack, video poker and more.

Flash games for retro gamers

Some people might argue that you can’t get much more retro than casino games, some of which date back more than 100 years. It’s a fair point, but for those of us who equate retro games with arcade classics and games that were popular in the heady days of the Atari, Commodore and maybe SEGA, there are some wonderful time-killers that are free to play on Flash. Here are a few of our favorites:

Classic Pac Man – this landmark arcade game really needs no introduction. In 1981, arcades had driving games and shooting games and – that was about all. Pac Man helped get the girls gaming and became a pop culture icon. Most important of all, though, it’s a great game that is as engaging today as it was in 1981.

Classic Street Fighter 2 – the biggest game of the early 1990s, the Flash version of Capcom’s iconic fighting game will transport you back 30 years as you once again adopt the character of Ryu to take on Sagat one more time.

Tetris – as much a cultural and political landmark in history as a game, Tetris celebrates its 40th anniversary next year. It is an example of how something incredibly simple can be incredibly successful if it is done right. Tetris continues to entrance new generations of players – but older generations love to rediscover it, too.

Ghosts n Goblins – from one of the simplest games of the 1980s to one of the most complex and difficult. When it came out in 1985, reviewers loved it and hated it in equal measure. If, like most players, you never got beyond the second level, now is your chance to let battle recommence.