After years of keeping Flash on life support, Adobe plans to pull the plug on its famous internet software during December 2020. But don’t worry, The Internet Archive now preserves Flash games and animations in an emulator, so you can re-expirence classic memes and games from your browser without downloading any funky software.
Our friends at The Internet Archive have already preserved over 1,000 Flash games and animations, including classics like Peanut Butter Jelly Time, Carmelldansen, Lolituma Girl (Leekspin), and Homestar Runner. And while it may take some time for the Archive to feature your favorite niche games, it already has Alien Hominid, which is one of my personal favorites.
These Flash games and animations run as they did in the 90s and 2000s thanks to an in-development emulator called Ruffle. While Ruffle isn’t 100% compatible with Flash, it works well enough to run most historic games and animations in full quality without any lag. That said, you may find that these games and animations run better than you remember, as many under-powered computers struggled to run games in full quality during Flash’s heyday. (The only bug I’ve noticed is that the Archive’s fullscreen button doesn’t work. You have to right-click to turn on fullscreen mode.)
Ruffle runs natively on all browsers through WebAssembly, so you don’t need to download any software to play Flash content on The Internet Archive. That said, you can download a Ruffle desktop application to play Flash content outside the browser, or download the Ruffle browser extension to play Flash content on any old website. (You can also use Flashpoint to re-experience old Flash games and animations.)
The Internet Archive is trying to build its collection of Flash games and animations, beginning with classic and historic content. If you have a .swf file to contribute to the collection, visit the Archive’s latest blog post and scroll down for submission instructions.