Why I’m still a flasher

I have plenty of games to play on my console or on PC through Steam.  Really great, high end, well-rounded games that I paid hard-earned cash to own.  And yet, I still find myself playing free flash games online.

My main weakness is for tower defense.  I love to build my towers, upgrade them, and watch all the little creeps die.  The strategy behind it – what to build, when, how often to upgrade – it’s like a glorious little puzzle.  Some of these games have fantastic graphics and sound effects, some are way too similar, but it doesn’t really matter to me.  Kingdom Rush was a brilliant game, and Incursion 2 clearly copies elements just with different sounds (stealing from Warcraft).  Does that make Incursion less fun?  Nope.  Still played it for all it’s worth.

In general, I find these games on Kongregate.  I suppose it’s because I started on there and haven’t bothered to change sites.  Also, there are badges, and it’s soothing for my OCD to collect them.

Then, I’m sad to say, I have also fallen prey to King’s game, Candy Crush Saga on Facebook.  Yup, I confess, I play that monstrosity of a Bejeweled clone.  Although it goes so much further than Bejeweled – it seems CCS was designed to be pure addiction.  It’s not even that I enjoy the game, I just can’t stop playing it.  I keep thinking that I’ll just play one more game and then delete it… 5 lives later and I’m still playing.

So why?  Why am I playing free tower defense or fake Bejewled when I could be playing Civ 5 (equally addictive) or finishing ZombiU, or replaying the Last of Us?

Well, I think part of it is that flash games AREN’T immersive.  Yes, they’re addictive and time passes while playing them.  However, I can still work while having Candy Crush Saga open.  Much like the old days of playing Solitaire while on the phone, it doesn’t distract from my actual task at hand.  It just makes my work seem a bit more entertaining and somehow helps me focus.  When I need to think of something – how to phrase a thought, or how to approach a particular situation – I can focus on it more clearly while playing a game.  It’s almost zen-like; when I play Candy Crush Saga, it uses the parts of my brain that seem to get distracted most easily, leaving the rest of my brain to focus on the things I want to think about.  As counter-intuitive as it may seem, playing mindless games on Facebook actually boosts my productivity.

I’m clearly not the only one.  Kongregate is looking to expand onto mobile platforms, and it seems that Candy Crush Saga is huge on Facebook at the moment.  Why do you play casual games?  And yes, I’m including mobile games in this category.  Why do we play cheap/free games when there are so many high quality, immersive games out there?

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Author:Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!
  • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

    Tower defense FTW!!!

  • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

    So if we comment a lot here we will get ZOE TOPLESS ION tomorrow?

    • Zoe

      … maybe :)

      • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

        Pity that I know the current stats. So you need to pull a rabbit outta your ass to win (figuratively of course!!!)

        • Zoe

          might just have to reward the community for the valiant effort. and amazing comments

          • Admiral Chief Groot Wors


            *proceeds to comment nonetheless*

    • Unavengedavo

      Well she did say that she is a Flasher…

      • Admiral Chief Groot Wors


        • Unavengedavo

          The title of the article:
          Why I’m still a flasher

          • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

            I know, hence the O_O

          • Unavengedavo

            Apologies… I confused the shock face O_O with the confused face o_O

        • Lourens Jordaan


  • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

    You know what casual game ROCKS (actually bought it, devs like that should be rewarded), its PUZZLE FORGE. Man, that game is just perfect for me!

    • Argentil

      For me: Game Dev Story for Android.

      • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

        Kewl, wotsit about?

        EDIT: NM, read about it now. Glad you enjoyed it

        • Argentil

          It’s a little Sim where you create your own Game Studio. It was quite fun, but it didn’t last very long :P

          • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

            Is that what she said?


          • Argentil


            Nope. Back on topic, the game was really addictive, but it only lasted 2 days. 3/10 as a game, 7.5/10 as a mobile game.

          • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

            Interesting. Try Puzzle Forge. So damn good!

          • Argentil


          • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

            Droid that I know of, I think more?

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        Love that game

    • Trevor Davies


  • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

    Oh, and the hours I slapped into TRIPLE TOWN is also ridiculous. (Also bought that gem)

  • ElimiNathan

    Ye good point, sometimes you just don’t feel like being immersed into an experience

  • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    We play these games because we have to take a sh*t

    • Kromas

      The only reason angry birds became popular.

      • HvR

        Rovio meeting:
        Taking crap + shoot birds at pigs = profits

        let’s go watch from motor racing.

    • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

      (sung to REM’s Everybody Hurts)


  • Trevor Davies

    The same reason why I have games on my phone – momentary distraction from thinking.

    • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

      Waiting in queues, waiting in general.

      I think console gamers play the most since they have to wait so damn long for their games to load :P

  • Captain Minion TallTwit

    Try out TowerMadness… you get to kill aliens, and defend sheep!

    • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

      On Droid?

  • Gareth Breydenbach

    Im busy playing Real Racing 3 on android,awsome racing game and its free, yes it has that lovely micro transaction, but u can still play without giving real money.

    • DriveMagazine

      RR3 is such an awesome, evil time waster. Although I’m not too happy (who is?) about the stupid, stupid updates in 1.2 basically forcing racers into in-app purchases to proceed.
      IMHO though, RR3 hardly deserves to be lumped in with the Flashers. It’s a full-fledged sim engine that Firemonkeys have built there.

  • Spathi

    Smoking breaks. Almost never play when at home. Did play Star Con 2 port on my phone though..

    • Andre116

      Star Control 2 on your phone?? Tell me more you cowardice Spathi?

  • HvR

    Just hate the tap out model EA has been cloning the last year.

    So excited when started EA Theme Park, going to relive happy chilhood memories, loads up (needs internet connection ?? ok), loading, meh

    tap there and place this, wait 10 min tap to have money fly all over the place , collect money tap tap tap tap wait hour repeat, oooo roller coaster available needs super tickets needs to spend R20 for super tickets for roller coaster. -C for park cleanliness, hire a cleaner? noooooo tap on bin tap to collect garbage tap tap tap tap tap …….

    Just let me pay you R50 for a port of the full game dammit without all the freaking tapping.

  • Unavengedavo

    An addictive tower defense…


    Basically a tower defense played on Google maps with endless map layouts!

  • Mossel

    Temple Run ftw!!

    • Vampyre Squirrel

      And Minion Rush as well as Mutant Roadkill.

      Both in a similar kinda scheme :P

  • Jonah Cash

    Why do we play these games, because it is so 90′s to still read a mag while on the white throne…….. Hahahaha

  • Mossel

    I actually play Toy Defence. You play with little toy soldiers! Pretty awesome.

  • Slade Boender


  • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    Chaos rings,final fantasy 4

    • Slade Boender

      FF4 is pretty slick on the old ipheezy

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        Fo shizzle my nizzle quite impressed by it but dat price..jee whizz

        • Slade Boender

          tell me about it dude, for a TD the asking price is a bit high. If there was only a platform like Warcraft3 for ios that folk could design TD’s. Would be so rad.

  • KingKappie

    1 Comment extra for Zoe

    • Vampyre Squirrel

      Have a upvote and a comment!

  • NK

    You gotta try the new Kingdom Rush, Toy defense 1 & 2. All brilliant tower defense games!!

  • Weanerdog

    Must remember that “playing games at work actually increase productivity through focus” line.

  • Weanerdog

    And spamming comments for Zoe

  • Weanerdog

    Again spamming comments

    • Gustav Willem Diedericks

      I’m getting the idea that everyone wants a Zoe ION….

  • Vampyre Squirrel

    I’m a huge fan of Flash games, but the scene’s become quite stale with all the Tower Defense and Zombie games, it all just feels the same… NEED MORE NEW IP’S!

    But there’s always some flash games I go back to time and again and enjoy every time :)

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