With Flash Games Dead, One Developer Is Saving Theirs With A Game Boy Port

With over 70 of his games now unplayable, a notable Flash developer has ported one of his games to Game Boy as a proof of concept.

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If you're old enough to remember the early 2000s, you probably have fond memories of playing Flash games to while away the hours at your job or at school. As many longtime Flash fans know well by this point, Adobe officially halted support for the longtime multimedia platform back on December 31, citing security flaws and the existence of better tech. However, one prolific Flash developer took an unusual step to preserve their work: porting it to the original Game Boy.

That game is Anthony Lavelle's IndestructoTank, and you might have hazy memories of it from your youth, as I do. It's a grounded shoot 'em up similar to Defender or Moon Patrol, only your tank is completely invincible, and your goal is to bounce onto your enemies' heads continuously so you don't run out of fuel. The Game Boy port obviously limits the game's color palette, and the on-screen action is a little bit tighter, but it plays just as I remember.

Though the ROM will work on a real Game Boy, for the rest of us, Lavelle has provided an emulator that works in your web browser on his Itch.io page. As a whole, Lavelle exhibits a sense of humor about the demise of Flash in a recent AMA, but it's clear that he still has a lot of love for the platform. Arguably best-known for the puzzle game Shift, he says that Flash is the reason that he got into making games, and there will never be a tool quite like it.

"There were very few hours of my day I wasn't making Flash games, and I would have likely filled all of my spare time making them anyway even if I wasn't being paid, because it was a fun tool to use," he writes. "You didn't need to be into coding, it's just a skill that came as part of the creation process. Itch.io scrapes the surface of what those days were like for the new wave of developers, but the only thing close to as simple to get started in are visual novels, so a much more restricted genre gameplay wise."

If you're still feeling nostalgic for the heyday of Flash, you can check out preservation projects like Flashpoint and the Flash Game Archive. Emulation efforts are ongoing.

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