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Video games are getting bigger by the day. Where we were once able to put multiple games on a 1.4 Megabytes floppy, we’ve moved on to Blu-Ray discs of some fifty-odd Gigabytes.

However, these days have also proven us for once and for all that size doesn’t matter – it’s what you do with it.

Games like Pong – under a few Kilobytes in space – have kept on rocking until the current day where Sonic will probably never be able to conquor the current gen consoles.

Java4K – Minimum Games, Maximum Fun

This is one of the reasons why the Java4K competition was created. To look past the graphics for once, and go all in on gameplay. The objective to present the best possible Java game. The catch? The file size had to be under 4K, because this is the smallest possible file size on most operating systems. Now that’s what we call a challenge!

The contest was open for near to four months, and the judges have spent the some time, and the judges spent the last month painstakingly testing and rating each submission. Then at last, earlier this week, the victors where made public.

So, which games made the top five? Keep reading to find out!


Red Baron 4K

The developer, Marcin Kochanowski, made this game in the image of an old and forgotten DOS game.

The idea is pretty simple. You, and up to two of your friends – sadly, 4KB gives little room for AI – steer around little planes, and try to shoot each other out of the sky.

The concept seems almost too simple, but while hanging over one keyboard with three people, things can be expected to get fun.

Author: Marcin Kochanowski
Score: 87.3%

4bidden Fruit

A homage to the genius game “Pixeljunk Eden” from Q-Games, this beatiful – especially considering the filesize – game is gets you jumping and gliding through the air to catch all golden crescents in the garden. Gotta catch ’em all!

An eye caressing, relaxing game.

Author: SimonH
Score: 90.4%


This game works through a very original and ingenious concept. Your objective is to move at least 95% of the goo/fluid into the marked area by creating shockwaves with your mouse.

The game’s pretty easy at first, but can get painstaking hard later on in the game when more abstract shapes are introduced. Oh, did I mention you have a time limit?

Have some great fun with this minimalistic physics puzzle.

Author: MÃ¥ns Olson
Score: 90.5%


Construct bridges over gaps by placing nodes and creating supportive connections.When satisfied, simulate the situation and try to get a ball across the gap. Don’t do half work, but keep a tight rein on your wallet as well.

Another immensely addictive physics game from the maker of Pixeloids4K, Olson.

Author: MÃ¥ns Olson
Score: 91.0%

Left 4k Dead

This game exploded on the internet almost immediately after release. It’s a great 4K clone of Valve’s Leaft For Dead franchise, and it’s not at all surprising to see it conquoring the first place with a near perfect score.

Loose yourself in this intensive minimalistical horror shooter. Watch out for the zombies!

Author: Markus Persson
Score: 94.2%

Got the hang of it? Don’t want to stop? Then keep on going, and work yourself through the 62 other 4K games. View the rankings here.

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  1. The Java training guy
    August 20, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Some are good, some not so good. Learn about Java and JavaFX on Java Training.

  2. Enzo Arcade
    April 24, 2009 at 3:13 am

    The Pixeloids4k was fantastic it reminded me of a flash game snowflakes and the Left 4k Dead was great.

  3. Boby Thomas
    April 22, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    hmmm ...interesting...

  4. Leroy
    April 22, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Left 4k Dead was great! Reminded me a lot of a game that I made when I was a teenager called "The Facility". Had the whole nifty viewpoint effect and everything. Talk about nostalgic...

    Edit - Holy crap! My ancient angelfire website still exists :P. If anyone's curious about "The Facility" apparently it's still available for download:

  5. zammbi
    April 6, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Java ME runs on phones/pda's which is different from desktop Java. So no it wont run on windows mobile 6.

  6. bridgebuilder
    April 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Is bridge4k unfinished? I got to level 9, but the budget to build a bridge on that level is nothing, $0.

    • Chris
      April 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm

      Have a look on:,19622.0.html

      Someone said they got to level 11, so must just be you. Try restarting it or something. Someone said you can press R to restart the level. Haven't played it so don't know much about it. People posted error logs, maybe check yours?

  7. Honour Chick
    April 5, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    great games... i wish the scripts were available.

  8. Johnny Mac
    April 5, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    prety cool stuff dude!


  9. Chris
    April 5, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Jave4K? Typo. ;)

    • Simon Slangen
      April 5, 2009 at 3:08 pm

      Easter egg :p

      • Chris
        April 5, 2009 at 3:31 pm

        I win!

  10. aoi_sora9x
    April 5, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Is there anyway to play these games on a PDA device running WM6? o_O im afraid normal java manager cannot run these files, the extension is so weird...

    • Simon Slangen
      April 5, 2009 at 3:06 pm

      Certainly ought to be possible, main question is how

      Does your java manager eat JAR files? If not, which then?

    • pjt33
      April 7, 2009 at 4:02 am

      You might be able to do it with Mysaifu, but bear in mind that screen resolution may be an issue and I don't know whether Mysaifu supports Webstart, so you might have to peek inside the JNLP files and work out how to start them manually.