Browser-based games are perfect for a quick casual game. You can play without worrying about payments, downloads, or hardware requirements. And a quick puzzle game is the best way to make your distractions and breaks more productive.
I took it upon myself to sacrifice hours of my life playing online Flash games. For this list, I’m sticking to puzzle games specifically—not puzzle games that also require some skills. This is all about the brain. There are other deep Flash games to improve your critical thinking skills if that’s what you want.
Note: Some of the games are also available on mobile platforms, so where applicable, you will find links to download the game to your phone.
First, Let’s Talk About Flash
In case you didn’t know, Adobe Flash has security flaws, and the company is aware of it. In fact, Adobe is officially retiring support for Flash from 2020. That’s why it’s not active by default in any modern browser, and you will get a pop-up to Activate Flash on any page you try to play a game. Most sites will also make you stop your ad-blocker to run the game.
Also, Flash games don’t always need an active internet connection. You can download Flash games to play offline or even save the whole page offline in Google Chrome’s cache.
Let’s start the list with the most obvious one. Candy Crush Saga is the king of the match-three games, and it’s available to play for free online. You need to match three or more candies in a row to burst them, to meet the level’s objective.
It’s all pretty simple and intuitive. In case you are ever stuck, refer to our Candy Crush Saga cheats, tips, and hints. You can even play it on Facebook so that your mobile and browser progress is synced.
2. Jewelanche and Jewelanche 2
With Bejeweled and Candy Crush, everyone now knows the three-similar-shapes-in-a-row formula. However, Jewelanche is a fun variation of it. The jewels are dropped in a haphazard manner, and the laws of physics take over. You still need to make chains of three or more, and the bigger the better.
Chain combos will give you gems, with which you can buy power-ups between levels. But if you don’t manage to clear it all, the jewels will keep piling till the screen is filled, and it’s game over. And just when you think you’ve mastered Jewelanche, Jewelanche 2 will bring you back to earth.
Crush The Castle (CTC) isn’t just a game like Angry Birds, it actually predates Angry Birds and several people online claim Rovio’s classic was ripping off CTC. Set in medieval times, you have to fling rocks at castles to kill the king inside, going on an epic conquest of the kingdom. The rocks vary in size, you have multiple rocks, and even bombs. Use them wisely to huff and puff and blow those castles down.
Crush The Castle has a couple of sequels and expansion packs for more levels, all of which you can find at Armor Games.
Portal is one of the smartest video games of all time, and a few of the 3D first-person shooter’s fans recreated its basic gameplay in a two-dimensional Flash game. You’ll need to use the mouse and keyboard, creating portals to teleport from one area to another. The laws of physics play a big role here, so keep thinking and be quick!
5. Unpuzzle and Unpuzzle 2
Most new puzzle games make a mark on mobiles before released free online versions, but Unpuzzle bucks that trend. The goal is to take apart a jigsaw puzzle, choosing only the pieces that can be unlocked from the sides. Click, hold, and drag it in the direction you want to remove it.
Unpuzzle is a beautifully designed, relaxing game. It adds extra challenges with tiles that are locked for certain moves, multiple-locked tiles, and other puzzles. When you’re done with Unpuzzle, hop on to Unpuzzle 2 for more levels of that magic.
Download: Unpuzzle for iOS (Free)
We love Huebrix! It’s an ad-free, smooth game in which you have to fill a grid with colors. Each color has a limited number of moves, and you cannot cross two colors in their path. The video above explains the gameplay well. Past level 15, things get really tough!
Download: Huebrix for iOS (Free)
Threes is the most addictive math-based puzzle game I’ve played, and a fan has ported this mobile giant to the web. Use the arrow keys to move all tiles on screen in one direction, adding up similar-numbered tiles to make larger numbers. Keep going till you can’t make any more moves.
It’s probably an unofficial port, so it might be taken down in the future. In case of that, you can play the Threes clone 2048 and its several variations.
8. Sum Blocks, Sum Tracks, and Sum Points
Sum Blocks is a simpler math game than Threes! but it’s quite entertaining nonetheless. You’re given a few blocks with numbers on them. The area has a few rectangles that overlap with each other. Each rectangle has its own value. Place the numbered blocks in the rectangles such that the blocks add up to the value. When you place a block in an overlapped section of two rectangles, it counts in both.
If Sum Blocks proves too simple, try the advanced sequels, Sum Tracks, and Sum Points.
9. GO Virus
It’s time to be the villain and help a virus spread. It’s a game of colors set in a large grid of tiny hexagonal cells. Choose a color, and your virus turns into that color. It will also spread to any similar-colored cell it can touch. Keep changing colors to infect more cells. But be careful, there are limited moves! You have 15 levels to get through, and the last five are super challenging.
10. Mirror Runners
Usually, you have to take your hero to the exit. In Mirror Runners, you have two heroes and two exits—but your keyboard controls both of them at the same time. So when you tap the right arrow key, both heroes run right; and while it might be a clear path for one, there might be a spiked trap for the other. You’ll have to figure out how to get them both to the exit.
Again, Mirror Runners is a single person game; if you and a friend want to play together, we have a great list of fun and free two-player browser games.
Most platformer games like Mario make you move the character. Rotate makes you also move the whole screen itself. Press E and the whole “world” inside the game rotates 90 degrees clockwise, changing the gravity. Press Q and it will rotate 90 degrees counterclockwise. Using this, you need to take your character to the exit door in each level. Watch out for the spikes and other obstacles, it’s trickier than it looks.
12. Cube Mayhem
Ready to tear your hair out in frustration? Cube Mayhem just has a simple cube who wants to get from the start to the finish. All you need to do is place the right tiles to move it along, whether it’s arrows to change direction, moving walkways, or teleportation tiles.
Figuring out where and which direction to place them in is the puzzle. And it’s far more difficult than it looks!
In a world where people are balls, some balls can turn into boxes. These are called Wereboxes. Use your Werebox skills to drive out all the bad red Wereboxes off the level, but make sure you are still safe. Once you’re done with Werebox, try the hilarious Werebox 2, playing as “Max Ball”, out for vengeance against the evil Wereboxes who stole his cherry ice cream.
Pathologic is deceptively tricky. You’re the white glowing ball. You need to collect all the white rings in each level. The catch is that you can’t go on white squares, or any square you have already gone over. Use the arrow keys to move around, and when you’re finished, hit Enter to start a new level. And just keep playing and playing till you’re done with the 50 levels.
The original Red Remover was one of the most popular logic puzzle games, and creator Gaz Thomas has made a sequel. Click anywhere on the screen to trigger an explosion. The explosion’s blast has to be used to remove all the red figures from the screen while keeping the green ones intact.
And yes, gravity is subjective here, playing according to the orientation of the red figure’s face. It’s not as simple as it looks!
16. Sushi Cat and Sushi Cat 2
Sushi Cat is a Pachinko-style game where you drop a furry fat feline from the top of the screen, hoping to eat as much sushi as he can on the way down. Of course, the way down is filled with obstacles that will bounce Sushi Cat around, so you need to be smart about choosing the drop point.
As with any such game, there are plenty of power-ups and other boosters (as well as some threats), and you will discover those as you go through the levels. The cutesy Anime style and music, the fun but accurate physics, and the increasing difficulty of the levels make this a must-play.
When you’re doing, you can move on to Sushi Cat 2, where our intrepid tabby has found himself a girlfriend.
17. Waterfalls 3
Puzzle games can still be relaxing, as Waterfalls 3 proves. The lovely soundtrack is half the reason to keep playing this game, especially when coupled with the lovely visuals of fluid colors.
The graphics can be a bit heavy, so you might want to optimize your settings for better performance of Flash games. In the game, you need to move the flowing colors into containers, using redirecting arrows. It’s actually quite soothing, while still keeping your mind working.
18. Super Stacker and Super Stacker 2
Another Gaz Thomas classic, Super Stacker has you stacking shapes on top of each other, and making sure your structure is sound enough to stand for 10 seconds. You’ll have to use all the shapes you are given in each level, and it gets trickier the shapes move from squares to triangles to circles. Once you’re done with Super Stacker, start up Super Stacker 2 for 40 more levels of brain-teasing.
19. Liquid Measure and Sequels
Liquid Measure is perfect while taking a break from work. The levels are short, and you can keep coming back for more because of its many sequels. Each level has a few water tanks at the top, showing how many liters they hold. Place pipes and buckets in the right order so that all the water is collected when you release the valve. Don’t waste a single drop.
The game has two sequels and another three expansions, so you have six whole games worth of play time here.
Yellow is a whole new take on puzzle games, challenging your abstract thinking. Each level has the same objective: turn the whole screen yellow. But each level poses a new method to do that. The abstract thinking comes in the form of figuring out the method in each level.
From inflating balloons to finding hidden buttons, it all starts with a click of your mouse. And once you’re done with Yellow, play the follow-up Red.
Other Online Games to Help You Kill Time
Puzzles are just one of the many categories of awesome online games. There are fighting games you can play in the browser, strategy games to plan and beat others, text-based browser games, or just other addictive web games. It’s all about what you want.
And for those who don’t want anything to do with Flash, you can still play HTML5 games in the browser.