Flash games can be awesome – they’re all over the web, free to play, and easy to dive into. Flash games run the spectrum from fun, casual time wasters to indie gems created by developers with a unique vision. Downloading a Flash game is deceptively easy and simple once you know the trick.
Unfortunately, many people copy Flash games, throw them up on their own websites, and slap ads on them, stealing revenue and page views from the developers. This is why we can’t have nice things, like consistent offline support for Flash games – the same countermeasures that affect the people trying to profit off the backs of developers also hinder offline support.
You can grab a Flash game directly from a page’s source code, but that’s a bit technical. One less-technical solution is File2HD, a website that will automatically locate the Flash files on a page and help you download them.
To use File2HD, open the File2HD website. Copy and paste the address of the web page containing the Flash game you want to download into the box, select Objects, and click Get Files.
If the page has multiple Flash objects on it – for example, Flash advertisements and other such things – you’ll see multiple Flash objects (SWF files) you can download. Locate the one that represents the game – here, since I’m trying to download Closure, I’d download the one with “Closure” in its name. It’s also in a subfolder named “gamez”, which points me in the right direction.
Right-click the link and save the SWF file to your computer.
We’ve covered File2HD before — it can help you download other types of files from websites too, including music and video files.
Download With Mozilla Firefox
Firefox makes it easy to download Flash games right from your browser. From the page containing the Flash game, right-click the page and select View Page Info. Select the Media tab in the Page Info window, click the Type column to sort the media on the page, and look for the game – it’ll be classified as an Object. Once you’ve found it, you can use the Save As button to save the game to your computer.
Playing Flash Games Offline
Once you’ve got the game downloaded, playing it offline should be easy. Locate the .swf file representing the game on your system and open it in your browser. You can open it in your browser using drag-and-drop, or double-click it and associate it with a browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Internet Explorer.
The game will open in your browser – you may need to resize the game’s browser window to make the game smaller and more playable. If the game is taking up your entire browser window, it may perform quite slowly.
Many Games Are Site-Locked
Here’s the bad news – this won’t always work. In the case of Closure, the game won’t play properly offline – clicking the Begin button does nothing. Some Flash games are designed to not play unless they’re on a website – this is to prevent the Flash games from being stolen and placed on other websites. However, this also prevents us from playing them offline. We’ve covered this subject in the past, and site-locked games that refuse to work offline have only become more common since.
Some games won’t fail so silently, and will inform you that the game can only be played on a specific website. For example, download ImmorTall from Armor Games and you’ll see the following error when you try to play it offline:
However, downloading ImmorTall from the developer’s website at Pixelante.com gets you a copy that works fine offline.
The moral of the story is, if you want to play a Flash game offline, you should always try to download it from the developer’s website. Downloading it from a large Flash game repository like Kongregate or Armor Games is not as likely to work.
Can you get around the site-lock? Maybe, but it will be quite a bit of work. We’ve covered playing games from Kongregate offline in the past – you basically have to impersonate the Kongregate server and trick the game into thinking it’s running on Kongregate. It’s rather technical, and it may not even work for some games that request resources from online servers while they run.
Meanwhile, make sure you know how to toggle Flash in Chrome.
Image Credit: Files Download via Shutterstock