How to Save Flash Games & Play Offline
Adobe has made its intention known that it will no longer support any further developments to the Flash engine at the end of 2020. Although this doesn’t mean that it would be removing the engine outright, it’s an indication that the program will become obsolete soon. So, what about the games made with this engine? Is there a way to still play them even without Adobe’s support?
Why Does the Removal of Support Matter?
Flash has been constantly updated ever since its launch in January 1996. Now that it’s no longer being supported, the lack of updates will increase the vulnerability of using the software. Because of this, most websites are transitioning to the use of HTML5 as their language of choice. This also means that many flash games that are embedded into a webpage will either cease to function or experience multiple errors. There are ways around this though, as we’ll show here.
How to Save Flash Games from a Website
There are several ways to download and play Flash games offline, the easiest being trying to find the game you want using Flashpoint. Flashpoint is a flash preservation project meant to find, catalog, and preserve flash animations, webpages, and games as a sort of cultural record. It has over 50,000 games, and almost 5,000 animations saved, amounting to over 100GB of flash content. If a game you want to play has been popular, even for a short while, there’s a good chance it’s been saved in Flashpoint.
To Download and Install Flashpoint you can follow these steps:
- Download the Flashpoint Installer using the link above.
- Open the archived file using either WinZip, WinRAR, or 7-Zip. You can extract the installer to any folder you wish.
- Open the extracted folder, then run Start Flashpoint.
- From here you can choose the flash games that you wish to play from the list of over 50,000 already archived.
What If the Game I Want Isn’t on the List?
If by chance, the game that you wish to play isn’t included in the archive, you can download the flash file manually by doing the following:
- Open the webpage that has the flash game or animation that you want to download.
- Find a portion of the screen that is blank, then right click it.
- From the menu, choose View Page Source.
- From the resulting window, search for the file that ends in the extension .swf. You can use Ctrl+F to help you search.
- Copy the address of the .swf file then paste it to a blank browser.
- The file should open normally. Right click and choose Save As.
Some websites do not allow downloads of their flash files. To circumvent this, you can use a browser add-on that does the same thing. For Chrome you can use the Flash Downloader extension, on Firefox, you can use the Download Video and Flash extension. If you use different browsers, try to look for a tool that downloads .swf files.
Playing Flash Files While Offline
Normally, opening the .swf files on a browser will run them. This is no longer guaranteed, as the lack of Adobe support may disable this feature. For this, you can use the standalone SWF File Player to run the file.
Download the installer from the link, then click Run. Once installed, it will run all of your swf files using this program. To make this the default player do the following:
- Right click on any .swf file.
- Choose Properties.
- On the Open With option, choose change.
- Choose SWF File Player.
- Click on OK.
Now, every time you double click on a flash file, this will now open it using SWF File player.
Preserving Games for Posterity
With Abode’s support almost coming to a close, more than several decades of games and animations are set to become obsolete. But with the help of both Flashpoint and manual downloading, these files can be preserved for posterity.
Do you know of other methods for saving flash games and playing them offline? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.