Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Freebie - Play Your Flash Games Anywhere, Anytime

Flash can be used for either good or evil. It's good in the form of minigames that let you kill 15 minutes (or more) at work. It's evil when an entire website has been created in Flash, with menus that take forever to load and crappy background music you just can't shut off. Not to mention, the sites don't work with your phone or PDA. More often than not, evil wins out on the web. But once in a while, you stumble upon a Flash game that reminds you why this software does actually have some redeeming qualities.

So what happens when you find a game you like, and you want to keep it locally on your hard drive for when you're out of Wi-Fi access range? Easy enough - just copy the game file out of your temp directory, and you're good to go. But in order to play that game later, you have to use your browser, which is a pain. Wouldn't it be nice to have a dedicated, stand alone Flash player that you could associate with these games, so all you have to do is click the game icon to start playing? Well, ask and you shall receive:

The Adobe Flash Player is a stand alone app designed to play Flash content (swf files) outside of your browser. The program is a single file that requires no installation - just copy it to wherever you want it to live on your hard drive, double click the exe file to associate Flash content with the program, and you're set. From that point on, all swf files opened from your hard drive will open in the Flash Player. Quick and easy.

Officially, this player is billed as a debugger for Flash creators, so they don't have to mess around with embedding their Flash programs in web pages just to test them. But, it works perfectly well as a stand alone player, so why not make use of it?

One word of warning - it's best to follow the steps above for saving and associating the file types. If you open the exe file and then move it, Windows may not be able to find the program, and then you'll be forced to edit the registry (or perform some trickery) to get things working again. Bottom line - just save the file somewhere other than your desktop before opening it, and you should have no problems.

The download page can be found here, and a direct link to the Windows version is here (the descriptions on the download page are a little confusing). A Mac version is available as well. So go ahead and save those Flash games, cause now you can play them anytime you want, online or off. Who says you can only waste time at work?

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