When I was presented with the option of reviewing some Flash games, my mind instantly began to think about all of the teeth-grindingly awful games that litter the internet like cigarette butts on the side of the road. There are so many of these atrocities that I was having trouble deciding what kind of bad game to play. Should I review some dress up games from the internet's closet of Goodwill rejects? Or should I review the doctoring games that look like they're free software from a bootleg McDonald's Happy Meal?
You know what...
Maybe I should review a good game for once!
And the first games that I thought of when I considered some good Flash games were the William and Sly games.
Both William and Sly games revolve around Sly the Fox helping out his magical human friend William and collecting tasty mushrooms along the way. Both games are fairly similar to each other; however, it is evident that the latter game improved greatly upon the good things from the first game.
The first William and Sly has Sly jumping around the forest collecting "fairyflies" (which are essentially sparkly lightning bugs) in order to activate teleportation runestones for William to be able to get into his storage cave. Although this game is largely 2D, it has quite the depth to its artistic style. You can tell the developer put a lot of love into the art in this game. It really shows in all the detail he put in! The art isn't entirely perfect in this game, however. This fact is evident in some of the background object. Some of the art on the "walls" seems rather unfinished, but I'll give the artist credit because this is his first game and it's beautiful!
One thing I really like about the first William and Sly game was how huge the level was! It was almost like an open world exploration game, but it wasn't at the same time. It would have been nice if the landscapes were a little bit more varied. The fairyflies you collect are abundant and the game allows you to collect as many as you can instead of forcing you to backtrack and collect the ones you had to bypass. Once you activate a runestone, you glow with "white magic" which allows Sly to vanquish the many mud monsters that seek to gobble up your fairyflies. The final boss is an enormous, snake-like mud monster as well. The final battle is certainly tricky, but Sly can be even trickier once you find the monster's pattern of attack.
As for William and Sly 2? Good God, did the developer improve! Everything is so much better and much more intricate. The light and shadows are more obvious and OH MY WILLIAM IS A SHIRTLESS HUNK.
Did I say that out loud? YES, I DID.
Anyway, the second game in the series has a much more 3D effect to it which makes it seem like it isn't a Flash game at all! The particle effect is by far one of my favorite things about it. The developer went a little deeper into the original goal from his first game. There are added quests to the games which, when completed, will give Sly special abilities such as flying and being able to see where hidden objects are located. One major difference from the first game is the hidden areas themselves. In the first William and Sly, hidden passages were left dark. You couldn't really tell where you were going; you simply had to keep moving forward and jumping to make sure you hit every nook and cranny. In William and Sly 2, once you find a hidden passage, it immediately reveals what the hidden spots are so you can see in there. That was a nice improvement for sure!
The music in William and Sly 2 is more noticeable than in the first game. The music in the first was nice, but it didn't last for long and there was a lengthy pause before the music looped again. In this game, the music is almost continuous and just as relaxing as the first soundtrack. Both sounds have a beautiful and appropriate forest ambiance that makes the games even more enjoyable.
I consider both of these games to be Flash game masterpieces. The amount of love and dedication that has been put into these games is evident. You can't help but stop and appreciate the beauty and relaxation of William and Sly! These are definitely games that I would recommend playing if you get the chance.
Should you play them?