BlueMaxima Brings New Life To Beloved Flash Games

Question: One of my favorite online games – and a major waste of time – is the “Cat Bowling” webpage which has been a Halloween themed game for years (http://www.catbowling.net/) . Unfortunately, since Adobe Flash is now dead and buried, I can’t seem to play the game anymore. Do I have any workarounds or other options to resume the game? Thank you.

Ed R., Fort Walton Beach

A: You may not know it, Ed, but since the screenshot you sent me was captured, the following message has been added to the home page of the “Cat Bowling” website:

Cat melons

Our little game has had a great career, but the technology on which it is based has reached its own end. Adobe no longer supports Flash.

Thank you for your time and enthusiasm over the years.

We’ll leave the page here for the die-hards who find a way to get Flash to work on their computer.

– The cat bowling team

Thus, the very authors of your beloved game have admitted defeat in the face of technological advancements. If I were anyone other than me, I would suggest that you give up and go find yourself a new favorite waste of time. Lucky for you, I’m not someone else – I’m an Uber-Geek from Northwest Florida, and sure enough, I have ways for you to keep enjoying “Cat Bowling.”

I have to cover one thing first. There is a good reason why Flash was removed, and that is because it posed a big risk for any PC that runs it. Yes, I said “risk” and I meant “risk”. Genuine, real, no kidding: “Are you really sure you want to do this? »Risk.

This is because Adobe Flash was actually designed to allow external code to run on your computer, and some of the things it could do could easily be exploited to damage your system or steal data. Having Flash on your computer is like having a large neon sign saying “Watch out for hackers!” There is an unsecured PC here!

I talked a bit about how it can be mined at the end of last year (Geek Note: IGTM # 699, December 13, 2020) so I won’t spend too much time covering that here, d ‘especially since it is not the risk that is involved. Suffice it to say, Adobe no longer supports Flash and expects people to have switched to other products to fill its shoes.

Despite all this, it is still possible to load older versions of Flash and even counterfeit Flash from third-party vendors to run Flash content. However, in an effort to protect end users, Adobe and major browser vendors are actually taking proactive steps to prevent Flash content from running. So even if you find a way around the current limitations, it’s likely that the fix you come up with will eventually stop working as well.

So what to do? Let me introduce Flashpoint from BlueMaxima, which you can find online at TinyURL.com/IGTM-0713. They call it a “web game preservation project” and its mission is to “try to outrun the disappearance of content before Flash dies.”

I have to say that they have done a remarkable job. At the time of this writing, they have over 70,000 playable titles in their files. I checked, and yes, your beloved “Cat Bowling” is in there. They overcame the dangers inherent in Flash and its unavailability by creating what they call a “portable environment” in which everything works, and which prohibits Flash content from accessing the “real” Internet. It also contains everything, so that any changes made by the game player software are removed when you are done playing.

The price of all this? Free, free, free. In fact, they actively discourage people trying to donate, saying, “Out of respect for the developers whose works can be found in Flashpoint, we do not accept monetary donations. Period.”

In a world where more and more free content is paid for, supported by advertising walls, or just disappears altogether, BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint is a shining example of how things once were.

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