In honor of the recent release of the new XBox 360 game Halo Wars, I thought I would look around for some Halo-inspired freebie titles for this week’s free game. Considering the popularity of the Halo series, I felt it was a safe assumption that there would be numerous flash games sporting some variation of the title “Halo: Flash” or “Super Halo” or “Master Chief’s Last Stand.” Or some other ridiculous title like that. Unfortunately, I was more right than I cared to be. 

A veritable crap-a-thon of horrendous flash games spread before me created under the guise of the Halo moniker. Some were poor hash-outs of an overly simple carnival shooting gallery where the goal was to see how many points you could get during the time you wasted playing it. Others were meager attempts to recreate the Halo experience in a 2-D side-scroller akin to the days of the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis. Nostalgic attempts from the respective creators that accomplished nothing more than a “sigh” as I clicked away from the website trying to forget the digital waste I just played. 

Hope is not lost, however. Amidst all the failure’s, copycats, and poor animations, I did manage to find a couple of simple yet enjoyable games that stood out over the other games I tried. Quick and easy to learn and play, these flash games are perfect during a quick break in the day or any other time where you have a few minutes to kill. Especially if happen to consider yourself a Halo fan.  

First up is my personal favorite, Warthog Launch. A flash game created by Boll, a member of the Halo gaming community, the game eventually saw an “official” release when launched as an extra with the collector’s and ultimate editions of Halo 3. (I can only assume this idea found its inspiration from the series of Warthog launching videos that began to flood YouTube when the original Halo first launched).  

The object is simple: use grenades to launch a Warthog jeep at the numerous engineers (an originally omitted character from the first Halo game, but recently re-introduced in Halo Wars). Three slider bars are used to determine the amount of grenades used, the position of the jeep, and the position of the grenades under the jeep. After you set your sliders, hit the launch button to see what happens. Hit all the engineers, and you can move on to the next stage. Should you miss, recalibrate and try again.  

Next up is a game more for the die-hard Halo fan, Halo Shooter, from XboxOttawa.ca. Difficult at first, it’s a quick little gallery shooter that seemingly captures the intensity of a frenzied multiplayer firefight you would normally experience during a real game of Halo (sans the smack talk from whiny prepubescent tweens as they gun you down). Surprising, considering my aforementioned distaste of carnival style shooting gallery games. But personally, I felt it was well done. So what if the background is nothing more than a quick sketch? Regardless of the number of times I was killed, I came back to see if I could top my previous score. I found it enjoyable, and maybe you will too.

 Enjoy!

~James B. LaPoint 

(Know of a free game you really enjoy and would like to share it? Send me a link, and I’ll take a look at it. It could end up as a free game of the week feature!)

 

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