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Adobe Flash Going Away, Reviewing Ruffle

With so much else going on in 2020, it may be hard to remember that Adobe Flash is going away at the end of this year. Adobe will stop providing updates, and all the major Web browsers have committed to removing it completely.

The technical part of me is celebrating, because Flash has always been a black box owned by one company, as opposed to HTML5 which is standardized and open to everryone. But another part of me is worried, because there’s so much stuff out there that people aren’t going to update, and it’s going to be difficult to enjoy it next year.

Many people are trying to create an alternative Flash player, and some projects have been around long before Adobe announced that Flash was going away. But one more recent project has caught my attention, Ruffle. It has some high-profile sponsors, which is a good sign for continued development. It’s also intended to run directly in the browser (using HTML5 technologies), which is good for a seamless experience across multiple browsers and devices.

I decided to try using Ruffle to play some of my favorite (adult) flash games, and I’ve collected my results in a spreadsheet. As you might expect, some games work well and others don’t load at all. I’ve given each game a score of 0 to 4 based on how well it can be played using Ruffle.

If you want to try this yourself, there’s a demo right on Ruffle’s website, and all you need to do is give it a SWF file. (Getting the SWF file in the first place may be a challenge, though.) If you’re a bit more technical you can build the desktop version to run directly on your computer, which is what I did.