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Best Developers of 2007: Top 12

Categories: Awards   4 comments - January 2, 2008

1st Annual Awards1st Annual AwardsA big thank you to everyone that cast a vote in the 2007 Best Developers of the Year.

We are pleased to announce that nearly 5000 votes have been cast since you started voting for your favorite developers.

Without further ado, here are the 12 finalists you picked as the Best Developers of 2007 in their category, ranked by total votes received!

Room Escape games

Paskapet (Russia) – Best Developer 2007 (Room Escape games)

Escape Orange RoomBest Developer 2007 - GoldPaskapet is a very prolific Flash game developer from Russia, who has released six Room Escape games in the last eight months! After the release of Escape Library, Paskapet made five games in the “Colored Rooms” series, Escape Pink Room, Magenta Room, Green Room, Orange Room and Turquoise Room.

Rodrigo Roesler (Brazil)

Trapped - The White RabbitBest Developer 2007 - SilverRodrigo Roesler is a Web designer and a Flash game developer from Brazil. He released Trapped – The White Rabbit last September, the first installment of a very promising trilogy of Point’n’Click adventure and Escape games. The second installment, The Dark, is now live!

Shawn Tanner (U.S.A.)

Escape the PhoneboothBest Developer 2007 - BronzeShawn Tanner is the author of several popular flash games and the Webmaster of Afro-Ninja Productions. Shawn released three Room Escape games this year in his very popular Escape series: Escape the Car, Escape the Closet and Escape the Phone Booth.

Point’n’Click/Adventure games

Bernd Mattiebe (Germany) – Best Developer 2007 (Adventure games)

WoggerBest Developer 2007 - GoldBernd Mattiebe is a German artist and designer. He is also the man who gave life last year to Wogger, a cute red alien. Since then, he has created over 100 chapters for the Wogger Mini series that more and more people enjoy playing every week.

Federico Rutenberg (Argentina)

EsklavosBest Developer 2007 - SilverFederico Rutenberg released the first chapter of Esklavos last April. Esklavos is a Point’n’Click Adventure series involving two young aliens. Since then, he has created 9 more chapters and Esklavos is quickly becoming popular series.

Mateusz Skutnik (Poland)

Covert FrontBest Developer 2007 - BronzeMateusz Skutnik defines himself as a Flash games architect and a graphic novel artist. His best known adventure/escape series so far is Submachine (with two new chapters this year, Submachine 4 and FLF). He also started two new adventure series this year, Covert Front and Daymare Town. The author is now developing “Submachine 5: the Root” that should be released in January.

Puzzle games

Bart Bonte (Belgium) – Best Developer 2007 (Puzzle games)

Factory BallsBest Developer 2007 - GoldBart Bonte is a Flash developer from Belgium who has already developed successful games. More well known for his Room Escape games (the Bonte Room series, A bark in the Dark, Loose the Moose), Bart released several puzzle games in 2007, such as Fields of Logic, Chicken Grow and more recently, Factory Balls.

Yoshio Ishii (Japan)

Hoshi Saga 2Best Developer 2007 - SilverFrom japan, Yoshio Ishii has been designing Flash games for several years now. He is well known for his Neko Series, a series of games involving cats. In 2007, he decided to focus on creating puzzle games, and released some very creative games such as Plupon, the amazing Hoshi Saga series, and more recently, Slidon.

Stephen Harris (New Zealand)

BloonsBest Developer 2007 - BronzeStephen Harris is the author of the Bloons series and many other successful games. The original Bloons game was released last March and became an instant hit. Since then, Stephen has created Bloons World, a site dedicated to Bloons fans, two “Bloons” Tower Defense games, and a few other puzzle/skill games!

Action/Platform/Skill games

John Cooney (U.S.A.) – Best Developer 2007 (Action/Skill games)

Ball Revamped 5Best Developer 2007 - GoldJohn Cooney is very well known in the Flash gaming community for his Ball Revamped and Four Second series. He released many new games this year, such as Scribble 2, Luminara, Ball Revamped 5 or Ocean Explorer to name a few. Now working full time at ArmorGames, you can expect more creative games from this guy!

WeCreateStuff (Israel)

Portal: The Flash VersionBest Developer 2007 - SilverWeCreateStuff defines itself as a group of (young) nerds with way too much free time. They released Portal: The Flash Version last October, a awesome Flash 2D version of the first person action/puzzle game developed by Valve.

Joel Esler (Australia)

FoldBest Developer 2007 - BronzeJoel Esler is a Flash game developer from Australia. Last September, he uploaded at Kongregate his first game, a physics-based platformer named Manifold. Even though Manifold was only a demo, it was an instant hit. After a few weeks, Joel released Fold, a full version of his previous game with much more challenging levels!


2007 Top 10 Developers in the category Action/Skill games

Categories: Awards    - December 13, 2007

Here at FreeGamesNews, we love free browser-based games. The end of the year is coming soon, and it’s time for YOU to cast your vote for the Best Developers of the year in our first annual FreeGamesNews Awards.

Here are the 10 nominees in the category Best Action/Platform/Skill games Developers of 2007, in alphabetical order:

John Cooney (U.S.A.)

Ball Revamped 5John Cooney is very well known in the Flash gaming community for his Ball Revamped and Four Second series. He released many new games this year, such as Scribble 2, Luminara, Ball Revamped 5 or Ocean Explorer to name a few. Now working full time at ArmorGames, you can expect more creative games from this guy!

Krešimir Cvitanović (Croatia)

Bubble Struggle 2 - RebubbledKreÅ¡imir Cvitanović created Bubble Struggle also know as Bubble Trouble in 2002. The game was an instant success, so he decided to make a sequel. Five years later, the very long awaited Bubble Struggle 2 – Rebubbled was finally released. Fortunately, the sequel was worth the wait!

Donut Games (Swede)

Sunday LawnDonut Games is a Flash games portal operated by Swedish Game Development, located in Malmö, Sweden. The team behind the site has released several original games during the first half of this year, such as Castle Smasher, Chicken and Egg, Sunday Lawn or Lucky Coins.

Joel Esler (Australia)

FoldJoel Esler is a Flash game developer from Australia. Last September, he uploaded at Kongregate his first game, a physics-based platformer named Manifold. Even though Manifold was only a demo, it was an instant hit. After a few weeks, Joel released Fold, a full version of his previous game with much more challenging levels!

Case Hollingsworth (U.S.A.)

OrangeCase Hollingsworth is a young artist from Lincoln, Nebraska (U.S.A.). His Simple Defense game, Red, was a huge success last year. Orange, the second installment in his “Colors” series was released last March and Case is now working on Black. He also recently released 5 differences, a beautiful game of comparisons.

Jp (France)

CapsulesJp is a French Flash game developer and the webmaster of Jp only released two Flash games in 2007, Crazy Mammoths, a racing action game, and the excellent Capsules, a surprisingly challenging skill/puzzle game.

Lewis Mitchell (Australia)

PlatformLewis Mitchell from Australia is the author of a Shockwave episodic platformer, Platform, in which you must guide two young characters to the end of each level. Each week, the author adds a new level, challenging enough to keep you coming back for more.

Nitrome (U.K.)

Hot Air 2Nitrome is a well known London-based games design studio that has released news Flash games in 2007 at an impressive pace. With 13 titles released in 2007 at the time of writing, Nitrome is a serious contender in the Arcade/Platform category.

Alexandre Renevey (Switzerland)

Bubble IslandsAlexandre Renevey is game developer from Switzerland. He released Bubble Islands last January, an impressive retro-style arcade/puzzle game inspired by Puyo Puyo, a game developed in 1991 by the Japanese company Compile. This game was a finalist of the 2007 IGF Festival in the Best Web Browser Game category.

WeCreateStuff (Israel)

Portal: The Flash VersionWeCreateStuff defines itself as a group of (young) nerds with way too much free time. They released Portal: The Flash Version last October, a awesome Flash 2D version of the first person action/puzzle game developed by Valve.

Ocean Explorer

Categories: Flash, Free, Games, Online, Others   1 comment - September 18, 2007

Ocean ExplorerOcean ExplorerOcean Explorer is the latest game created by John Cooney for Armor Games. According to the author, “Ocean Explorer is an underwater photography game, where you climb deep into the depths of a coral reef to snap shots of some tropical fish! Score bigger points for bigger fish, or the rare ones that appear near the bottom”.

If the concept of the game is brilliant and original, there is room for improvement: firstly, with only five levels to complete, the game is way too short!

Saving your best pictures in a little photo album would be a nice addition, and it would also be nice to have more than one reef, more fish and a larger variety in challenges.

That being said, Ocean Explorer definitely deserves your attention. Could we possibly see a sequel with an upgraded gameplay in the future? We’ll see…

Have fun!

By Eric

current rating 4.33

Ball Revamped 5: Synergy

Categories: Flash, Free, Games, Online, Skill   1 comment - August 9, 2007

Ball Revamped 5Ball Revamped 5A few days ago, John Cooney has finally released the long awaited final episode of the popular Ball Revamped series: BR 5 – Synergy – offers 100 levels with 12 different ways to beat the game and power ups that can be combine to make new ones!

That being said, the concept of this last episode remains the same: simply guide your four color ball to the exit to complete each level. Controls are with the arrow keys.

Addictive and fun, this last episode will probably please longtime Ball Revamped fans despite its lack of serious innovation.

Have fun!

By Eric

current rating 4.50



Categories: Arcade, Flash, Free, Games, Online   1 comment - May 9, 2007

LuminaraLuminaraLuminara was released yesterday by John Cooney and is sponsored by ArmorGames. John defines the game on his personal site “as an explosive pixel shooter like previous games Ellipsis and Spin Doctor. However, this game goes far beyond the others, provided 11 different enemies and 5 different power ups! The game is extremely fast-paced, and is already fighting to become my favorite game I’ve made (I really like Ellipsis)” – Read more at

Luminara is another very interesting Asteroid clone. The game is “colorful and explosive”, and the power ups add fun to the game. The graphics are very polished but the gameplay suffers from time to time from the too intense and distracting particles explosions that lead to lose the track of your ship.

That being said, if you like arcade games like Hot Rocks or the Neon series, chances are you will like Luminara and its ultra fasted paced 50 levels. Expect 10 minutes to complete all of them and submit your score!

Have fun!

By Eric

current rating 3.00

Scribble 2

Categories: 5 minute, Flash, Free, Games, Online, Others    - January 24, 2007

Scribble 2Scribble 2Scribble 2 was released earlier today by John Cooney, the brain behind the famous Four Second Series and Ball Revamped Series! This sequel comes after a lot of people asked for it.

“So, what is Scribble? Scribble is a dot-to-dot racing game, where you try to draw the picture as fast as you possibly can. There are 20 pictures to draw, and there are many shapes that become apparent as the picture unfolds” (read more).

Better than the first one in every way, Scribble 2 is perfect for a 2 minute break.

Have fun!

By Eric

current rating 3.00

Orbis Impetus

Categories: 5 minute, Action, Flash, Free, Games, Online    - January 16, 2007

Orbis ImpetusOrbis ImpetusOrbis Impetus (Latin for “circle attack”) is a new action game developed by Kabomb, a 15 years old Australian student. Released yesterday, the game borrows some elements from the classic snake (guess what?) and some others from Ellipsis, a “defend your base” game created by John Cooney.

The object here is to catch friendly balls while avoiding the stars. Use the arrow keys to control your snake and try to build combos for a higher score and to unlock power-ups. Be sure to read the tips and tricks page first!

With nice particle effects and a well balanced difficulty level, Orbis Impetus is a simple but addictive game, perfect for a short break!

Have fun!

By Eric

current rating 3.00

Spin Doctor

Categories: 5 minute, Action, Flash, Free, Games, Online   1 comment - December 23, 2006

Spin DoctorSpin DoctorSpin Doctor is a new action game designed by John Cooney: the object here is to match pair of discs and make them spinning fast enough (either by pressing the space bar or the mouse button) to remove them from the board. If you get hit by a disc three times, the game is over.

Spin Doctor borrows some elements from Ellipsis, and once again, the result is a simple but enjoyable game!

Have fun!

By Eric

current rating 3.00


Categories: Action, Flash, Free, Games, Online, Puzzle   22 comments - November 14, 2006

Scribble NitromeScribble NitromeA new Scribble game (1) is live at! Mat and his crew from Nitrome just released their sixth game this year, and this one rocks!

Let start from the beginning:

– Blots are small creatures made of ink that form from drips. They aren’t too bright and never look where they are going! They will fall and get hurt without your help!

– You have to guide Blots safely through each level to the end flags using your special drawing powers. Ink will appear wherever you click the mouse. Hold the mouse button down and drag to draw lines. Blots will interact with your lines as if they were solid scenery, so draw lines to help them walk over dangerous pits or up slopes. You can also block Blots by drawing vertical walls which make them turn in the opposite direction.

Scribble Nitrome– You only have a limited amount of ink that you can draw at one time so be careful how much you draw. This is shown in a bar at the top of the screen. Ink disappears after a while and the bar at the top of the screen refills. Be careful to make sure your Blots are safe when your lines disappear. Move your mouse cursor to the edge of the screen to scroll the level around. This will help you to keep track of your Blots.

– A number on the flag(s) at the end of the level shows how many Blots you have to get there in order to open up the next level. If you get all the Blots to the flag(s), the level will automatically end. You can also use the “end” button to kill any Blots left on the screen that you can’t get to the end“.

After having read that in the very detailed and illustrated help section, you will find yourself immediately immersed in a world that reminds me of games like Sandman, another creation from Nitrome, or the famous Lemmings.

The first 5 levels are tutorial levels that slowly introduce you to the rules of the game. Designed to be easy, you may feel frustrated at the beginning, trying at the same time to keep your Blots safe, kill or block enemies, get keys to open doors, blow up bombs and more. But after a few attempts, you will find that it’s just a matter of time before you get used to the gameplay.

The next 20 levels are more challenging, featuring new enemies, new traps and multi-flags levels; none of them is too difficult.

I had hours of fun exploring the 25 levels of the game, and I was truly amazed by the professional quality of the game: from the colourful cartoon-like style to the great soundtrack, from the different theme used every five levels to the many varied enemies, everything is so well designed and thought out!

It happens sometimes that a Blot walk/fall through a vertical/horizontal line, if it was drawn too close to the Blot. It also happens that your Blots go backward instead of walking over the pit if your line is not fully connected to the ground. That being said, if you take your time and draw clean lines, everything should be ok.

Scribble saves your progress each time you complete a level, so you won’t have to complete the same level twice, unless you want to improve your best time.

Overall, Scribble is definitely one of these games that get you playing for hours and hours: so sad that there are only 25 levels available! Probably the best game released so far by Nitrome. Mat, if you’ve already started working on a sequel, keep going; if not, please think about it!

Have fun!

(1) – John Cooney released last August a game called Scribble: if the names are the same, and if you have to draw lines in both games, the mechanisms and the concepts are totally different.

By Eric

current rating 4.29

Four Second Firestorm – An impressive collective work!

Categories: Flash, Free, Games, Online, Others   1 comment - October 24, 2006

Four Second FirestormFour Second FirestormHere it is! The final episode of the Four Second series is live since last Sunday at John Cooney’s website!

With 56 developers from 20 countries and 175 microgames each in 4 seconds or less, Four Second Firestorm is one of the largest Flash games ever produced (download size: 14 MB !).

This new game takes you beyond the keyboard and includes over 60 mouse-based games.

The three different modes implemented in Four Second Frenzy (Normal, Endurance and Sudden Death) are still available in Four Second Firestorm and in each mode you can choose between Original (keyboard) or Mouse based microgames.

The game also includes a training mode (Single Game Mode), very helpful to master some obscure levels.

On the downside, if the overall realization of the game is flawless, you will need more luck than skill to complete some microgames. The download size of the game is too large, and it would have been better to release two games separately, one with keyboard based microgames and the other with mouse based microgames.

That said, Four Second Firestorm is an impressive collective work, and if you are a fan of the Four Second series, you will love this one.

Have fun!

By Eric

current rating 4.00


Categories: 5 minute, Action, Flash, Free, Games, Online    - September 24, 2006

EllipsisEllipsis“Point’n’Click” lovers, don’t miss this one! Ellipsis is the latest game released by John Cooney. Available on his personal website, this new “defend your base” is another fast paced and original game from the author of the famous Four Second series.

The object here is to defend your base from all the “evil” bricks that surround you and destroy them before they hit your base. To do so, you will have to use a very unusual weapon: your mouse! Just click once any moving brick to make it explode in an incredible number of particles.

Bricks enter the screen wave after wave and the game is programmed to “become harder and harder”, said John. 10 different types of enemies will appear throughout the game, from the slow and “easy-to-click” ones to the nasty speedy half-invisible ones.

If your base is hit by a brick, its health decreases gradually (you start with 100 points), depending on the speed of this brick; the game ends only once your base is destroyed.

On the downside, I wasn’t able to find a button to turn the – excellent – music off; a pause function would have been nice too, especially after 10 minutes spent clicking frantically everywhere, even if it is of course a part of the gameplay.

Overall, Ellipsis is another very simple and delightful game from John Cooney, perfect for a short break.

Have fun!

Note: use the “Toggle Debris” function if the game runs slow on your computer.

By Eric

current rating 3.00

Ball Revamped IV: The best sequel of Ball Revamped series?

Categories: Flash, Free, Games, Online, Skill   1 comment - August 29, 2006

Ball Revamped IVBall Revamped IV“In April, 2004, John Cooney, author of all the Ball Revamped games, decided to create a physics engine which allowed for falling objects. The engine soon turned into a small game, in which a ball floats down to the bottom of the screen, while avoiding walls and obstacles. The author called it “Ball”, and it was developed into a game. When 50 levels were created, the author decided to publish the game globally on”. Here is how begins the story of the Ball Revamped series in the wikipedia game’s on the series.

The object of the game is to balance a four-color ball and guide it to the exit to complete each level. You control the ball with the arrow keys. There are 100 levels to complete in Ball Revamped IV, and some of them are hard to finish, essentially because the ball is hard to control.

The graphics in this sequel are by far the best of the series and both background and music change every 10 levels. The author also implemented level codes for the first time in the series, so you won’t have to play hundred levels in a row if you want to finish the game!

Some players could find the music a bit annoying after a while: they will just need to pause the game by pressing the ‘p’ key and then turn the sound off.

Overall, Ball Revamped IV is the best sequel of the series, even if the previous episodes are also very exciting to play! The physics and the design are great and the game is highly addictive. And with so many levels to complete, expect around half an hour to end the game.

Have fun!

Note: the full series of Ball Revamped is also available on John’s Cooney website

By Eric

current rating 3.00

Four Second Frenzy

Categories: Flash, Free, Games, Online, Others   4 comments - July 27, 2006

Four Second FrenzyFour Second FrenzyFour Second Frenzy was released the day before yesterday by John Cooney, the author behind Four Second Fury, and is available on his website,, as well as on, his leading sponsor.

In this brand new sequel to Four Second Fury, Cooney asked to 25 other developers/”artists” from all around the world (Europe, Usa, Canada, Taiwan) to join him and create in a collaborative effort this second episode of what is planned to be a trilogy.

50 microgames are implemented in the game: some of them are brilliant, some others require a bit of practice to get used to and a few are more obscure. The gameplay is identical to the original game: complete every microgame within four seconds and defeat the final boss. A tips and hints option was implemented and links to a Flash tutorial hosted at Armorgames: it is really helpful to figure out how to complete the most difficult microgames.

Three different modes are available:

  • The Normal mode: complete 20 randomly selected microgames with 7 lives and defeat the final boss.
  • The Endurance mode: same as the normal mode, except that you have to complete 50 microgames with 10 lives.
  • The Sudden Death mode: same as the endurance mode, except that you have only ONE life!

The result of this collaboration is a much more intense and various gameplay, thanks to the 50 microgames and the fast-paced techno music. My only complain would be about the presence of the game “Chainsaw the zombie”, which is “in bad taste”.

Overall, Four Second Frenzy is an impressive collective work and a great sequel, with more games and more fun. Will you be able to complete the Sudden Death mode?

Have fun!

Download size: 5Mb. Flash player 8 required.

By Eric

current rating 4.50

Four Second Fury

Categories: Flash, Free, Games, Online, Others   2 comments - July 26, 2006

Four Second FuryFour Second FuryFour second Fury was released in late April 2006 by John Cooney, and is available on his website,, and on ArmorGames as well.
This game is directly inspired from the famous WarioWare series created by Ninendo for their gaming consoles.

The core gameplay is based on several fast paced different microgames. These games come randomly one at a time, and are preceded by a single word telling you how to play the game. Using this single word clue, you must figure out how to complete the four second game that follows by using the arrow keys and the space bar.

The goal is to complete the 20 different micro games and then defeat the final boss as fast as possible.

If the cartoon-like graphics could have been better, Four second Fury is overall a very well designed Warioware styled game, fun to play and very addictive: perfect for a short break.

Have fun!

Download size: 3Mb. Flash Player 8 required.

By Eric

current rating 3.00

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