[From now until mid-January, IndieGames.com: The Weblog will be counting down the best independent and freeware games of 2010, with descriptions, screenshots, and links of the best games in each major category. Previously: Top 10 Experimental Games, Top 10 Shoot 'em Ups, Top 10 Role-Playing Games, Top 10 Freeware Puzzlers, Top 10 Freeware Adventure Games]

The sixth of our in-depth 2010 Best Of Features here on the IndieGames.com blog (after the overall Top 10 we did for Gamasutra and the 10 Indie Games for '11 article), we're proud to present ten of the best Flash-based arcade games released in 2010.

Flash games - they're accessible by all, require no download (save for the Flash plug-in for your internet browser), and you don't need a beast of a machine to play 'em. Flip some burgers, surf the waves on your board, save a cat, retrieve a sword in a stone, or just run around smashing turtles to rack up combos in our very own list of the best browser-based arcade games from the past twelve months.

Here are the top freeware browser arcade games of the year:


10. Mt. (Luke O'Connor) [Java, freeware]

Mt. (pronounced mountain) is a procedural-generated climbing game in which players have to scale difficult walls and overhangs to get to a top of a mountain, where a red flag awaits the conqueror who survived against all odds. Technically there's no danger that'll end your climb, but you do lose significant progress when a fall sends you a long way back.


9. Road of the Dead (Evil-Dog and SickDeathFiend) [Flash, freeware]

Road of the Dead puts you in the seat of a car speeding down a straight highway, attempting to escape both the army and a zombie outbreak.

Initially it seems like there isn't much to it - drive forward, hit the zombies, don't hit the cars or civilians. Easy enough. Slowly, however, the story begins to open up and you'll realise that you're about to lose way more time to this game that you originally thought. Every time you die, the credits you received for killing and driving can then be used to upgrade your car, so that on your next run you'll get just that little bit further. Lovely gruesome stuff.


8. Chase Goose 2 (Andreas Jörgensen) [Flash, freeware]

Chase Goose 2 is a Canabalt-style side-scrolling runner in which you control a goose that is running and flapping away from a giant snake monster.

Tap left and right one after the other to run, then hit whatever key is displayed at each ledge. It starts off pretty simple, with easy letters and not too much speed. Then you're asked to hold Shift while you run. Then it starts giving you maths problems to solve. Then it asks you the Japanese Lucky Number... then you're buggered.

It's a simple idea, but plenty of fun and very difficult to master - your fingers will be all over your keyboard.


7. Mamono Saber (Skipmore) [Flash, freeware]

Mamono Saber is a one-button arcade game where you are in control of a knight who can only move forward at a steady pace, determined to rescue the princess and save the kingdom once again. Our hero jumps whenever the player clicks on the screen, while the outcome of a battle is determined automatically by the manner in which the protagonist comes into contact with a monster. A normal enemy is defeated if you touch it with the tip of your blade, although bosses will require a couple more hits before admitting defeat.

The game can be tricky to beat as players are only allowed one try to complete the entire quest, but with a bit of perseverance it shouldn't be too difficult of a task since health can be replenished rather frequently during the rescue mission.


6. Icarus Proudbottom in: The Curse of the Chocolate Fountain (1-2-3 Blast On!) [Flash, freeware]

Icarus Proudbottom in: The Curse of the Chocolate Fountain tell the story of our titular hero who is trying to find a way to stop himself from spurting out a limitless supply of brown chocolate from one of his orifices. After dodging a couple of birds at the start of the game, you will receive a katana blade from your spirit animal which can be used to slice any adversaries that you encounter during your adventure..


5. Epic Combo! (John Cooney) [Flash, freeware]

Epic Combo! is exactly what it says on the tin - trying to get a 10,000 hit combo in the shortest time possible. There are turtles walking along the bottom of the level, and you have a huge mallet. With one swing, you need to cause a huge chain reaction of 10,000 turtle hits.

Initially you'll be getting around ten hits in a combo... but once the money starts rolling in, you can visit the shop and buy tools of destruction to help reach your goal. As John once parodied achievement unlocking, now he's laying into combo-building. Leave our favourite gaming pastimes alone!


4. Pipedreamz (Mark Essen) [Flash, freeware]

Pipedreamz chronicles the life of a burger flipper, who builds up his Pipedreamz by chomping on burger while no-one is watching, and flipping burgers perfectly. He then drifts off into a world where he is a pro surfer who can only pull off tricks called things like 'Mega Burger' and 'Spicy Mustard'. Once he's fallen off his board too many times, his real life comes back into focus. If he drifts in and out too many times, and doesn't manage his job properly, then he gets fired. Yeah, you need to go and play this right now.


3. One Button Arthur (Tom Vencel) [Flash, freeware]

One Button Arthur is a single-button action game in which you have to help Arthur survive an obstacle course to reach the famous sword in the stone. The control scheme is switched around in every room, meaning that you could be stabbing rats, dodging ghosts inside a maze, or just jumping from one platform to another as you venture further into the cave.


2. Cat Astro Phi (PhotonStorm) [Flash, freeware]

Cat Astro Phi is a space exploration shooter in the style of an old Game Boy title. The protagonist keeps losing his cat Jonesy on alien planets, and must constantly grab keycards, pick up energy cells and rescue the feline. The controls don't feel so solid and not having a weapon is a bit of a pain. Give it a chance, however, and you'll find that it's actually very lovely indeed.


1. Streemerz (Arthur Lee) [Flash, freeware]

Streemerz is a remake loosely based on an Action 52 game with the same name, featuring new art and music resources from Arthur Lee and Binbag McGraw. You play as Joe, a super soldier who uses streamers to scale walls or climb onto platforms. Originally released as a Windows-only game, the definitive Flash version of Streemerz includes new gameplay modes and a separate story campaign to beat (called Streeeeemerz Mode).

[Got feedback? Reasons to disagree? Post a response and we'll do a special 'best of reader comments' round-up at the end of our chart countdowns.]