How illegal is it that you can not cancel your membership? i looked it up and it says to go to my clubhouse.. which i did and it takes you to the game theme site (still the same web address but the theme is different and colorful and all the games are displayed) and then it takes you to my account where it gives no way for you to cancel your membership. not only did they lie in their contracts then, they are now charging you with no way for you to stop it? I refuse to pay a single penny for this.
I really had no hopes of being impressed by Fizzy. Flash arcades have been around ever since Flash was adopted as a platform for in-browser games, and as that platform matured, so these sites proliferated. The business model was simple: encourage visitors to play demo versions of the best games, so that they'd want to pay $10 or $20 to download the full versions. And in order to raise the audience, the sites offered other webmasters a simple piece of code that would embed some of their games into any website for free. If you were building a personal website, you could slap a little code in there and you had a whole arcade to offer.
The result of this, as you've probably guessed, is that everyone suddenly had to have games on their homepages and forums. And not just a few of the top ones, but a range of dozens. And that generated a demand for more and more games to fill up these selections, and there came forth a great outpouring of mediocrity in the form of chicken-throwing, duck-shooting, hamster-bashing mayhem. Not all the new games were awful, but an awful lot were. Every site had that motorcycle one, the car race one, the shooters, the throw-trash-in-the-office-wastebin one, the old-fashioned but recycled word games, the ones that looked vaguely like mah-jongg but weren't, the endless card games and that one where you had to see how far you could chuck a penguin (which was actually good fun).
So I wasn't expecting much. And the business model hasn't changed much today, you can still pay to download games, and you can still embed code in your own site. Fizzy goes further, though. By signing up, you get to experience the social element: you can save and display your scores, download demos of all the games, build a social profile, win awards and more. And that gently leads you into the next level, VIP membership, for which you're about to ask your parents to stump up six bucks a month. It's pitched just about right and compared to spending ten times that much on buying PC games from the store - and then finding out that how disappointing they often are - you might think it's a bargain. What you get for your six bucks is the privilege of playing all the "VIP-only" games, which are the ones you'd previously had to pay for to get the full versions. You also get to chat with other players. You get ad-free pages, though that isn't an issue if you run Firefox with the right extensions anyway, and you get 20% off the prices in the site store.
But none of this is going to work if the games themselves aren't worth playing. And they are. At least, I tried out a few at random and was wowed by how far Flash games have come since I last looked. Of course, I'd forgotten that those early games had to be small and simple because of the long download times. With DSL and cable, that restriction has largely been lifted and the designers can do so much more. And that really shows itself in some of the best games here, which rival full-priced boxed games in looks and sound.
Thought has gone into designing the site to be attractive to parents, with a fairly conservative layout that still manages to ooze Web 2.0 street-cred. And if there's any of the cheap grossness that characterized some early Flash arcades, I didn't find it. Fizzy hosts 622 games, which will keep most players occupied for a while, and it boasts over 400,000 members. I grudgingly confess that my low expectations were entirely unwarranted, Fizzy is fun.
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