Remember how in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Dr. Evil wanted sharks with laser beams on their heads but got mutated sea bass for all his trouble? Well, what if those were elephants, instead? Think about it: Elephants with laser beams! Mutated elephants who can run, jump, and pick up balloons. Okay, this may not make it into the next Austin Powers, but it does make for one awesome free Flash game: Elephant Quest. See also: Group test: what's the best game for PC?
Elephant Quest is a platformer, played on a large map. You move using the arrow keys (or WASD), and shoot using the mouse. This two-handed control scheme is a bit involved compared to most flash games, but it is common on other types of games such as first person shooters.
Your goal in the game is to get your bowler hat back from Wooly the bully, an ill-tempered mammoth who stole it and ran away with it "cackling menacingly." To get your hat, you must navigate the game's expansive world. That world is made up of several areas, each consisting of several interconnected rooms. Doors let you move between the different rooms, and each room can have more than one door. There is an overview map of the world in the top left corner, showing where you are now, and which doors go to which rooms. This is essential for covering the whole map. Initially, some of the doors are locked. You can unlock them using keys you find throughout the other areas. See all: PC Advisor software downloads.
As you go through the game, you will meet other elephants and talk to them. They will send you out on quests, such as "find three balloons." Once you find said balloons (or complete any other quest), you can make your way back to the elephant who gave you the quest and talk to them again. You will then be handsomely rewarded with new weapons and experience points (XP). More commonly, though, you will gain XP by killing enemies.
These experience points are a key part of the game: There is a complex upgrade system built into Elephant Quest, where you use your XP to buy "Ability Points" in one of four areas (agility, intelligence, charisma, and dexterity). You then go to the Ability Points menu and spend your points on skills in each specific area, to upgrade your elephant. For example, when you have enough charisma, you can get a "Miniphant Swarm," a bunch of tiny elephants that hover around you and shoot at enemies. Upgrades are incremental: You don't get the full strength of each upgrade instantly, but must work towards it over time.
Elephant Quest is a large game, but it saves your progress automatically, so you don't have to finish it all in one sitting. The control system makes tandem gameplay possible: one person can steer the elephant with the keyboard, while the other person aims and shoots the laser with the mouse. I played it like this with my girlfriend, and it took us around two hours to complete. There's a serious Boss fight at the end (you meet Wooly!) so be sure to buy all the upgrades you can before tackling it. Good hunting!