Homestar Runner remains one of the best-known internet cartoons built on Adobe Flash, a site that regularly produced hilarious absurdist content throughout the 2000s. Of course, the era of the smartphone and iPad eventually led to a major move away from Flash; at the same time the Homestar Runner creators mainly moved on to other projects. But now, with Flash just a few weeks away from finally dying off completely, the Homestar Runner website just got a surprise update: there’s a new Flash game to play!
Stinkoman 20x6 was a riff on the Mega Man character; nine levels were released way back in 2005. Now, after 15 years, level 10 is finally out in the wild. The game was revealed with a properly goofy trailer on the Strong Bad character’s Twitter account (which serves as the de-factor official Homestar Runner account), encouraging fans to “dust off their uncle’s Flash Player.” Co-creator Matt Chapman had teased a few times this year that level 10 would finally arrive before Flash died, and said that the delay wasn’t because they were adding “all this awesome stuff.” They just “literally didn’t work on it for 15 years.”
The trailer also gives a nice history of the Stinkoman character, who started as a riff on some anime tropes that took on a life of its own. Gameplay highlights show more Mega Man-style platformer action along with claims of “good graphics” and “mostly works!” Oh, and the note that it’s 'Prolly not worth the wait.' There actually are a few quality-of-life improvements in the game, too, including mid-level checkpoints and an auto-respawn if you plummet off the edge of a cliff. There’s also an easy mode that gives you more energy and lives, which is a good thing if you want to plow through this before Flash goes away on January 12th.
Videlectrix, the “game developers” who made a host of various Flash games for the Homestar Runner site, has also partnered previous with Telltale Games to make an episodic Strong Bad game, but this might be its true swan song. Here’s hoping that the Homestar Runner creators have a plan to share the many years of content on the site once Flash is gone — a host of content is archived on YouTube, but it’s just not the same as the real site. Whether you want to give level 10 of Stinkoman 20x6 a shot or not, Homestarrunner.com is worth a visit before Flash dies.