Have You Played… Madness Interactive?

I have a particular set of skills, for exmple: murder

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Deep in the grey quagmire of my memory, there exists an immovable oval pebble, with a strange cross-like marking on it. I bend down to lift the pebble. It is a face. The face of a man, or perhaps a creature, who has never known an emotion other than bloodlust. What hellish land spawned this otherworldly avatar of destruction?

Ah yes, Newgrounds.

Madness Interactive is probably one of those “you had to be there” games. You played as a grey, simple-faced figure who could pick up all sorts of weapons and tools, for the purposes of murdering wave after wave of grey enemies that looked, more or less, just like you. Accompanied by its flash animations, it exists in my mind as a kind of janky, playable Matrix. There were guns, swords, lasers, zombies, eye patches, weird physics, god mode. You could throw things at people’s faces, that was fun. Now that I think of it, it was sort of a proto-Superhot.

But it’s also a reminder that flash games are a big part of gaming history. In the month that I discovered Madness, I honestly played more of it than anything on my PlayStation. Now that Flash is marching grimly towards its death in 2020 we should raise a glass to these games. Thanks for the bloodthirsty memories.


  1. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    Yes but I could never get past even just a couple of screens without cheats. It was ridiculously hard.

  2. Yorkiegbr says:

    Can I play With Madness \m/

  3. BooleanBob says:

    I certainly have. I probably even remember the spawn patterns, which was important if you wanted to last very long. It was fun to try that came suprisingly close to letting you replicate the weaponized ballet of the flash cartoons.

  4. Seafoam says:

    No, I didn’t play it because at the time I was watching my friends play it on the school computer and I got nightmares from all the violence.
    Sapped all desire to try it. Even today I got an instictive tiny jolt from seeing just the header image.

    Well, thinking about it I started playing much more violent games like a year later, I think it was the “everyone has turned mad” thing that disturbed me. Before all the zombie games took the juice from that concept too.

  5. Gilmir says:

    I played it for a few weeks on my laptop at work. Once you got the rhythm of the first few screens, where you had to use melee weapons / throw knives, battons and whatnot, the midgame was actually pretty easy when you had assault guns. You just had to point them at headlevel and not really move the mouse anymore. Just L/R plus single taps to headshot everyone.
    The endgame though – that was tough… After all, killing Jesus and all the zombies was a challenge ;)

    • madquills says:

      OMG yes, I forgot about zombie Jesus! God, haven’t thought about this game in so long but it was massively awesome….such weirdly cinematic action, in a way, not much has bettered it since.

  6. maxwell says:

    I programmed this game, tickled to see it mentioned on RPS after all these years!

    • Shazbut says:

      Well done! May I ask – is the iconic cross-face representing the vertical nose and horizontal eye lines on a normal face or is it some other thing?

      • maxwell says:

        Thanks! You’d have to ask Krinkels about the cross face, he’s the artist, I was the programmer.

    • Dan says:

      Max is awesome.

      I got to screen print a handful of shirts for the game in my basement and Max sent them out. Oh the internet of the time. When strangers would give one kid money for a shirt made by another kid.

      This article made me register on RPS.

    • Williz says:

      Dammit Max… Hows Flecko? 😂

  7. anon459 says:

    It’s one of those nostalgia-trip games that I wander back to for a minute once every few years.

  8. Seyda Neen says:

    Oooh. Stellar game! I seem to be terrible at it now, but I delusionally remember being really good at it in those mid 2000s. Props to you, developers.

  9. bigpilgrim says:

    The infinite ammo cheat led me to my favorite anime. Such a simple time.

  10. Douzéju says:

    For all of you to know, Madness as a series has continued over the years and is now being worked into a full-fledged game ! There has been a succesful kickstarter and the thing is currently in beta.
    Check their website here: link to projectnexus2.com

  11. dylan says:

    Cleared it with knives only, what’s up.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Gnarl says:

    “I have a particular set of skills, for exmple: murder”

    But not avoiding typos. They are my Achilles heal.

  13. Gurrlin says:

    I as many others also loved this game. I seem to remember however that I was madly frustrated by having the mouse constantly end up outside of the game window, resulting in clicking on links and what not. Effectively ruining most of my runs in it.