One of the most accurate and true-to-life XCKD strips ever is this one:

Although ... who else can't wait for them to incorporate that Wiimote head-tracking stuff into games?  Man, the future's gonna be *awesome*

In this spirit, here are three flash games that I have been playing kind of a lot over the last little while.

Has the pig sickness got you down?  See how you would do as a virus, bacterial infection or parasite in Pandemic 2.  You start off with a small infection in one country and your goal is to effectively cause the entire world to get sick and die.  You have control over a few traits (symptoms, carriers, resistance to various conditions such as damp, heat and cold) and you have to balance them against each other in order to get the whole world infected before you start cranking up the lethality.  It’s an extremely morbid game (especially when the first countries are listed as ‘forsaken regions’) but it is also a lot of fun.

The second game is more sort of an exercise in frustration and futility but it is extremely pretty and has an interesting game mechanic.  It’s called Grow Cube.  As far as I can tell, the idea is to get all of your little characters and various items to level up as far as possible.  Presumably there is one pattern of activations that results in everything being levelled all the way up but I haven’t mucked with it long enough to figure it out.  The little AIM-icon-esque guys are really cute. (update: I broke down and looked up the solution because I couldn’t stand the torment any longer.  Turns out I had almost got it figured on my own anyway).  This one is good for people who like Rube Goldberg devices.

The last game provides the opportunity to combine one’s love of Flash games with one’s love of medieval siege weaponry (as Luke put it, a love that dare not speak its name).  It is called Crush the Castle.  You are presented with small (and then increasingly larger and more complex) castles built of simple wall and floor shapes.  Each castle contains one or more royalty who must die in order for the castle to be considered sufficiently crushed.  As you move through the game, you get larger and larger rocks to throw (and eventually bombs) in order to fulfill your murderous mission.  You can also build your own levels and there is a forum thread linked from the game page with several custom castles to try out.  If you enjoyed Scorched Earth and similar physics games, this will be right up your alley.

you don’t feel you could love me