Price: FREE. (

I shot Jesus, but he didn't die; even after a slo-mo Matrix-mode jump and three shotgun blasts (with each shot, I could see the three individual shells fly into his face and bloody it) to the skull, he did not fall. So I fell earthward, a decending angel, and picked up an axe. A quick flick of the mouse and it embedded itself blade-first in a zombie's face. The zombie fell, and I switched to my knife.

I was a cross between the Golden Age Sandman and an Amish hitman, my 2D, black and white world only gaining color when I was spilling the blood of Agents and thugs. I'd land, punch, steal a gun, shoot until the ammo was expended, die, land, steal a jetpack, die, steal a Desert Eagle, gain a new ability, die. I was the all singing, all dying crap of the Flash game world, and I loved it.

There is a zen to Madness Interactive similar to the zone reached in many other games. You do not care about life or death-- you care about the fist at the end of your mouse, about punching and shooting, about the millions of ways you can deal cartoonish death and the millions of ways cartoonish death can be dealt to you. The gunshots become a litany, sometimes slow (press 'Q' for bullet time), sometimes staccato as a machine gun jerks in your Rayman-esque fist and sends lead flying ever upwards.

There are goals in Madness. Challenge Mode lets you do things like throw knives, kill Agents, or fight flying Jesus and his zombie hordes. Successful completion earns a cheat to be used in any mode; these cheats can also be found on line. Trying to hurl a tiny knife at a dummy (move the mouse forward and back, release) is very fun; make it a personal goal.

This game is necessary; the controls are genius (keyboard and mouse combo, mouse aims, punches, steals weapons, shoots, etc. Punching involves moving your fist back and forward, or up for an uppercut). You can only carry two weapons at once; spent weapons can be hurled at enemies for more damage. Weapons range from baseball bats to tazers to rocket launchers; enemies are the same ?rounded head, rectangular body? model, but with random modifications (hat, mustache, etc); you can also customize your character with the same. They are rather odd, though with a certain fiendish badassnes.

Think of Madness Interactive as the perfect Flash meditation on violence. Also, think of it as something free that you need to play. The official site is down, but when it comes back it will be at Until then, grab the game at Home of the Underdogs: You'll be really glad you did.

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