Welcome to Gamer Week, in which The Takeout will be celebrating the edible side of video games all week long.
Technology moves too dang fast. I’m not even talking about robots or AI or programmatic advertising. I’m referring to the fact that in 2008, a mere 13 years ago, I was stunned by the technological prowess of Albino Blacksheep, a Flash site with rudimentary games and animations like Badgers and Schfifty Five. (“You want to know what it schwas? I’ll tell you what it schwas.”) A few years later, I laughed at naked weirdos on Omegle, a randomized video chat site. But now it’s 2021. Deepfakes are a thing, Albino Blacksheep is logged in the literal Library of Congress, and browser support for Adobe Flash is officially dead as of December 31, 2020.
I understand the reasoning behind the death of Flash. We have more powerful open-source platforms now, plus Flash has serious security issues and also heats up a laptop in about two seconds flat. But I miss the golden age of internet animation—and the dinky little Flash games that come with it. It was in a recent rush of nostalgia that I rediscovered Disney’s 625 Sandwich Stacker, a flash game that originated on the old Disney Channel website in the early aughts. I’m honestly not sure what made me think of it—I think I was just reminiscing on the good ol’ games and googled “Stitch sandwich game.” Boy, am I glad I did.
625 Sandwich Stacker is based on Stitch! The Movie, a Lilo & Stitch sequel that came out in 2003. The game stars Reuben, also known as Experiment 625, who’s actually a failed Stitch prototype. While Reuben has all of Stitch’s extraterrestrial powers, he’s very lazy. In fact, the most strenuous thing he does is make sandwiches, which is the basis for the game.
You play 625 Sandwich Stacker as Reuben, and your objective is simple: you must construct a delicious sandwich to earn points. Tasty sandwich ingredients like meat, lettuce, pickles, and cheese fall from a mysterious portal in the sky, and you’re tasked with stacking the ingredients as high as possible before another slice of bread pops out of a toaster on the right side of the screen. To catch the sandwich ingredients, you move Reuben left and right with your keyboard.
At first glance, the game seems pretty simple. It’s also for children. But, as usual, Disney’s got a few tricks up its sleeve. First, you have to avoid a few potentially gross ingredients that also fall from the invisible Meat Portal. If you catch too many nasty ingredients (an old boot or some miscellaneous green slime, perhaps), Reuben fails in his sandwich stacking mission. Another thing to keep in mind: the higher your stack, the more points you get—but when the stack reaches a certain height, it starts to sway. That makes it harder to dodge the icky stuff. Finally, the game speeds up with every level.
Ultimately, 625 Sandwich Stacker is a lovely way to spend an indulgent few minutes/hours at your desk. It’s got all the trimmings of an early aughts flash game—plus, you get to see a little animation of Reuben munching a sandwich after each level. There’s also a most excellent 15-second bass riff that loops over and over in the background. And while you can’t play the game in its original form (RIP Flash; RIP 2003 Disney Channel website), you can still play it here. Get stackin’.