The 100 best free online games on PC
Frog Fractions is a difficult game to talk about, because ideally you should play it as fresh and free from spoilers as possible. Even pointing out that it can be spoilt is a spoiler, because it suggests there's more to the game than it would initially have you believe. It starts as a forgettable parody that's part Missile Command, part edutainment spoof. But the real Frog Fractions is a game that's frequently surprising, silly and hilarious. It would be wrong to give away any of what happens next, but I’ll give you a hint to help find it: go down.
A Second Chance
The great Flash conglomerate known as Major Bueno continues to win browser games with the briefly wonderful A Second Chance, which is basically a screen full of buttons that enable funny things. You're a guy at NASA mission control, or something like that, and all you have to do is help a team of astronauts plant and explode a bomb on an incoming asteroid. The 'right' path is quite simple and doesn't take very long, but there are a few minutes of fun to be had from getting things A Bit Wrong first—as usual, this is mainly down to the fantastic artwork.
No, Birdie, No!
There you are, happily clinging for life on the side of a cliff when, all of a sudden, along comes a bird. Birds, as everyone knows, are nature's biggest jerks. To prove the folly in not evolving wings, he decides to peck at your fingers. Seriously, birds! They're proper bastards.
In fairness, you've got a bigger problem to deal with when playing No, Birdie, No: the control scheme. The game is played by holding down A, S, D and F, with each key correlating to a finger on both hands. When the bird stops at a finger, you release that key to raise it, causing the bird to miss and allowing you to avoid a grip loosening injury.
Night Rider Turbo
McPixel creator Sos Sosowski is back with the lightly Enviro-Bear 2000-ish Night Rider Turbo, which sees you operating an awesome car that gradually falls apart in your hands. To get the most out of this joyously silly game, make sure you pull, press, prod and poke everything in sight. I particularly like the soundtrack, which perfectly complements the thrill of hurtling down a motorway into oncoming traffic while driving a car held together by sticky tape.
Room of 1000 Snakes
You probably shouldn't push a big red button in a game entitled 'Room of 1000 Snakes', but even after seeing this hilarious, brief game—from Zineth developers Arcane Kids—to its inevitable conclusion, I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. Tremendous stuff, with the perfect choice of soundtrack.
It’s just as easy to fail at as QWOP, but I find GIRP gentler somehow. You climb a rockface (and avoid falling into the sea) by holding down various keys on your keyboard to indicate where to place your climber’s flailing hands. Let go, and he lets go—turning the game into a kind of small-scale Twister—or full-scale Twister, if you’re lucky enough to get to play it on a set of rejigged dance mats.
QWOP is named after the keys you use to control it: QW to pump your sprinter’s thighs, OP to arc his calves. The experience is what I imagine it’s like to be an alien placed inside a robotic humansuit, pulling levers to manoeuvre the appendages. The result on screen is simultaneously tense and hilarious. One leg stretches out, the other hops pathetically, the runner’s balance starts to slowly topple, keys are hammered in an attempt to try to return upright, and then it’s over. Your score: 1.4 metres.
Robot Unicorn Attack
A stylishly camp auto-running game about a robot unicorn leaping across gaps and listening to the Erasure song ‘Always’ on repeat. If that doesn’t make you want to play it, I definitely don’t wanna be with you / or make believe with you / or live in harmony, harmony, oh love.