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 spoiled 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.
Peer closely at any image of Hitler and it soon becomes clear something's amiss. No, not the monstrous fascism (although that was pretty bad), but the fact that he was two kids in an overcoat. Double Hitler recreates key moments in Adolf's adult life, putting you in the role of said kids in said giant overcoat. As you can imagine, even the act of walking is difficult when you're really two children in a big jacket, and about 90% of the game is spent trying to stay upright without toppling over and revealing your secret. Double Hitler is pretty much QWOP: ie wonderfully silly, and told with a masterfully straight face.
Physics is hardly a new concept for football, but I don't think it's been implemented like this before. Soccer Physics is a single-button game in which four footballmen face off in a 2D battle to score five goals. Instantly, you should see the problem: one button isn't enough to perform the many moves associated with the sport. Instead, you can jump. That's it.
Press the up arrow, and both members of your team will launch into the air and kick. At first you have a modicum of control, using their natural rocking motion to propel them left or right. Before long, though, all four players will be mixed up, upside down and entangled, desperately hopping in an attempt to reach the ball.
It's silly, then – more so when you factor in the special conditions. At any kick-off, the game can introduce huge goals, small goals, slippery surfaces or an American football. All have an effect on play, but none change the simple pleasure of manically tapping that single key.