Some games don’t make a lot of sense in a bad way. Some games break internal logic and have unintuitive controls and gameplay that doesn’t match up with what you’re seeing and hearing onscreen. That is how bad games don’t make sense; they defy your expectations to work.
Frog Fractions, a free Flash game from Twinbeard Studios, doesn’t make a lick (*badum, chssh*) of sense, but boy does it work. I started playing this game twice because the first time, I thought I was being trolled. I started gobbling up bugs as seemingly random fractions popped off of them and ended up somehow collecting fruit to add to my inventory of unexplained “zorkmids.” I saw that I could upgrade my frog (and I did with the cybernetic brain thing) and felt like it wasn’t going anywhere, so I quit. I thought fellow writing friend Nathan Grayson over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun had pulled a fast one on me, that perhaps his Canadian-borne illness had finally and properly addled his curly-haired mind. Hell, I couldn’t even see how this game would teach you fractions!
Oh how wrong I was. After I saw that more and more people kept talking about it, I figured I had missed something, so I went in again, this time determined to figure out what made it tick. Collecting fruit, I got another upgrade. And another. Then I unlocked a turtle so I could move and collect more falling fruit. It eventually became kind of hypnotically fun, lining up tongue shots and trying to wipe out as many bugs in one go. Then I unlocked a god damn dragon.
Yeah, a dragon. And a warp drive. And then I went to space. And then I had to fight a boss. And then I had to testify in court. And then and then and then. Frog Fractions doesn’t make a lot of sense.
You start out playing a tower defense game without any towers. Then it kind of turns into a space shooter like Gradius or Galaga. And at a certain point you will play through a rather sophisticated text adventure followed up by blasting through a dancing rhythm minigame à la Dance Dance Revolution. Hell, there’s even an economy simulator in there. And get a load of this groovy-as-shit tune! Frog Fractions is all over the place and yet it all makes sense. Of course you can install lock-on targeting on your frog. Of course you have to get a work visa on Bug Mars. Of course the pink goop tastes like bacon.
Of course Frog Fractions works. It makes all the sense in the entire world that it would. Now go play.
HINT ALERT: if you end up in an awful and seemingly endless loop in the beginning, maybe you should start thinking vertically.