Where the games played you.

RRRRThats5Rs.com was created in early 2006 with the goal of satirizing and mocking online gaming, but has grown into a social experiment. The site's games are designed to be simple, frustrating and pointless to see how players will react to slight changes of expected gaming behavior.

Although online games seem like a chaotic and fluid genre, the types of gameplay intensely clusters around the latest trends. One game becomes tremendously popular and a long slew of copycat games follow... whether defending a castle, escaping a room, or anything involving stick figures and death. These waves of games condition the average player to behave in a precise manner and expect a nearly identical gameplay.

At RRRR, we see this as the perfect opportunity for experimentation, so we create behavioral traps in our games by installing non sequiturs - changing some aspect that is always constant in most typical games, and not warning the player.

Below is a summary of design experiments we created on RRRR - the rationale behind each game, some playing statistics, and our favorite comments.

Don't Shoot the Puppy

Viewed over 40,000,000 times, this game asked the question "how hard is it to do nothing?". When so many other Flash games needed lightning-quick reflexes and complex problem solving, Don't Shoot the Puppy looked like it needed those things too, but if you did anything you lost.

Thousands of comments proved how hard it was for people to think of inaction as a strategy, and still more fell for the later levels (which somehow tricked people when all the ones before were solved without touching anything). From fake popup ads to fake blank screens to fake obstacles, players convinced themselves that this time the puppy needed help, but what we didn't realize was how many people could not just sit and watch for 10 minutes. Even though we sit through movies or TV for hours on end, Flash games are so ADD-friendly that many people lost patience and knowingly killed the dog.

The Best of 72726 Comments:

"this game is really easy, just dont click or roll the mouse after you hit start, jeez" - Joseph


"i hate all the distractions" - qaz

"Скачать бесплатное порно, порно за смс, все виды порно" - Lawagichfah

"awesome game I f@#$ing hate dogs" - bill

"This game was hard man. I took me three hours to beat it!" - Isabella

"Unless you have ADHD this game shouldn't be hard at all." - Lauren.

"do i let him suffer or kill him?" - bob

"i think this game is stupid and pointless! (no offense) " - taylor

"it froze on level 11" - cody

"how do you move the gun?" - ij

"the one who made this game should come with me to hell!" - devil

"shooting the puppy is quite hilarious" - billy


Each word is from the comments; its size determined by number of occurrences.

Another word map, but this one was made using Wordle.net
Make the World a Better Place

The inspiration for this game came from watching people play Kitten Cannon. Pick an angle, power and watch as your kitten bounces off, hitting randomly placed boosters. People got so excited watching it, even though the success of the game was completely random.

To toy with people, we made a similar game, except that it is impossible to lose. On the third kick, the random booster placer stops being random and perfectly places each booster based on the projectile's trajectory. It requires no skill, but neither does Kitten Cannon.

Oh, and the high score list is fake: it only exists on your computer.

The Best of 23174 Comments:

"I'm at 291K, and I've not stopped yet... I think I win. =3" - Kissa

"I'm up to 600k and it's not stopping. D:" - Nex

"woot, highscore ^^" - SecksiSam

"I have been doing this for 3 hours" - jay

"19016, this game is to easy!" - annoyingfan

"BAM SUCKAS 819" - ahchoe


"This game is obviously designed so you cant lose. very poor." - Weldy

Stacked Odds

When someone plays Tetris, they follow a simple rule: try to fill the deepest gap. When a gap forms, they will try to fill it with the best piece available, sometimes waiting for that perfect piece to show up.

What if that piece never shows up? This game has an AI that finds which piece that player most desperately needs, and doesn't give it to him. More specifically, it finds the deepest hole, and gives you only the pieces that don't fit into it.

We were recently informed that it is actually possible to get into an infinite loop and beat the game. If we ever make Stacked Odds 2.0 we'll fix that bug, but until then see if you can figure it out!

The Best of 3326 Comments:

"Yay Tetris oh no i lost :(" - Nick

"I got it. You don't let us comment. the first two comments are not real, it's just supposed to confuse us. Then we comment, the comment stays put for some time then eradicates by itself, leaving us frustrated and typing the same message again and a again. " - Yuval GreenPeace

"Cool a Tetris game that gives you the worst pieces it can cook up my best was 14" - HeavyD2

"this is basically tetris!!" - cherry

"My god, this website is so weird." - person


When you lose a game of Stacked Odds, it used to send your score to our server. After 2175 games, we created this histogram of scores. We were impressed to see that someone stuck with it long enough to clear 101 lines, but many people failed to even clear one.
Cheer Up the ChatBot

Why talk to computers when you can talk to real people instead?

One of the many goals of artificial intelligence is to create a computer that can act human. This turns out to be incredibly hard. If you are talking to someone online, it is very easy to tell that they are not really a human. Computers just aren't very good a pretending. Just try any other chatbot out there and you can experience the robotic responses.

But what if you were supposed to be talking to a computer: could you tell it was really a human?

This is the goal of Cheer Up the Chatbot. Players are faced with a cute image of a computer, and made to think that it is a chatbot. They ask it questions, and it responds with varying degrees of intelligence.

"It's pretty stupid at times, but sometimes it's bloody brilliant. The programming is pretty spiffy."

We aren't dedicated enough to create an intelligent chatbot. Fortunately it is easy to fake. When a player loads the page, they are connected to our server. So if more than one person is playing at the same time, we can just have them talk to each other. If there is an odd person out, they are stuck talking to our terribly stupid chatbot.

And just to make things exciting, an algorithm switches people around sometimes, mid conversation. This creates an exciting sense of uncertainty. You never truly know if you are talking to a person, or if it is even the same person as before. It is such a simple system, and yet it is still fun to play even after you know the trick. People play the game just to talk to and trick the uninitiated.

A few people have asked us for a special chatting mode that distinguishes between players in the game, instead of always saying "chatbot." These people were so desperate for this playing mode that they paid us $5 for the secret ability.


The Best of 118333 Comments:


"my friend kevin made this website!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" -

"Um my friend and I were on the phone while playing this and we were telling eachother what was going on in the conversation, and it turned out we were talking to eachother through the game. WHAT THE HELL? " - Nelly

"I give up. What's the catch?! I'm sure there's more to it than just a completely randomized answering system, because that would just be too obvious. Also, he tells me that he's trying to cheer me up and that he's not sad." - Lorenzo

"I do not understand the purpose of game" - Léa


"OMG HE WANTED ME TO PULL MY PANTS DOWN! im scared..." - Frightened

"he had sex with me" - sexxy

"The glass house is sinking" - Bort

"your all idiots" - idk bill?

How Much?

What happens when quantitative questions start getting more and more vague? And what happens when you have a multiple choice question where nothing is correct? Pretty self-explanatory and well-received, except for a few who couldn't tolerate a game where losing points was required.

The Best of 1659 Comments:

"this is a easy game but hard, too" - bluestar leader of thunderclan

"How do you get 20 out of 20?" - Neville

"it goes way to fast to count the stuff on the screen." -

"What the hell I can't use my weapons?!" - WTF

The Road Less Taken

Perhaps the deepest realization comes while playing this game: "I'm playing myself!" As the player moves up the grid on each level, their chosen path is used to block him in later rounds. New users see the new moving pieces as pre-programmed enemies, figuring out patterns to avoid the complex AI. Only later do some figure out that they're actually avoiding their own past decisions, and can carefully plan their own movements to save themselves later on.

The Best of 1566 Comments:

"I cant pass level 5" -

"This game gave me cancer." - Who, Me?

"level 42 bullshit" - yo mama

Keep Talking

Ever yell at your computer before? Ever do it while laughing? This simple physics-based puzzle game has one twist: you use your microphone to play. We created this hoping that people would laugh at themselves, and it certainly works.

The Best of 3934 Comments:

"this is the best game EVER!!!" - lol

"Level 9 frustrated the hell out of me and I hate you for it" -


"ahahahahahah its hard cause i can't just talkk i have to yell" - piecee

"it made my voice squeky in the mornig1 dont go on it! i couldnt tlk for 2!days!" - sophie

"this whole website sux. the games are so damn boring!!!" - get a life

"So awesome but in the end I had a sore throat but it was fun I didnt get past level : Keep away" - Girl you dont know

Get to the Finish

The loading bar is the game. When it's full, the game is finished. About 50/50 response between those who thought their time was wasted (since there was no game afterwards), and those who appreciated that the loading bar was the game.

The Best of 10028 Comments:

"thats is the most boring thing ive played in my life pushing a button is better" - tietiff

"it loads long" -

"takes ages to load" -

"no! This is fake! Do nut playyyy!!!!!" - Titosurus

"is my computer messed up or some thing" - mystry womon

Don't Make Mommy Cry

Just funny.

The Best of 6963 Comments:

"funny stuff. Lol had do you get past the part when you wear people's skin?" - Blaz3


"make it in dutch! xD" - aragorn

"my mom think this game is boring" -

Click Once a Minute

Someone got over 1,000 on this. 1,000 minutes. Need we say more? Also, despite how completely pointless this game was, some users created automated scripts to play while they were running errands; others just had 1 minute alarms at their desks. No hidden tricks, just an example of the effort people spend playing the dumbest things.

The Best of 6899 Comments:

"time flys by" - dan

"what kind of stupid idiot would play this dumb game?" - I don't have a name

"My highest score is one" - Brian

Everyone's a Winner

Why would anyone want to play a simple tic-tac-toe game? Because they can't figure out why the game says they've lost. If only one person wins, then everyone hasn't won. The only way to beat Everyone's a Winner is to work with the computer and create a tie game.

The Best of 2251 Comments:

"I WIN" - winner

"so wat r u sup to do, lose, wat a sukki game" - skullhead941

Help Helen

Named after Helen Keller, this experiment explored Flash games from a blind person's perspective. An exercise in gameplay without clicking on buttons or GUIs, only interacting with the words that tell you what to do. With almost no visual feedback in the entire game users grew frustrated, and with time limits that no one could see (blind people can't cross the street too slowly) winning was never as simple as it seemed. Some users think their resolution is the problem, because a game can't be completely dark, right?

The Best of 3203 Comments:

"a dog attacked me!!!" - andy

"Walk forward, find the retard, help him get hit by a car, when he's on the ground steal his wallet, then find the nearest thing wet, slushy, and alive and shove it down his pants. Did I win yet?" - Wolf

"dude what the hell is wrong with helen" - me'

Please the Art Critic

Guaranteed replay value. The critic asks you to draw things and decides if what you made was good enough, but unlike most games the probability of him approving is random. Instead of the yes-or-no deterministic games everywhere, can people realize when a game is ruled by chance? No one in the comments seemed to notice, only complaining that once it was beaten there was no replay value. So we made it impossible to win the first 12 times you play, and even though some have won after 12 times they still haven't mentioned that it could be chance.

The Best of 4470 Comments:

"i think this may be rigged" - confused

"HOW DO I SHOT WEB??!?!?" - spidre mna

"what is the surrealist hand shake?" - matt

Mixed Memories

Instead of simply changing the graphics (like nearly every other memory matching game on the web), a simple twist makes this game much more challenging and fun. Actually, making it fun was an accident.

The Best of 1334 Comments:

"63" -

"This is ass. Why is there only sixteen?" - Wolf

"A great game for dyslexics!" - rayybags

"my brain is working to hard!!!" - me lazy

Proverbs - Level 1

Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

The Best of 1433 Comments:

"seriously, these games suck" -

"A bird in the hand is better than 10 on the roof" - pk

"I got the hammer, but I still can't figure out how to open the pink box." - eric

"Retard. It's Don't count your chickens before they hatch." - Rem

Proverbs - Level 3

The early bird gets the worm.

The Best of 994 Comments:

"Whaz the point in this stupid game?" - Who knows?

"how long do you wait?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!" - caleb

"because they had gravity on backwards :D" - Fox

Proverbs - Level 5

The grass is always greener on the other side

The Best of 335 Comments:

"When you finally get the drift of the game, and you get a chance to look at the guy's face, you suddenly realize he's pretty ugly." - Lorenzo

"Grass is always greener on the other side. Make sure it stays that way." - Emmy

"Hahaha, your a programmer, and you can't even spell programmer right? You're the fucking tard hahaha asshole" - computar guy

Proverbs - Level 7

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

The Best of 1753 Comments:

"eewwwwwww gross end" - hjkhkjhkjl

"oooh i like getting physicals" - med

"oh man this is creepy.... doctors will scare me forever..." -

Proverbs - Level 9

Money doesn't grow on trees. Cheesecake.

The Best of 1464 Comments:

"pffft too eazzy" - the tiggsta

"114 points!!! cheesecake" - hannah

Proverbs - Level 10

A penny saved is a penny *earned*. (urn'd?)
Click Between the Lights

This game has pretty vague directions, and that's pretty much it.

The Best of 3386 Comments:

"this is boooooring" - Joseph

"Wow! It's A Classic!" - RRRocker!!!

"all the games on this website are rubbish" - fwefwe

"i really really REALLY dont get it" - momma


This was an idea I had for how to make a better drawing application. I was frustrated with how hard it is to change colors in normal drawing applications. In Smudge, you just grab the color you want and drag it. It's also the only original game not written in Flash, so it still works!


The Best of 178 Comments:

"watever mike your so retarded then my little brother" - brady

"all u do is paint it black then paint it white! WHT THE FUCK!" - A-Hole JKJK IM NOT A A-HOle

"Damn you fancy color man! quit ruining my fantastically clean single colored canvas!" - Snike

Get a Life

The game with the clearest message, Get A Life has nothing for you to do but quit. The faster you realize that, the higher your score. But it is hard to figure it out when there is a big red count-down timer in your face, a "1-up" sign, and other distractions. If you want a good laugh, watch someone frantically click while they try to play it.

The Best of 17366 Comments:


"Okay, I am on the fifth level with all the black acorns, but what do I do with the orange power crystal?" - TholomewP

"You have to click the fifth harp three times." -

"how can you play as mario?" - Henke


This map shows clicks of 70 players who are trying to "figure out" Get a Life. The data was sent to our server when they finally gave up and pressed Quit. Lines connect consecutive clicks.

Other Stuff

The Proverbs Game

Some Haikus

Contacting RRRR

You can't.