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So Get Your Ural Truck And Go

By way of example, a recent specimen from the dark blue segment:

Soldier. There is some job for you. You will receive further orders from your commander Kate. But you must to know - this will be not so easy. You'll need to deliver some secret weapon, save wounded soldiers and all this must be done as fast as possible. So get your Ural Truck and go. THERE IS SOME JOB FOR YOU.

Urals Truck, the subject of such wonderful All Your Baseisms, is a free browser game that's essentially Snuggle/Smuggle Truck as set in a bizarre alternate Cold War-era Russia, where under-road fallout shelters and women in swimwear abound. The weirdness makes it almost work, but all too soon it feels sinister as well as gratuitous. And yes, 'your commander Kate' does indeed make an appearance and no, she is not dressed in a manner I would consider at all appropriate for senior military duty.

We get dozens of mails like this every week, always the same format - download links with offers to host it ourselves, promises there'll be no ads, sparse text full of mangled English, nothing about why we'd want to do this. This is what they want us to do:

(Alas making it fit into one of our posts chops 100 pixels off the sides - if you really want the full thing, click here.)

Great music, mind. Though they probably nicked it from Red Alert.

Why would they want to send us a copy of their game and ask us to host it, for free, especially if there are "no ads"? Well, clicks mean cash somehow, I guess. Clicking anywhere other than Play on the initial screen takes you to CarMotoGames, which is a goldmine of clones, flagrant IP theft (Batman, Mario, Spongebob, Toy Story, Bratz - all from a single glance) and endlessly looping links to other, similar sites and their galleries of infinite drek, all screaming for your clicks.

So much of this stuff exists. It's making money somewhere, somehow. People somehow, somewhere are finding it and playing it. And I've just helped to do that. Only in the interests of SCIENCE, you understand.

(Also, one category I left off the pie-chart was mails about 'dress-up games for girls', which appear to involve exactly the same game each time with different graphics, recycled forever in a nightmare of pink dresses and giant eyelashes. I've lately managed to have most of those filtered directly to trash, though).

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