From time to time, we see twists and turns on our genre-based expectations of games in order to provide a new experience. You may have played through games "from the villains' side", and enjoyed many a cerebral treat meant to test our definition of what a game is, but how many games have you seen where the win conditions are literally inverted? What if hitting the ball in baseball was the norm, and the only way you could win is if you could find some way to score outs? While Super Unbaseball 2010 may still be in development, here's an intriguing switcharoo on an old classic to tide us over: Gnop, from the gaming minds of Bit Battalion.
The controls are just as simple as the game's progenitor; [Up] and [Down] arrows steer the ball, though, instead of the paddles. It's up to you to navigate the fearless pixel around those persistent paddles, and into the next area, where a pair of smarter, more adroit defenders await your arrival. [Esc] restarts the game, and [M] mutes the noise. Aside from that, there's nothing to it except making your way from one "zone" to the next and planning daredevil maneuvers to get the projectile around your rectangular adversaries.
The whole game is very minimalist in its presentation as well as its controls, although one can't help but wish that there was some sort of figurative pat on the back at the end of the game. (Or a literal one. I'm not picky about back pats.) Perhaps some other elements could have been added, like more levels or "power-ups" or the like. But then again, giving the player anything more than the core idea and its bare-bones display would stifle the simplicity of the whole package, which comes across as one of the game's greatest strengths. And in the end, there's actually solid replay value to boot; I've been coming back to play it whenever I have five minutes to spare. So whether you've got some time to kill or you just want to ponder the ramifications of un-games (I would be SO good at un-bowling), this is a neat little surprise that fits right into your coffee break.