Kongregate’s current featured game is “Generic Defense Game,” and it’s terrible. It’s the video game equivalent of a piece in The Onion where the headline is marginally funny, but the article goes on way too long and sucks all the humor out of it. Then there’s the fact that the difficulty curve is totally busted: it actually gets easier as you progress, going from tense and tactical in the early stages to a mind-numbing bore later on. And just to round things out, it’s terribly laggy, kind of buggy, and generally underdeveloped, even by indie standards.

So why do I keep playing this game, instead of “3D Logic” or “Rings” or “Desktop Tower Defense?” Because Kongregate is offering me a card if I complete this week’s challenge. The cards they offer as challenge rewards don’t actually do anything: they’re supposedly going to be used in a CCG to come later, but I’m not sure if that’s ever going to happen — or if it even needs to. It’s amazing the kinds of things we’ll do just to be able to have a badge of honor on our profile pages.

Kongregate isn’t the YouTube of web-based indie casual games; it’s the Xbox Live Arcade of web-based indie casual games.