A smattering of games have reached your eyes this weekend, begging you to answer just one question: exactly how much is a 'smattering' anyway? Serve yourself up a helping of Sauerbraten if you're in the mood to shoot some baddies, and puzzle fans can delight in not one but two games to send their neurons in a tizzy. Always careful to cater to my adventure gaming brethren, you'll also find a fun little adventure title full of
ninjas robots pirates!
Zoom Book: The Temple of the Sun (Windows, demo, 23 MB) - While it may sound like a racing game where you drive books around a track (how cool would that be?!), Zoom Book is actually an interesting take on the matching subset of puzzle games. You're presented with a scene that pulls itself apart right before your eyes. Click and swap tiles to make the picture whole again, then marvel as the image solidifies and zooms in (or out) to reveal the next connected puzzle. It's an oddly captivating mechanism that does wonders to propel the story and connect each puzzle with the last. Definitely worth a look if you dig casual puzzle games and want something a bit different.
Sauerbraten (Windows, Mac, Linux, freeware, ~190 MB) - Yet another game whose name could be misleading (hint: it's not a Cooking Mama rip-off), Sauerbraten is a free open source first person shooter for all three major platforms. Think classic Quake with a stronger emphasis on mindlessly blasting enemies and you have a good idea what to expect. Sauerbraten has both single and multiplayer modes and comes with a level editor.
Biniax-2 (Windows, Linux, freeware, ~5 MB) - A deliciously cerebral logic puzzle game by Jordan Tuzsuzov, Biniax-2 takes you exactly three seconds to learn to play, then the rest of your afternoon to figure out how to win. Pairs of colored shapes descend from the top of the screen. You control a lone shape at the bottom of the screen and can eliminate any of the pairs if your piece matches one of the colors. After you destroy a pair, your color changes and you're off to destroy another group. It sounds simple on the surface, but figuring out which pieces to eliminate so you don't trap yourself can be frightfully difficult.
Nelly Cootalot (Windows, freeware, 15 MB) - A pirate-themed adventure game that draws inspiration from the Monkey Island series in more ways than one. You play Nelly, a "fearsome pirate and lover of tiny and adorable creatures" who is charged with investigating the disappearance of a fleet of birds by a dead pirate's ghost. The visuals and dialogue are so much fun, even adventuregameaphobiacs will have a great time.