Sometimes you come across a game that looks amazing and receives nothing but praise from all the reviews. Everything looks positive and you just can't wait to play it — then you notice the download size. It's massive. How can you justify downloading something so large? Sure, it might be good, but maybe you'd like something that would be a little quicker to download. So here you are, five games that provide a decent experience at a fraction of the bandwidth.
iFactor (Mac, 1.5MB, free) - A tiny little math game by 10101 Software that has absolutely nothing to do with the Xbox Live Arcade title of the same name. In this simple title you multiply numbers to get four in a row. Pick a number, your opponent picks one from the opposite row, the factors are multiplied to form a product. Play against the computer or against a friend.
.kkrieger (Windows, 96kb, free) - Quite easily the most impressive game ever made - in under a tenth of a megabyte, this first person shooter has atmosphere, multiple weapons, non-human enemies, many rooms and fitting sounds. As you move through the nine rooms in this game, you'll scale a giant staircase, do away with scuttling bugs, giant monsters and face a huge, mighty contraption at the end. Note: It's still beta, so if you get stuck in a wall, press [M] and a number from 1-9 to warp. That minor bug aside, it's still an impressive package for the size.
Masashikun Hi! (Windows, 240kb, free) - Usually Kenta Cho is known for his frantic shmups, but this release under the ABA Games banner is incredibly different. A collection of five mini-games, each starring wriggly stick figures on a blueprint background. Choose either one of the games, such as trampolining or high jump, or play them all in succession in attempt for a high score. Strange and somewhat addictive.
Vlak (DOS/Windows/Mac, 31kb, free) - Clocking in at a miniscule 31 kilobytes, this is easily the smallest playable download game I've ever come across. Featuring a plethora of levels and PC Speaker sounds, this cute Snake-like game has you collecting items to hook onto the back of your train, then out through the exit. It works under DOS, so any Windows should be able to run it (if not, check out the freeware application DOSBox, which also allows Mac users to play).
Minimal Yahtzee (Windows, 85kb, free) - One for the old-fashioned gamers out there, who still like their games a little more board-y than the rest. Yahtzee is a classic dice game where the object is, amazingly, to get the highest score. A lot has been squeezed into this tiny package, including smooth graphics and transitions between screens. The scoring is also quite complex and true to its real-life form.