Shooters! Shmups! Games where you hit buttons and destroy things! Vertically scrolling, arena, clones, remakes, minimalistic... shooting games! Thusly is the theme of this edition of Weekend Download. Except for that other game at the bottom...
DroneSwarm (Windows, 18MB, free) - Remember Harpooned, the Japanese whaling "simulator" from a while back? Years earlier, the same developer created a one-level side-scrolling shooter which wholly embodies the arcade glory of videogame past. Visually sumptuous in every respect and rewarding skill above luck, the game is a well balanced and highly polished delight. If only its development would continue. Still absolutely wonderful through and through.
Beast Invaders 2 (Windows, 10MB, free) - I'm not sure why, but I love games that are difficult to explain. Take for example Beast Invaders 2. At first it seems like a very sleek Space Invaders clone with new graphics, when in actual fact its a remake of a Space Invaders hack from the Atari days, which replaced the aliens with animals. So its a new version of a hacked version of an old game. Did I mention how extremely well it plays? Well, it does.
Boidtrancer Maniac (Windows, 1MB, free) - In this arena shooter, you are confined to the screen, while you kill Asteroid-like birds who can fly off and on screen as they loop from one edge to the other. Very simple in premise and execution, Boidtrancer wins big on its sound design: A simple twinkle-twinkle for each kill, a sound which then overlaps as you kill in succession to form an impromptu little melody. Minimalistic in the best way.
The Fool and His Money (teaser) (Mac/Windows, ~27MB, free) - A short demo/teaser of the upcoming puzzle-esque game. The game plays out with a series of chapters that contain bits of text. In order to proceed, you must solve the puzzle above the text. It's a simply-made game that offers a lot in terms of variety and deliciously devious metapuzzles to solve. You can also play the previous game in the series released several years ago, The Fool's Errand, as well as pre-order The Fool and His Money. (Note: Linux users have reported the Windows version of the game runs well under Wine!)