The Balloon Bros Tumble-Top Sideshow Spectacular! (Windows, 20MB, free) - Here's something you don't see every day: a match-3 that's actually worth playing! From Charlie Dog Games, creator of the word game Cuba Letra, comes a whimsical take on the familiar genre. Remember how Bejeweled Twist allowed you to rotate gems to make matches? Balloon Bros goes to the next level and lets you rotate the entire playing field! Click balloons to pop them, creating a space that other balloons float up to fill. To create matches, simply make it so three or more like-colored balloons meet. Rotating the screen changes which balloons move where, giving you a ton of freedom in creating strategies and building up chain reactions. A very well-made game that's unique, charming, and great for an afternoon of gaming!
Au Sable (Windows, 8.83MB, free) - A rare game that isn't gross-out shock-value scary but is genuinely disturbing, Au Sable by Amon26 is a dark platform adventure with a focus on setting and mood. Discussing much more of the game would spoil it, but suffice to say, you'll get more than a chill or two experiencing this frightening game. And it's all accomplished with chunky pixel art and a drab palette of white, black, red, and a whole lot of gray. Fantastic work, but keep the kids in another room for this one.
Fetus (Windows, 2.9MB, free) - A clever little puzzle platformer that plays with your sense of gravity and continuity. Remember old arcade games (especially Kid Icarus and Pac-Man) where you could walk off the edge of the screen and appear on the other side? Fetus makes heavy use of this to create maze levels wrapped around themselves, forcing you to rethink your sense of space and direction. A nice, cool visual presentation sets the mood, and the slow, confining controls really draw the blanket of mystery around you. Later levels crank up the difficulty, so be ready with that [R] key to restart the level.
Tetripong (Windows, 2.2MB, free) - I'll give you 18 guesses to figure out what this game is about! Combining Tetris and Pong, Tetripong pits you and your block stacking skills against the bouncing ball of destruction. As the Pong ball ricochets around the screen, your job is to make as many Tetris lines as you can. And yes, it's as wild as it sounds.
Note: All games have been confirmed to run under Windows Vista and are virus-free. Mac users should try Boot Camp, Parallels, or CrossOver Games to play Windows titles, Linux users can use Wine. If you know of a great game we should feature, use the Submit link above to send it in!