Games are fun. Jam is delicious. Why not combine the two? The Game Jolt Weekend Game Jam has both of those words (even though its jam is less strawberry flavored) and contains exactly the same amount of yum. Check out a few of the top games from this 48 hour competition.
Paper Dreams (Windows, 9.4MB, free) - Hand-drawn visuals are always great to see in a game, and Paper Dreams is full of them. This single-screen shmup sends loads of smiling enemies your way. Of course, it's your job to blow them up, collecting little plus signs that fall to upgrade your ship. A pretty challenging game, even on easy mode, but even if all you do is die over and over again, it's a experience.
Dissipate (Windows, 7.7MB, free) - The only non-shmup of the bunch, Dissipate is a crazy-difficult platform game whose puzzles come in the form of riddles. Each single-screen level begins with a proverb. Read the words, then play the level and use the clues given by the riddle to beat the level. Expect some crazy things to happen, like your controls being switched around, exit doors not really being exits, and solutions to certain levels being, well, jumping into a pit of spikes. A great change of pace from your typical platform game.
Vatn Squid (Windows, 7.6MB, free) - A vertical shooter that's made up entirely of boss battles! Maneuver your ship around enemy firing patterns while returning shots of your own. Tap [x] to use your shield, a defensive mechanism that also causes you to absorb bullets to charge a super weapon. There are only ten bosses to defeat, and the difficulty isn't all that high, but it's a great arcade experience reminiscent of retro shooters.
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!