Multiple endings HURRAH! Different outcomes to the stories you are playing are nothing new, but it isn't often that the games are short and entertaining enough to encourage you to gather them all. It's interesting to play through several times just to see how your actions affect the game world. Two of this week's games feature different endings, and you'll definitely want to experience some of these alternate conclusions!
The Life Of A Pacifist Is Often Fraught With Conflict (Mac/Windows/Linux, 4-7MB, free) - From Bento Smile, creator of Tanaka's Friendly Adventure, comes a short visual novel with multiple endings. You're a member of a game development team putting together the latest crime-centric shoot fest. You're not that in to all the blood and gore, however, and at certain points in the conversation, you have a few different choices to make. Depending on your decisions, you'll nab one of the endings. The game is short but charming, and it's cute enough to warrant a playthrough or two.
Blind (Windows, 1.3MB, free) - A short, experimental game that tells a story using nothing but ASCII visuals. You are a blind woman who is meeting someone in the park. As you play, you learn why she's there as well as some background info. Then, you take part in the story and can uncover six endings. It's tough to discuss the game without spoiling the story, but you can play through in just five minutes, and it's worth playing a few times to get some of the other endings. The use of onomatopoeic words that form the objects that are making sounds is quite an interesting device.
Hydorah (Windows, 84MB, free) - Originally featured last year when it was little more than a demo, Hydorah is all grown up and ready to bring you a whole lot of old-school arcade shmup entertainment. Fight against hordes of aliens through a series of short, intense levels, using primary and secondary weapons you can unlock and select as you progress. The difficulty is still pretty high, but developer Locomalito (who also created 8-bit Killer) has incorporated feedback generated by the demo's release to make a number of improvements. When it comes to retro challenge, this game does not fool around, and the pixel art is simply stunning.
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!