If you had the choice between a game that promised to kick your game-playing behind and a game that promised you'd look like an idiot when you first played it, which would you choose? Perhaps a complex personality test should be developed around that question? Perhaps... we'll just play some more games and forget about all that psychiatry stuff!
Omnicron (Windows, 20MB, free) - An 8-bit-styled shooter that's full of everything you love in a shooter: lots of enemies, lots of guns, lots of things to dodge, the occasional screen-clearing bomb, and big, big bosses. Your ship fires automatically, you just need to position yourself to clear things out with weapons fire. Left click the mouse to charge your bomb, absorbing projectiles in the process. When it's ready, right click to unleash the boom, sparing your life for a few seconds. Gather gun upgrades to get bigger and bigger weapons arrays, and hope you can make it through the gauntlet alive!
FLaiL (Windows, 11MB, free) - Just when you think you've seen every "platform game with an attitude", you discover FLaiL, an action game from Matt Thorson, creator of An Untitled Story as well as MoneySeize. In FLaiL you, quite naturally, flail around each level, jumping from platform to platform as you try to make it to the red light at the end. You have a spiffy flying ability that lets you "dash" in any direction, and there are a number of power-ups that change the physics of the game quite a bit. Lots of levels, multiplayer support, and plenty of other extras you'll love to devour. Note: You'll need to scroll down a touch to find the download link.
The Indie Game Legend (Windows, 21MB, free) - Are you a devout follower of the indie gaming scene? Do you enjoy retro games that let you shoot a lot of things, upgrade things, and rescue people who wish you could meet in real life? The Indie Game Legend is what you desire! Similar to a few classic NES games such as The Legend of Zelda and The Guardian Legend, pick up your weapons and fight your way through 125 rooms in this action/RPG, your lofty goal being to rescue the kidnapped indie developers. Sure, it's a lot more fun if you get all of the inside jokes and such, but even if you don't, just pretend Derek Yu is some guy whose calculator you borrowed in class and never gave it back.
Note: All games have been confirmed to run under Windows 7 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!