How about some diversions for the last day of the year? Two games pulled from the recent Ludum Dare compo, both of which share some of the same basic ideas and gameplay directions but end up being very different from each other, Then, just to make sure you're paying attention, a totally different game! Wow!
Minicraft (Mac/Win/Linux, 1MB, free) - Created by Notch, the original developer of Minecraft, for the most recent Ludum Dare compo, Minicraft is an open sandbox crafting sort of game that basically works like Minecraft if it were released on the NES. Fight enemies, allocate resources, craft new tools, and strike out as you attempt to fulfill your goal of eliminating all sentient life so you can be forever alone! Shockingly playable and absorbing, especially for such a simple game, but considering the source, it's a wonder you won't lose hours of your life to the little diversion. You can also play Minicraft in your browser!
Incomitat (Windows, 1.5MB, free) - Another Ludum Dare entry, this one from hempuli, creator of Floating Islands Game as well as a handful of other, smaller projects. Similar to Minicraft in some ways, Incomitat doesn't have much of a purpose, it's just a little world simulator that lets you dig up dirt, cut down trees, harvest resources and use them to build things. There's a boss lurking somewhere in this low-res world, so if you can find it, you accomplished something worthy!
Void (Windows, 179MB, free) - A short but phenomenal first person puzzle game created by students at DigiPen, Singapore. Void takes place in a library ruined in a recent disaster. You're trying to find a way out, but that doesn't really seem possible given the state of things. Fortunately, time is on your site. More specifically, the past, and your ability to both see it and open pockets of the past using limited portals. For example, a platform may be out of reach because the ground beneath it has crumbled. Open a portal to the past, though, and the floor is intact, giving you a few seconds to walk across. It's a great game mechanic, and the team used it in some very creative ways, including a stint in the sewers that were once filled with water. It's a short, experimental sort of game, but one you'll be glad to have tried! Note: Void requires the Steam client, a free download, to play.
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!