How do you feel about... TACTICAL MISDIRECTION?!!! *flashing lights* That's good. Glad to know it. Now, how do you feel about a game semi-sorta doing that with its title? And what if that title involves felines?
The Cat that Got the Milk (Windows, 30MB, free) - This game... is absolutely mad. It's easy to slap the label "cave avoider" on it, say its basic structure is like a handful of games out there, and then call it a day. But that wouldn't do justice to the artistic madness that is The Cat that Got the Milk. 18 levels that start out pretty simple, with you tapping the [up] or [down] arrow key to guide a moving dot through a maze-like passageway. Then you start encountering moving objects. Then you find circles. Then you find... well, whatever that thing is on that level. Suffice to say, it gets pretty crazy pretty quickly, and when you see the final stage, you'll probably just start crying. But, the madness of the design is half the fun, and if you ever get frustrated, just tap the [spacebar] to skip the level.
The Fourth Wall (Windows, 88MB, free) - Another fantastic project from a group of students at DigiPen, The Fourth Wall starts out as a fairly typical platform game with screen wrap elements, allowing you to move to the opposite side of the screen by stepping off the edge. But then, oh then things get very interesting. You see, after two or three levels, the screen unfreezes itself, so instead of walking around single-screen rooms, you have entire areas to explore. Problem is, there's not always a path to the exit. That's where the neat ability to freeze the screen, thus activating the screen-wrap gameplay feature, comes into play. You get to create your own wraparound scenario at the press of a button, and its more mind-warping than you might think!
Backworlds (Mac/Win, 30MB, demo) - If you can't decide between painting or playing a platform game, let Backworlds choose for you. This rather artsy-looking demo blends the two into a seamless experience that features just as much puzzle as it does jumping around. Using the mouse, you can erase the world to reveal the background behind, often revealing new paths and new platforms you can instantly utilize. You can also cover up this back world in case you need to use bits of the regular world. It's a concept that sounds awkward in writing, but when you play it, it's oh-my-stars creative and fun. Plus, the game looks like a playable painting, which never hurts! Note that this is just a demo and the game is currently seeking funding to release a final version.
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!