If you were given an apple, an orange, a bag full of thumb tacks, and a yearly subscription to I Just Made This Name Up magazine, could you turn it into a game? Maybe by rolling the fruit along the ground to see how many tacks you could collect before hitting the magazine fort? Fortunately, you don't have to be that creative to enjoy the fruits of other folk's creativity, as this weekend's collection of freeware games nicely illustrates!
Verminest (Windows, 20MB, free) - A master of the indie scene for both retro games and creative shmups, the latest game from Locomalito (Viriax, L'Abbaye des Morts, 8-bit Killer, Hydorah) has masterfully mixed an ancient arcade classic with 50s sci-fi movie charm. Fly around while shooting bug aliens that swoop in from above. The more daring you are, the more medals you earn, and with more medals comes more bonuses! The coolest part of the game, though, is switching visual modes, toggling between 3D, normal, and old movie styles while you play. It's stylish and it's loads of shooting-type fun!
Co-Op (Mac/Win, 13MB, free) - Perhaps this week's game with the highest cost of entry, Co-Op is a two player cooperative arcade game that requires both you and a friend use the same keyboard. Time to be social! Each player controls one ship, and the ships are bound by an elastic-like string. The only way to kill enemies is to cut them using this rope, so you've got to work together to get anything done. Hilarity ensues quite often, and the game has a smart enough sense of humor to realize that. Also: go ahead and try this one solo. It's a great lobe independence training program!
The Little Quest (Windows, 4.5MB, free) - A simplistic platform adventure game. We've all seen that, right? Well, The Little Quest aims for something different: thorough exploration. Not only is the main aim of the game to uncover shaded parts of the world, but detailed stats are available to show you exactly what you've been up to. The game is still a work in progress, and the developer is open to feedback and suggestions. So, if you enjoy it, leave a few notes on the game's download page and help make a better game!
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!