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8:CapsuleIt's a puzzle game. Don't pass the number eight, though. Really, don't. But, you know, if you do, just use the [WASD] keys to move and the mouse to click on objects. See what you can click on, and when things are selected, use the [right] mouse button to launch them. It's great when things bump into other things, isn't it? Now, see if you can figure out how to solve each level. Obtuse at times, but fun!

BoxycraftOne of the most blindly entertaining physics puzzle/platform games you can download, Boxycraft turns you loose in a playground filled with pushable, knockable, movable objects and gives you the power to latch on to almost anything. Move with the [arrow] keys and click the [left] mouse button to hold on to nearby things. You'll need to master the swing and jump technique to best some of the levels. The physics are a little iffy at times, especially the character's movement and hit detection, and the game is on the short side, but it's a great ride while it lasts. No worries, as developer Robert Dodd is working on Boxycraft 2!

BrainSplode!Oh, brains. You are as delicious (to zombies) as you are useful (to anyone running from zombies). You're also apparently quite explodable, as evidenced in this colorful cartoon-like physics game BrainSplode!. Created by Rust Red Games, all you've got is a cannon, some highly-useful missiles, and a few mid-air power-ups that help you control things. Oh, and an inexplicable hatred of squishy pink brains.

D.O.T.: Dot Order TieAn entry in the TIGSource A Game By Its Cover Competition, DOT is a top-down maze-like game of exploration. It's one of the few games you'll actually need to read the instruction manual for, but the basic gist of things is you're trying to collect 999 dots, and in order to get them, you'll need to find hidden passageways and decipher codes for a number of doors. Very interesting puzzle mechanics, and the story is so great you have to read it to believe it.

DiminishA sequel to Dissipate, the platformer that challenges you with a riddle before each level, Diminish continues the challenging tradition with more levels and more wickedly obtuse puzzles. When you begin each level, a "proverb" appears at the top of the screen giving you a clue on how to complete the level. Sometimes leaping into a pit of spikes is the trick, while other times you'll have to locate hidden doors, move in a certain way, or just stand still and see what happens. An excellent follow-up to a creative, original game!

FractalIn Fractal, a puzzle game by the authors of Auditorium, your goal is to create "blooms" which are composed of six hexagons of the same color. On the surface it sounds like a simple matching puzzle, but the web-like nature of the gameplay and the gorgeous presentation makes it so very much more.

Gravity GardenA fully-stocked puzzle game with astronauts, flower pots, Russian scientists, and some crates. It's... Gravity Garden! Working to become the next Russian space hero and one-up the U.S. in the space race, you are put in charge of a device that can switch gravity with the touch of a button. Your goal is to move a fragile flower pot to the teleporter at the end. However, since gravity affects everything on the screen, swapping the flow can crush your plant if you're not careful. A very challenging game with 25 dastardly levels to complete, and a sense of humor any child of the internet will appreciate!

OctodadFitting in is never easy. Especially when you're an octopus masquerading as a human dad! Created by students at DePaul University, the same university that housed the creators of Devil's Tuning Fork, Octodad is one of those games that mirrors itself in the control scheme. Moving Octodad in 3D is an exercise in imprecision and hilarity, as you must pick up and swing each leg individually, sliding the mouse around to gain ground. More often than not, you'll end up in a funky position. Gripping objects is handled in the same manner, and you'll probably knock over more things than you'd care to admit. But it's awesome to play around with, and the story keeps you driven to move forward and explore new rooms. Don't raise suspicion, try to blend in, and you, too, can be a successful Octodad!

Puzzle DimensionPuzzle Dimension is a great-looking and extremely well-made 3D puzzle game from Doctor Entertainment. Your goal is to collect the sunflowers on each level. Roll the satisfyingly-solid stone block across the floating tiles, leaping over single-spaced gaps when necessary, and touch each flower to nab it. Now, factor in ice, vanishing blocks, and loads of other ingenious puzzle contraptions and you've got a satisfying and challenging game that never seems to get old!

Sleep is Death (Geisterfahrer)Have you ever wanted to tell a story about a kitten? Or an alien? Or a mummy, or a genius, or a demon, or a block of cheese, or a little girl with the magical ability to talk to soap? Well, a little bit of time and effort with Sleep is Death will let you do just that, all in the form of a playable experience for you and a friend.

Sp.A.I.It's a well-established fact that in the future, computers will rule the high-tech world, and the coolest people will wear black leather outfits and hack said computer systems to fight against "the man". Sp.A.I. is a third person puzzle platform game that takes place in the near future where that kind of thing has happened. You play as Aiva, a hacking program trying to break through the information superhighway to shut down the enemy's mainframe. Float along the gorgeously futuristic corridors and solve puzzles involving lasers and blocks to make it through each firewall. You'll also need to decrypt certain files in order to proceed, a task that requires dexterity as well as cerebral processing. Each puzzle is blended into the next seamlessly, creating a world that's equal parts platforming and equal parts puzzle solving. Created by a group of five students at the Queensland University of Technology, who win my personal award for "Bestest Futuristic Computer World Art Design".

SurphasmAn extraordinary piece of exploration/puzzle gaming that will easily be overlooked for its painfully simple presentation and awkward control scheme. You play a freshly-hatched... thingie... that's trying to make it to the surface. Other eggs have been placed down here as well, and only the strongest and most intelligent can make it to the energy-rich land above. Swim around and solve some robust puzzles to follow the vine that climbs upwards. You'll even engage in a bit of combat along the way. There are 14 endings to find, and once you start playing the game, you'll want to see them all.

The MachineThe Machine is a simple-looking but intricate building puzzle game created by Bumpkin Brothers. Just like The Incredible Machine, The Codex of Alchemical Engineering, Armadillo Run and countless other "assembly line" titles, The Machine charges you with fulfilling certain orders using machinery, moving parts, and bits and bobs that change the size or color of the product being manufactured. Things start off simple enough, but as any great puzzle game, before long you'll have plenty to contend with.

The Sense of ConnectednessThis is the kind of puzzle game you need to play rather than read about. Figuring out what's going on is 90% of the experience. Figuring out how to do it is the other 10%. And then there's a bonus 10% you're rewarded for actually pulling it off. Do yourself a favor and grab this game if you're even remotely interested. Then, you can peek back here to read about it if you're still stuck. So now: SPOILER ALERT!! You start at the center of the brain as a little spark by the ego. As you move about, you'll uncover new parts of the brain. Stray too far and you'll vanish and respawn. To explore the entire brain, you'll need to use the [z] key to flip neurons to direct the energy sparks around to different areas. It takes some time, but soon you'll dig out even the most remote areas of the brain. And that, dear friends, is where I stop talking about the game for fear of a real spoiler!

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