From Japan, Yoshio Ishii designs Shockwave and Flash games, and publishes them all on his website ece4co.vis.ne.jp. Many of his games feature a cat ("neko" in Japanese) and are rather plain looking, using just two shades of aqua green to draw all the graphics for each of his "neko" games. Ito-Neko is his latest, and like the others before it, Ishii proves that designing a game that is fun to play does not require fancy-shmancy graphics. Using the mouse, click and drag to draw a wire to catch the falling neko before it lands into the water below. By manipulating the drawn wire, bounce the neko around to collect the jewels that increase your score. Click.
Upon closer inspection of Ishii's site reveals many other marvelous games he has designed, yet does not display them as prominently as his "neko" series of games. Take for instance Cell Blast. This game is a beautiful shoot-em-up with a distinctly old-school style graphic design. Using the mouse, click to fire while avoiding all the enemies and their weapons. There is no score in this game, just try to survive the entire stage. And if you finish, check out Cell Blast Stage 2. These are my favorites of all the games he has made. Click.
Another gorgeous game design is this psychedelic shooter called Rayspline. Most probably an experimental concept game as deduced from the "ver. 0.1" indicated on the opening title screen, Rayspline features beautiful particle effects set in motion against a captivating soundtrack. Together these elements create a very engaging experience, even if only an experimental one. An elaborate stage select screen between stages allows you to chart your own course through the game's many levels. The only downside is that once the game is over, there is no restart button... the game must be reloaded in the browser. A minor inconvenience for such a magnificent creation. Click.
As I mentioned before, most of Ishii's games are developed in Director, though he has created some in Flash. This Flash game is also a shooter and is played by wielding what looks like a Mahjongg tile (Update: actually, they are Shogi tiles - thanks Grant0 for pointing this out). All of the enemies are Shogi tiles as well and feature unique patterns of movement and attack that make this game so much fun to play. It sounds a bit strange, yet it works extremely well. Click.
Update: Yoshio Ishii's games are back online and available to play(!) Be sure to check out his site for links to many other exceptional games he has created.