Hey, you, weekend gamer. You want I should share games with you? You want they should be uh, fun? Good. Because I have games that are fun. RPG fun. Puzzle fun. Lasers fun. Lantern fun. What? You think lanterns are no fun? You think "flashlight.app" is more fun? Hmm. You need to play with lanterns more often, I think...
Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (Mac/Win/Linux, >8MB, free) - Dungeon crawling for the masses! Stone Soup puts a friendly face on one of the most daunting genres for non-fans: the dungeon crawler RPG. For starters, a graphical (a.k.a. non-ASCII) interface is readily available, and instead of keyboard commands, you can use the mouse to interact with the game. Even though it's newbie friendly, Stone Soup is filled with all the nuances any respectable dungeon crawler would have, such as an avalanche of items, plenty of floors to explore, and character customization possibilities that border on the endless. You can even play online and compare your stats to the rest of the community as well as participate in tournaments!
Sp.A.I. (Windows, 214MB, free) - 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".
Dear Agent (Windows, 1.79MB, free) - A new release from Cactus, creator of a bunch of cool indie games, Dear Agent is a short, minimalist platformer where you play an agent trying to destroy terrorists and their equipment. Your laser can cut through any block on the screen, but because it's limited, you can't go blasting everything in sight. Instead, use it and your bombs strategically to unleash the pools of lava onto unsuspecting foes. Much more creative than just shooting everyone, and way more entertaining and challenging.
Eternal Dusk (Windows, 206MB, demo) - A curious, somewhat experimental design that puts you in the role of Ashlynn, a girl who controls the reality of the world around her with a lantern. Anything that isn't illuminated becomes filled with darkness and, thus, doesn't exist as a solid object. Her evil brother is darkening lamp posts around the world and scattering the fireflies about to keep dreamers from having good dreams. Rescue the fireflies and restore light to save the Dream World. A nice concept for a game, and well-implemented in the 3D environment. Some of the physics and controls feel a bit too unnatural, creating impreciseness in the gameplay. It shows some promise, though!
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!