It's the first Weekend Download of the new year! We should celebrate or something, shouldn't we? How about with showers of gold, rainbows and candy? Mmm, tempting, but difficult. Our airship is in the shop. What about with a bunch of games that celebrate retro gaming mechanics?! Perfect!
suteF (Windows, 6.8MB, free) - It's no mistake this game bears resemblance to the 2009 platform puzzler Fetus. suteF could be called one part platformer, one part puzzle game, one part "experience of what it's like going insane". The game tells the story of a blue character trying to escape from the Abyss. Some crazy things happen in this place, such as characters dying, bears wearing television screens, spirits following you, gravity changing, levels re-arranging, and... well, and more. Some brilliant level design here, with stages that require thinking and experimentation as well as some trial and error.
Ninja Senki (Windows, 10MB, free) - Another superb platform game, Ninja Senki focuses more on classic jump-and-shuriken gameplay like the Mega Man series of old. Your clan's princess has been kidnapped, so naturally you're off to rescue her. Movement is simple jumps and shuriken throws, with a slight double jump added to help you collect some coins and navigate tricky situations. Enemies gradually get more and more dangerous and require more hits to take down. Continues are infinite, which is fortunate, and when you die you restart at a nearby checkpoint, unlike most similar games from gaming's classic era. The only down side is the game doesn't save your progress, so you'll need to complete all 15+ levels in one sitting.
Survivor: The Living Dead (Windows, 64MB, free) - Probably not the gaming experience you were expecting from the title, Survivor puts you in the role of a post-teenage girl in the early 90s who is trying to defend a house from the living dead. Investigate background items, push things in front of openings, lock doors, and do everything you can to stay alive. It's a surprisingly cerebral experience punctuated by bouts of OH MY GAWSH ZOMBIES ARE ATTACKING. Bonus: lots of references to the early George Romero films.
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!