Brimming with bushes around its perimeter, the park at the center of town looks like a muffin erupting from its pan onto the surrounding streets. Not exactly the quietest place to relax, but at least there are a few trees and enough grass to spread out in the shade. But as you pass a worn dirt path something catches your eye. There, perched atop a building on the outskirts of downtown, is a brightly colored billboard. Scrawled across its neon front are three simple words pressed in a white sans serif font: "Got Weekend Download?"
The Hidden Object Show (Windows/Mac, ~85MB, demo) - Like hidden object games, but wish they would take themselves a little less seriously? The Hidden Object Show flies in for the rescue. Instead of dark tales involving circus carnies or mysterious happenings in the middle of the night, this game throws you into a game show where the object is — wait for it — to find hidden objects! It's a lengthy game for its genre and the game show theme is a great change of pace. Some of the mini-games are a bit ho-hum, but otherwise it's a nice romp through item hunting territory.
Debrysis (Windows, 5MB, free) - An arena shooter along the lines of GridWars, only this time you're in control of a wheeled vehicle in a series of landscapes. Move with the [arrow] keys, aim and fire with the mouse. As usual your only goal is to stay alive and shoot the bad guys, but the plethora of power-ups are both helpful and cool to use.
Octave Engine Cake (Windows/Mac, 5MB, free) - Like webtoys such as Powder Game but also love building games like Armadillo Run? Consider this your downloadable alternative! Play in the sandbox with elements such as rice, mochi, fire, fuel, powder, jet, gas, and much more. Build rudimentary structures using the materials, then set the elements loose on them. You can even drag and drop your own images to play around with or use as textures. There are over 40 pre-made levels to try, some of which are downright hilarious.
Karoshi 2.0 (Windows, 8.7MB, free) - In most video games you succeed by staying alive, beating the bad guys, and generally just keeping yourself out of trouble, right? Not in Karoshi. This quirky platform puzzler tasks you with killing the main character by any means possible. Not only will you solve puzzles only to find that they kill you, you'll want to do it, you'll keep doing it, and you'll laugh just about every time. The game has a great sense of parodic humor, so expect some gaming conventions to be turned upside-down. Scroll down and look on the right side of the screen for the download link.
J20 (Windows, 14MB, free) - Created using Game Maker, j20 is a relaxed shooter-type game that draws heavy inspiration from flOw. Choose a jellyfish and swim around each stage attacking enemies with your tentacles to power-up. You'll also fight a few bosses along the way. The game is relatively short and not nearly as impressive as flOw, but you'll still have a great time gulping smaller fishies in the ocean.
Obake (Windows, 7.5MB, free) - Obake is an exploration-based platformer where you control a ghost that can turn into any enemy it comes across. Beyond that, I can't tell you much, as the game is in Japanese! Despite the mid-sized language barrier, Obake is remarkably playable and lots of fun. Use the [z] key to attack, [x] to jump, and [c] to discard your guise and return to normal ghost mode. To absorb an enemy, simply hop on its head and press the [down] arrow key.
As an extra special post scriptum bonus, I'd also like to mention that previously reviewed The Amazing Brain Train is now available from BigFishGames! The same crew behind the Professor Fizzwizzle games put together a superb brain teaser/puzzle title where you help animals solve problems by flexing your grey matter through fifteen brain teasing puzzles.