One of my favorite things about independent games are not the games themselves. It's the games' names. When you don't have to attract a certain demographic to plop down cash for your game so you can keep your massive studio in California air conditioned, you're free to have fun and call your game Mr. Heart Loves You Very Much, Squid Yes! Not So Octopus!, or Punishment: The Punishing! We love you too, indie game creators!
Punishment: The Punishing (Windows, 3.4MB, free) - When a game has the same word in the title twice, you'd better pay attention. Punishment 2 is a platformer that's all about making things harder for you. Bouncey springs at just the wrong places, platforms that are way too narrow for their own good, levers that like to reset themselves, that sort of thing. A two player co-op mode is a great addition, so if you can, grab a buddy and share the keyboard for a great multiplayer experience. Just don't hit each other.
BulletZORZ (Windows, 8.4MB, free) - Another game from Hempuli, this platformer focuses on one gameplay mechanic: hopping around on bullets. The game may look like Crayon Physics Deluxe on the surface, but obviously the gameplay is completely different. Some very creative bullet riding goes on in this game!
ProtoType (Windows, 19.2MB, free) - A shmup that's reminiscent of the old R-Type series in more ways than one. Blast your way across space scenery as you gradually acquire more and better weapons, each more epic than the last. The pixel artwork is excellent, the variety of enemies creative, and nostalgia will be turned on full-force when you notice the arcade cabinet scanlines on the screen.
Note: All games have been confirmed to run under Windows Vista 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!