The TIGSource A Game By Its Cover competition has ended, all the votes are in, and the games are ready to play! The competition asked artists to craft cover art for imaginary games, then the programmers stepped in and made games based on the art. We've already featured a few of the contenders in the competition (Cat Poke, 8:Capsule, Dot Order Tie, and Love Letter), so below we'll highlight a few other favorites from the competition.
Under the Garden (Windows, 10MB, free) - Nabbing the largest majority of the votes, Farmergnome's sandbox-style 2D survival game combines a great atmosphere with a strong do-it-yourself philosophy. Out in the cold wilderness, it's your job to travel back and forth searching for firewood, food, and other items of interest. You can use the mouse to arrange some parts of the environment, both for decoration and to help you reach certain areas of the wilderness. Nature will do its best to toy with your intentions, and the pervading theme of loneliness is quite bleak, but the game is solid and gives back a great experience if you take some time to get into it.
MADRIS (Windows, 9MB, free) - This puzzle game by Gary Dahl combines Tetris with The Sims. You read that right! Rooms with brown doors fall from the top of the screen. People with different needs occupy some of the rooms below, and it's your job to line up doors so they can get where they need to go. Student needing a bathroom trapped in the common area? Stick a connecting hallway there and slide the bathroom on the side. It takes a minute or two to get used to, but once the concept sinks in, you'll realize how deep this puzzle game really is.
Tales of Unspoken World (Mac/Win, 8-13MB, free) - A remarkably thrilling 3D game of running and jumping created by Santa Ragione. Your goal is to gather some speed and leap over the chasms using the [spacebar]. That's it, really, but the stark visuals combined with the sound effects create a tense atmosphere that really gets you going. Think of it as sort of a striipped-down 3D Canabalt, on rails, with a bit of Mirror's Edge thrown in for excitement value.
Infinity Bit (Windows, 15MB, free) - A trippy action game by Vince Twelve, this one can really mess with your head. In a good way. Travel between waystations in your ship as you pilot around colorful corridors and avoid equally-colorful walls. When fuel gets low, you'll land, run through a quick platform area, then take off again. Upgrades and puzzles are abound, and there are so many colors, Roy G. Biv would get angry.
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!