More games need to be abstract. Just about every art movement comes with its own brand of creators putting their minds to their respective canvases and creating things that don't quite make sense. Games, on the other hand, tend to be more logical, linear, and easy to understand. Why not break down a few barriers and twist the user's experience around a bit, like this week's feature Cintourmind does?
One Curious Nightfall (Windows, 18MB, free) - A short, beautifully-illustrated 2D platformer that almost borders on being a non-game. You play the role of a girl who discovers a magical pouch left by the Bird King. She decides to return it to its owner, and by doing so she'll need to run through almost three dozen different areas, each filled with wonderful imagery and simple but curiosity-calling objects. You can walk, run, and jump, but that's pretty much the limit of your interactions, and after just twenty minutes or so you'll most likely finish the game. But experiencing the smooth animations and the deep environments is well worth the download.
Cintourmind (Windows, 5.3MB, free) - A 3D maze game described as a "trippy monochrome first-person" experience. And, well, that's exactly what it is. Move around in the free-form world as you look to gather the shards of a man's shattered mind. Walk with [WASD], jump with the [spacebar], and look around with the mouse. Nothing looks as solid as it really is in Cintourmind, as the colors shift each time you take a step. In order to know what's "real" and what isn't, you have to move around a bit, allowing your brain to compare patterns and discern the correct way to go. A very interesting experience, indeed!
Quaintbrush (Windows, 15.6MB, free) - Dude with a spiffy top hat plus paintbrushes with different colors plus platformer physics equals fun time! An ordinary platformer by most standards, Quaintbrush gives you a paint brush capable of drawing on the screen in several different colors. Depending on the color of icon you collect, when your character moves across the painted areas, he has different abilities. Red paint, for example, lets you double jump, while yellow paint allows you to run faster. Painting objects also has an affect on them, so you can slow, speed, or otherwise hinder their abilities with the splashy-click of a button. Reminiscent of the 3D painting game of a similar nature, Tag: The Power of Paint, whose developers were hired to work on similar elements in Portal 2.
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!