Somehow, due to some strange coincidences no doubt brought upon by NASA's Dawn spacecraft discovering a massive mountain on the asteroid Vesta, this edition of Weekend Download features three games that pretty much cover the spectrum of gaming preferences. Want action? Got it. Puzzles? Got it! An engrossing RPG? Got it. No dress-up games, though, for which you have our sincerest apologies...
Hanano Puzzle (Windows, 1.17MB, free) - This game is not kidding around. A block sliding puzzle that isn't like most puzzle games you've played, Hanano challenges you to move different colored pieces around each level in order to land them next to like-colored flowers to sprout more blossoms. Odd-sounding, yes, but insanely challenging, and one of those games you'll start playing and never be able to stop. (Note: By default, Hanano Puzzle is in Japanese. Click on the download link just below the screenshots, and when you first run the game, choose the English option at the top.)
Ascii Sector (Mac/Win/Linux, 3-6MB, free) - A complete space-trading simulation/role playing game presented with ASCII visuals. You start with a lowly spaceship, accepting missions and trading a few goods so you can earn enough money to upgrade it. Eventually, you can head out and fight other ships, trade fisticuffs with creatures on the ground, and explore a wide world of complex, old school gaming in all its glory. Even better, use the quest maker to script your own adventures!
Unepic (Windows, 59MB, demo) - Just a few months ago, we were teased with a beta demo of Unepic, a Castlevania-like sidescrolling action game. You play the role of Danial, a real-life dude who gets transported to a medieval castle during a friendly RPG session. Working his way deeper into the dungeons, he'll encounter over 100 weapons and 70 different spells used to deal with the denizens of the dark underworld. It's good-looking and intense game, featuring around 20 hours of gameplay from start to finish. The demo is nice and long and gives you plenty of time to evaluate before you take the plunge for the full version.
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!