Two really fascinating blasts from (or to) the past this week: The Lost Snowmen, which spiritually resurrects one of my favorite games from the 90s, The Lost Vikings (link leads to a severely downscaled online demo), and Cavern of Doom, which takes pixelated graphics to an almost painful extreme.
Mystery Chronicles - Murder Among Friends (Mac/Windows, 50MB, demo) - Hidden object games are everywhere these days, and it seems like every developer is trying to out do the next by spicing up its item finding with one strange gimmick or another. Mystery Chronicles sticks to its guns and goes the old-fashioned route with a remarkably rich atmosphere and classic murder mystery storyline. Item hunting is fairly straightforward, the minigames aren't overdone, and the developer spent a lot of time making sure everything made sense in context of the whole experience. What it lacks in originality and gameplay variety it makes up in setting and story.
The Lost Snowmen (Windows, 25MB, free) - Remember The Lost Vikings? If not, you missed out on one of the best 2D puzzle platform games of the last 3,000 years. Seriously! The Lost Snowmen looks to continue the genre and puts you in control of three snowmen, each with unique abilities. Work together to solve puzzles and traverse the snowy landscape.
Cavern of Doom (Windows, 2.3MB, free) - Thou art Mo the Great! Hero of many a heroic deed, slayer of many a not so heroic thing! Cavern of Doom drops you in the most retro of retro settings and sets you to the task of delving deep below the dungeons of thy town in search of loot. And if you sit really far away from your computer, the images almost look good!
Goban (Mac, 10MB, free) - An elegant and simple implementation of Go for Mac users. Play against the computer for a single player challenge, or hop on the internet to challenge people from around the world. You can even observe pro (and amateur) games on the Internet Go Server.