TIGSource has long been a focal point where independent game developers congregate, and its recent TIGSource Cockpit Competition inspired several dozen programmers to craft over 40 fine games for our playing pleasure. The following are the four winners as chosen by votes on the TIGSource forums. Aah, independent games, how we love your rampant sense of freedom and unchecked creativity.
Enviro-Bear 2000 (Windows, 2.5MB, free) - Oh boy, winter is coming, and as a bear driving a car, you know it's time to hibernate. Unfortunately you aren't quite fat enough to survive the cold season, so you'll need to fatten up by nomming some fish and berries. You have five minutes to drive around the forest collecting as much food as you can. Use the mouse to grab and manipulate things, and remember you can toss stuff out the windows or sunroof. When you've gained enough weight, head into the cave for a nice nap.
Okkuplektor (Windows, 3.1MB, free) - One of the more complete and varied entries in the cockpit compo, Okkuplektor is a 3D action/shooter where your goal is to make it to the exit cube at the end of each stage. Gather weapons and ammo by touching the hovering power-ups, and shoot anything that, well, shoots at you first. Several environmental "hazards" have affects on the world around you, so it's actually worth flying around and exploring a bit rather than just hitting the fire button and moving forward. Retro-styled low-res visuals give it a great old-school feel, and the controls have just the right amount of float to simulate flying some sort of hovering vehicle.
Star Cannon (Windows, 3.9MB, free) - Oh yes, it's time to shoot some UFOs! Protect the city from invading baddies by zipping around the faux-3D terrain and shooting everything that comes your way. Shields and ammo automatically replenish if you take a step back and wait a moment, so the action is paced quite nicely. I'm digging the retro-Martian color palette, too!
Vector Locust (Windows, <1MB, free) - Another superbly-made 3D game, this one adopts a slower, more deliberate pace than Star Cannon and adds building/protection/strategy elements as well as a stunning set of vector visuals. Viewed from the cockpit of of an Advanced Vector Based Vehicle, defend against the invading Orange Vector Locusts while maintaining your Blue Power Node network. Move with the [WASD] keys, look around, fire and repair structures with the mouse, and use the Q/E buttons to build turrets and cannons.