25. Experimental Shooter
This appropriately named time-sink has a basic enough premise – use your mouse to control a swivelling gun turret and shoot a number of floating balls to clear a level – but goes about each stage in a totally different way, meaning you’ll have to use your wits just as much as your trigger finger. Examples? Well, one level is essentially a big pool table, while another only has your shots count once they’ve rebounded off the arena’s walls.
Note: a mouse is a must for this one, as trackpads won’t give you the degree of control you need.
24. Mini Metro
Fancy a spot of urban planning in your lunch break? Mini Metro (currently in a free, pre-release alpha build, but coming as a paid game later this year) is just the ticket: it’s a game where you have to cater for the whims of New York’s commuters by constructing a subway system connecting various stations.
As the days roll by, more stations appear, stretching your network and causing the overcrowding that can lead to Game Over conditions – but once a week you’re given a choice of “power ups” that enable you to add more lines, or upgrade existing ones with more carriages, speedier trains, longer platforms and tunnels.
More after the break...
23. Abobo’s Big Adventure
A glowing, nostalgia-fuelled tribute to the Nintendo Entertainment System, Abobo’s Big Adventure stars one of the forgotten faces of the 8-bit era (the eponymous Abobo, the muscle-bound “sub-boss” from Double Dragon) as he sets out to rescue his son.
But the plot, such as it is, doesn’t matter: what matters is the way the game pays homage to many of your favourite NES games, with characters from games including Donkey Kong, Spy Vs Spy and Super Mario Bros all making appearances – and that’s just in the first stage. The gameplay varies between beat 'em up and platform styles, and it’s unashamedly, unreformed old school in its approach.
22: FPS Man
Atmospheric Horror. Two words you wouldn't normally associate with PAC-MAN. But one round of this 3D first-person remake of the classic arcade title could leave a puddle of shame beneath your chair. Don't believe me? Plug in your headphones and see if you're braver than I am.
21: Cube Slam
You liked Pong? Cube Slam is Pong on meth. It's a beautifully 3D rendered version of the classic (which you'll see more of below) with power-ups and satisfyingly meaty sound effects. You can play against real people online, and because the e-game supports webcams you can even see those annoying people that keep beating you.
Or if you prefer to embrace artificially intelligent nature, go up against Bob the Bear. He's an AI bot who's always there for you when your friends aren't. Try it now, but be prepared to lose at least half an hour.