The Shifting Catacombs of Mu'ralagh by Mad
Once Avast had finally let me play it, I found myself a little in awe of The Shifting Catacombs' use of space—a game that fits a large dungeon onto a single screen. Rather than moving up or down floors as you might in a regular labyrinth, you instead trigger seismic room shifts by activating switches. It's a lovely idea, represented here with beautifully tiny pixel art, in this puzzling game of over-overlapping spaces.
Goblin Uzi by Terri Vellmann
Development of Goblin Uzi is on hold for now, but what's here is blooming promising already. It's a game, yes, about gunning down goblins (you also appear to be a goblin, as revealed when you step in front of a mirror and see your reflection—a neat touch that many big-budget shooters these days tend to neglect). The uzi and shotgun weapons feel hefty to wield, and there's a terrific amount of feedback to the environment: you can smash TVs, batter tables, and even shoot out individual light bulbs. Well, I say shoot, but if you aren't using the Dark Messiah of Might and Magic-style kick button to punt tables, doors, or bad guys to smithereens, then you're playing Goblin Uzi wrong. Goblin Uzi. It's such a terrifically fun name to say.
Yûrei Station by Atelier Sentô
While we wait for Atelier Sentô's astonishingly pretty The Coral Cave, here's a creepy, atmospheric and absorbing adventure set in an abandoned, rural Japanese town. A collaboration with students from the French graphic art school La Joliverie, Yûrei Station feels like a diorama brought to life. Gorgeous watercolour scenes have been cut out, scanned and assembled in Unity, and as you're given slight control of the camera, it helps the world to feel like it has a physical presence. For the most part, that camera is located over the shoulder of the intrepid protagonist: a cinematic placement that makes the most of this game's extraordinary (physical) depth. You'll read spooky text messages, and solve a few puzzles, as you march closer and closer to the source of this spectral mystery.
Murdercide 2017 by Powerhoof
Cyberpunk adventure game Murdercide 2017 feels like a parody of both cyberpunk and adventure games, what with its deliberately officious protagonist, and its silly cyber-world that seems made up as the game goes along (in an enjoyable, funny way). The art's lovely, obviously, and there are several things to pick up and use on other things in a puzzling manner, but it's the aggressively enthusiastic, painfully irritating lead that I like the most about Powerhoof's point-and-click.
Bertram Fiddle and the Inexplicable Meat Mound by Bertram Fiddle
This free spin-off to the Bertram Fiddle series gives you a big pile of meat—bones, organs, gristle and fat—and a canvas on which to play Dr. Frankenstein, plonking bits of bits together into a form that could charitably be called a person, or less charitably a literal dog's dinner. Don't like the meat you've been met with? You can pull a cord and the game will slop some more onto your plate. Once you've played God, you can take a picture to share with your friends, and/or to terrify your butcher.