Gamers are passionate about their hobby, so it's no surprise that indie game developers often end up making games about gaming itself. Whether they're remakes or stranger explorations of gaming, this week's collection of free games uses games to explore games. Games!
Pro Gamer: The Game
Pro Gamer: The Game sees you playing as a budding pro gamer playing games for cash. You can use the money to upgrade your gear to make the various mini-games based on classic game titles earn you more money so you can buy more upgrades. The whole thing is ultimately kinda hollow, but that's sort of the point.
If you're a Mass Effect fan then Love Interest will be of, well, interest to you. Love Interest pokes fun at the ridiculous conceit of Mass Effect's various romantic subplots in a galaxy spanning epic whittling that dichotomy down to its bare elements. The galaxy is ending and you have to both assign your crewmates to missions protecting the galaxy AND give them nights off so they'll like you better and you can make out. Giving them R&R won't earn you a lot of respect with the galactic community, but there are more important things in life...right?
Humbug 2 is a strange puzzle game that requires you to cheat in order to win. Most of the puzzles are impossible to solve with your characters humble abilities, but if you manipulate game mechanics and find intentionally included "bugs" you're able to progress past the game's "unsolvable" puzzles. The game's graphics probably won't win it any beauty contests, but a few minutes with the game will show you it couldn't have looked any different.
HD Xyth is a game about a card game. In many ways the game simply acts like an online version of a collectible card game like Magic: The Gathering, but Xyth also wraps that game in a short but compelling story about war in a distant galaxy.
We've seen a lot of remakes and reinventions of Valve's popular first-person puzzle game Portal but Portal Prelude may be the strangest, if only because it's a portal game made for the TI--83 graphing calculator. You can download a complete source of the game and load it up on your TI--83 to play Portal, or at least a form of it, on the go. If you don't have a graphing calculator handy there are also various emulators available free online, like this one.