I’m cheating slightly this time with my first two picks; these games actually are pay-what-you-want with an option to pay nothing. So while you’re free to check them out I do encourage purchasing them if you enjoy them, I certainly have.
A racing game with abstract art and a jazz soundtrack – This is my kind of game. Rather than racing along a 2D road surface, Proun has you wrapping around a pipe which snakes through it’s understated geometry. Solid controls, radiosity lighting and depth of field effects make this game look and feel as smooth as smooth jazz.
Fotonica plays something like a cross between Canabalt and Mirror’s Edge, and looks like neither. Controlled with one button you sprint along a wireframe course leaping from one surface to another. Release your button to jump, or hold it to run or dive out of the air. Sounds simple but the speed, effects and animations make this intense.
Now I’m sure you’ve played rock paper scissors before, but (probably because I’m a programmer) it’s the AI in this version that grabbed my interest. The Veteran AI is simply based on all the play history the system has gathered since it’s been online. And if you want you can watch how the computer is deciding what to do next. Trying to outsmart it seems to be the safest way to lose.