Anyone who is in the market for a completely new and refreshing type of co-operative gameplay is in luck today, as indie developer Terry Cavanagh (VVVVVV) has released his title At A Distance. Best of all, it's absolutely free.
At a Distance is a curious game that's meant to be played with two computers, side-by-side, and was originally designed for the NYU Game Center's 2011 No Quarter Exhibition. I had a chance to play the game at this year's IndieCade festival in Culver City, and it's quite unlike any game I'd ever experienced. Each player navigates his own strange, different-colored, visually-minimalistic environments from the first-person perspective, without any instruction.
While not apparent at first, both experiences are inexorably linked. It's up to the players to puzzle out how they're interlocked through conversation, and then solve the game's larger, over-arching puzzle. That's all I'll say, because figuring out how it all works with the other player creates some truly brilliant "Aha!" moments. It's social co-op at its best.
You can download At A Distance for PC or Mac from the official website.