PC World: "There's this little game, Portal--maybe you've heard of it. Part of the critically acclaimed Orange Box that came out late last year, Portal sprang from the minds of recent college grads whose only previous game-authoring credit was a student project called Narbacular Drop. And what about Flow, the hypnotic game that's an obvious inspiration for the cellular stage in Spore? (How do you like that--two free game links in the first paragraph!).
The next time you're in a store, take a good, long look at the video-game shelves. Many of the odd titles that catch your eye (the ones that don't feature some supermuscular space marine or mustachioed handyman) can be traced back to the indie community. Some of those great original games have been online for a while, where they served as models for subsequent retail releases. And this week I'll give you a quick tour of a handful of freebies that are the inspirations for--or good, quick alternatives to--some great retail games coming out now."