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INDIE GAME OF THE YEAR, 2008

This is the highest honor of the Indie RPG Awards. It is awarded to the best overall Independently produced RPG of the year, as chosen by peers and members the gaming community. It is given to the RPG and the designer who made it. Everything which makes a game good; from game elements of story, setting, rules, innovation, and overall game design; to physical qualities like graphical design and layout, are taken into account for the awarding of this honor.

THE INDIE GAME OF THE YEAR FOR 2008 IS...


Mouse Guard by Luke Crane and David Petersen / with 49 points

A perfect introductory role-playing game that explains how to play without taking anything for granted. The amazing art and engaging premise don't hurt either. A new red box for a new era in gaming.

In a year without "Sweet Agatha," this would have won walking away, for its elegant tuning of the BW engine, absolute evocation of the source material, and supremely stern and confident mood. The indie-gamer's trad game, done to perfection.

The elegant handling of the license makes this a true winner. Collaboration that makes the artwork and themes of the comic a part of the game are key.

This game has re-set the bar for game texts, upping the ante where Dogs in the Vineyard had left it.

Mouse Guard draws players in with an accessible premise and superbly-handled licence. It captures their imaginations with stunning artwork and clear text. It engages their minds with robust rules that teach them to be a better player. It reduces their Disposition to zero, accepts no compromise, and makes them love this game!

THE RUNNERS UP:

3:16 Carnage Among the Stars by Gregor Hutton / with 41 points

A simple game and an easy game to play. And then, pow!, you're all officer-hating space marines. It's scary how fast the story comes from nowhere and rockets the game along.

Popular and fun, the easiest to run and play game this year.

A combination of simplicity and emulation in a lovely little package. Beautiful.

Hot War by Malcolm Craig / with 22 points

Exceptional use of theme and mechanics to mutually reinforce the game, and the reason we should write what we love, not what we know.

Starblazer Adventures by Chris Birch and Stuart Newman / with 15 points

Fudge and FATE continue to develop into a truly engaging system. Spirit of the Century started this, but Starblazer Adventures continues to improve it.

Sweet Agatha by Kevin Allen Jr. / with 15 points

The visceral thrill of cutting up my game book is an experience of play unmatched by any other game I've played.

Like nothing else before and executed with such stunning vibrancy. Sets down a marker for a whole new type of play.

Absolutely exemplifies everything the indie movement should strive for: genuine freshness, maximum player freedom, brilliantly evoked mood, elegant design, gorgeous production. A work of art, plain and simple.

Kevin Allen Jr. does more to push the boundaries of the form every year than the rest of us. Simple as that.

Zombie Cinema by Eero Tuovinen / with 15 points

Nails the zombie survival horror genre and one shot play. If only there were more role-playing games able to fit their rules onto a single folded sheet of paper and still rock the house.

A fun zombie game that can be played in 20 minutes. I keep this damned thing in my car at all times just in case life get's slow.

A deceptively simple mechanic pits player against player in a race against total destruction. Great pick up game. Hilarious and gritty by turns. A real accomplishment of design.

Fun, role-playing, and zombies--all wrapped in a single snug container. Who could ask for anything more?

In a Wicked Age: sword & sorcery roleplaying by Vincent Baker / with 14 points

Well-designed, gloriously written and thoroughly elegant sword and sorcery. IAWA caused an explosion in Oracles in the community.

Influential, intuitive and evocative, In a Wicked Age... puts the life back into fantasy role play. Eschewing heavy setting for punchy situations generation, the game also re-defines the relationships between the characters and the players. Over shadowed by the catchiness of the Oracles, extended play of the game has the potential to create story with the complexity of novelistic or epic structure.

Vincent has raised the bar again.

By focusing on serial fiction rather than either simple single stories or ongoing novels, Baker has managed to do the best homage yet to the pulpy, hard hitting swords and sorcery genre that we've yet managed to produce.

Barbarians of Lemuria by Simon Washbourne / with 11 points

This is a great way to do the sword & sorcery genre.

Desolation by Jamie Gooch, Stephen Herron, and Matt Somers / with 10 points

Houses of the Blooded by John Wick / with 10 points

A Flower for Mara by Seth Ben-Ezra / with 9 points

An outstanding new game that digs into players feelings and puts them into a well-considered structure.

A Flower for Mara has a streamlined, focused structure that heads you straight for the heartbreak of grief, and all the cans of worms that a family's loss can create. But offers resolution, and even grace, for characters and players alike.

A Dirty World by Greg Stolze / with 6 points

A Dirty World is a little bit of a hidden surprise, which doesn't reveal its full complexity until after you've actually managed to play it. The layering of secrets, character's whose very personality and morality are up for grabs and constantly under negotiation, and a gritty noir sense all work together to form a package of surprising power.

Duty & Honour by Neil Gow / with 5 points

Neil Gow has, with his first game, taken the overlooked (in game terms) Napoleonic era and crafted a superbly engaging, playable game that resonates with derring-do and acts of bold heroism.

Story Cards by Carl Klutzke / with 5 points

It's Complicated by Elizabeth Shoemaker / with 4 points

An elegant game that generates interest and story without any complicated mechanics at all, except for the complications of life.

Sea Dracula by Jake Richmond, Nick Smith / with 4 points

Serial Homicide Unit by Kat Miller and Michael S. Miller / with 4 points

Michael S. Miller has created something rare and precious -- a game that is both interesting to play and rises above labels to be more than just a roleplaying game.