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FREE INDIE RPG OF THE YEAR

The Finalists

Game Information
Designer Feedback

Gaming distilled down to its barest essentials. Perhaps mainly useful as a starter for youngsters - it's couched in ways they'll understand but introduces stuff like die-rolling and spending tokens to influence rolls. Not sure how generic it is.

Shadows is a simple design and a simple concept, both of which are good, but not award-deserving. Having the guts to be a kids' game is award-deserving, though. How this hobby ever has survived without simple games kids can enjoy is beyond me - but I know which game I'll be playing with my children now.

The subject matter isn't for me, but this is a well-realised little thing. It does need proofing - eg doesn't explicitly say which die type to use. Interesting gamist element - have to keep going till everyone's rolled enough 6's to finish the story. This also involves characters starting naff and gradually achieving their potential *each story*, and forces players to play the character's "style"

Zak Arntson has taken the various sci-fi inspired heavy metal album covers and written a game around them, and how can that not be cool?

Good game, very well explained, very professionally done. My unfortunate bias against diceless role-playing is the only thing stopping this game from going all the way.

An elegant and intuitive diceless system that I can't say enough good things about.

An interesting take on diceless roleplaying that applies Nobilis-esque concepts to a mundane world of regular people. The rules are concise clear and quite playable and the layout is top drawer, especially for a free game.

The concept makes you chuckle, then you read the rules and realize what a damn good game it is---tragically funny when you start reading but by the end you can't help finding it tragically sad, especially when you start comparing it to people you actually know.

Czege manages to make a game that's both playable and actually socially relevant. In a year when even the best games fail to escape the elves-and-magic trap that ensnares this entire hobby, Nicotine Girls is an under-rated knockout. If we had intelligent critics instead of insipid reviewers, this one would be a critics' darling.

This game is a wonderful genre emulation. Nice work!

The video and computer games industry borrowed the concepts of RPGs from the beginning, and it was about time that we stroke back - a parody for both pen & paper and video roleplaying enthusiasts.


The Runners Up:

3rd Place, with 13 Points
Shadows by Zak Arntson
2nd Place, with 24 Points
Active Exploits by Brett Bernstein

And the Winner, with 25 Points, is...

Nicotine Girls
by Paul Czege
http://www.halfmeme.com/nicotinegirls.html
Online HTML, FREE

Nicotine Girls is a roleplaying game of teenage, lower-income girls looking for happiness.