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INDIE GAME OF THE YEAR, 2010

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 2010 IS...

Apocalypse World by D. Vincent Baker / with 68 points

A fascinating game of tribal relationships, pre-Dawn cosmology, and fiddly dice mechanics. Great replay value!

Given the sheer number of remixes that have been created, Apocalypse World has something special going on.

Bleak while still offering hope, sweeping yet grounded in the details of eking out a living - this is the post-apocalypse at its best. A landmark achievement.

Vincent once again advances a few simple concepts that everyone's going to be grabbing for their own stuff.

The outstanding indie game of the year. What tips it for me, is that it is so playable. It directs you to run, and play, the game in a way that "good" GMs and players have been doing for years. So what? The "what" is that this stuff is there on the page.

Brilliantly rebuilds the classic FRPG on a chassis of character class.

A tour de force in design and world creation. Vincent did it again.

Games that work consistently are a wonderful, wonderful thing. And it's never been so easy to for a gentle soul to be a hard-assed GM.

 

THE RUNNERS UP:

Happy Birthday, Robot! by Daniel Solis / with 21 points

Zagging when everything else zigs.

I love that I'm seeing games aimed as intro games--and for youngins--that are less crunchy and more Narrativist. I've long wondered what the RPG world would look like if the jumping off point had been, say, fanfic rather than wargames.

Blowback by Elizabeth Shoemaker Sampat / with 16 points

A fantastic game that takes a very specific premise and gives you nothing but that experience.

Elegant game of needs in conflict, well tied to a superbly focused (and interesting) high concept.

Mars Colony by Tim C Koppang / with 15 points

An insightful game that embraces difficult real world political issues under its sci-fi trappings.

A tight and thoughtful two-player RPG, that doesn't pull its punches. It leaves room to let the story breathe but dares you to push your luck.

Mars Colony brilliantly delivers a two-player experience, something we will see more of in the future. But those future games will always reference this one, because it is elegant, fun, and first.

Tight, focused, and remarkably re-playable.

Freemarket by Luke Crane and Jared Sorensen / with 13 points

It all goes wrong, every time, very badly. And that's FUN.

Crane and Sorensen do something different.

Brain bomb!

Brilliant melding of meta-game and in-game realities throughout play and prep produces an RPG that truly accomplishes the goals of SF: wonder and realization. Also, a beautiful physical artifact.

Freemarket is magnificently ambitious, beautifully presented, and eminently playable. It turns a lot of tired gaming assumptions on their heads and challenges players with Big Ideas at every turn.

High Valor by Tim Kirk / with 13 points

Tim Kirk's High Valor isn't offering anything new in terms of a high fantasy adventure; it offers an alternate history, a grittier world where the line between good and evil is well-defined.

An excellent follow-up to Hearts & Souls - this is classic fantasy done with a lot of emphasis on freeform creation, simple mechanics, and a lovingly detailed world.

Twenty-Four Game Poems by Marc Majcher / with 11 points

A brilliant list of games - much fun and much to thing about.

Indie 24 games of the year - this collection represents innovation, sound design and a true DIY spirit. Marc Majcher is carving his own path.

A reminder to stretch beyond our common conceptions of what makes an rpg. A delightful compendium of new paths to take.

Yay for strange game experiments!

Dread House: A game for kids and brave adults by Emily Care Boss and Epidiah Ravachol / with 11 points

This sounds like a great idea. Admittedly, I know little more than the concept, but I support games where the whole family can play.

A thrilling little house of horror game for kids of all ages. It makes me smile in the way that Scooby Doo does too.

You had me at "...and brave adults."