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INDIE GAME OF THE YEAR, 2013

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 2013 IS...

Hillfolk by Robin Laws / with 34 points

Something really different. Great production values and a genuinely abstract take on fantasy gaming. Supported by a wealth of settings and a publisher who cares too.

Delivers on the dream of a game about people and their interactions rather than heroes and their wizbang powers. Redefines PC personality as existing on a dramatic pole rather than a static collection of preferences. Takes the theory of "Hamlets Hit Points" and turns it into a game that virtually runs itself. My "desert island RPG."

 

THE RUNNERS UP:

Sagas of the Icelanders by Gregor Vuga / with 27 points

Sagas of the Icelanders does an incredible job of guiding the experience of play in ways that faithfully emulate the arc of actual sagas without feeling forced. You just look back and go "huh, that would fit nicely between Laxdaela and Gisli"

Mature implementation of contemporary roleplaying tech.

Thoughtful and insightful, Sagas of the Icelanders uses the Apocalypse World engine and gives us a window into the Mythic world of this northern culture. It takes gender issues head on, and weaves them into a game both epic and down to earth.

Saga is on-point. It's designed with intentionality - every rule evoking a sense of setting and tone. One of the most impressed games powered by the apocalypse.

The Quiet Year by Joe Mcdaldno / with 25 points

Love post apocalyptica and the form factor and design are beautiful

A beautiful game that evokes experiences both sublime and terrifying, pushing the boundaries of the form.

Like Microscope, The Quiet Year sets a new bar for collaborative role play. Crossing post-apocalyptica with a shrewd eye on communities and their dynamics, this is a ground-breaking game to which attention should be paid. Plus, it's one of my faves, a real go-to game.

This is my game, so this vote is biased as heck. But I'm extremely proud of it. The Quiet Year is my favourite thing I've authored.

Torchbearer by Thor Olavsrud and Luke Crane / with 23 points

Another great release from BWHQ. A solidly designed game, presented to an exactingly high standard. Superb.

The result of meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail, a love letter to old school dungeon crawling, and a master class in rigorous design.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Torchbearer to anyone who was interested in old-school play or tactical dungeon-crawling. It's the best expression of the Burning Wheel engine to date.

Beware the grind.
O the glory to be seized by succeeding at a game this hard!

EPOCH (Experimental Paradigm of Cinematic Horror) by Dale Elvy / with 13 points

EPOCH is refreshing. It's a game that is decidely not from the well-trodden path of North American indie game design. Super focused, and loaded with strategies and techniques to deliver a precise gaming experience. Designers take note.

An intriguing genre choice.

The Sundered Land by D. Vincent Baker / with 11 points

The simplicity and design are worthy of note on their own.

The Sundered Land masters social media and uses that engine for taught, dramatic, extremely collaborative, online play.

Easy to pick up and play. Gives plenty of direction while still encouraging and requiring creative thought from the players.
No Gods Watch Over You.
The Doomed Pilgrim as an online-playable tutorial in gameplay is both instructive and fun.

Steampunk Crescendo by Dave M / with 11 points

An intriguing short-run game with a fun and imaginative story, geared for new players.

Kingdom by Ben Robbins / with 9 points