We judges have reached our conclusion. After independently reviewing and critiquing the ten finalists, we came together and reached a consensus about our Winner and our Runner-Up.
Our judges were: Hans Chung-Otterson (of We Are Lost in Play), Lilian Cohen-Moore (a journalist and games writer), and Allegra Selzer (of The Walking Eye podcast), and myself, Joe Mcdaldno (of Buried Without Ceremony).
This year produced an unbelievable wealth of compelling ideas, elegant executions, brilliant sparks, and wonky learning opportunities. This batch of finalists was thoroughly exciting, both in its diversity and in the density of cool ideas present among them.
It was tough, but we reached consensus on a Runner-Up and also a Winner.
The Runner-Up wove the setting of their game right into its mechanics, forcing characters to make hard choices about whether to cooperate to the bitter end, or succumb to competition as the incentives piled up. You all owe it to yourself to check out out…
Runner-Up: Finding Haven, by Manu Saxena.
And finally, with its acerbic wit, polished text, and mechanics that tie in tightly with both theme and fiction, it’s time to print out some papercraft dolls so that you can play…
Winner: Paper Tigers, by Ashok Desai.
Ashok’s game will now go on to compete in an international round with the winners of French Game Chef, Italian Game Chef, and Game Chef Brasil.
Congratulations to all of our participants, all of our finalists, Manu Saxena, and Ashok Desai. You are all titans of creativity and splendor. This has been fun.
Ashok Desai’s game went on to contend in the World Championships with the winners of Italian Game Chef, French Game Chef, and Game Chef Brasil. Want to learn more? Read on here.