Wigilia: Vinder, Best Use of Magical Realism
A game structured by the Polish Catholic tradition of "Wigilia" or Christmas eve, where this family is visited by the spirits of their departed grand parents. A thoughtful, uplifting, and community affirming game that incorporates Magical Realism into the unfolding process of grief and familial care through a magical plant. We loved the details of this cultural tradition, and the thematically appropriate use of affectionate touch--while providing tools for calibration and opting out. This is a heart-warming game that we hope will continue to be developed. Some more dimension to the characters would round out what is a very solid game.
Long Time Listener, Last Time Caller: Vinder, Judge's Choice
A game so exciting and unique we gave it its own category, previous Golden Cobra winner Jeff Dietrele’s Long Time Listener, Last Time Caller combines strange, asymmetrical gameplay with a witches brew of apocalyptic tropes and genuine human connection. We were universally enthusiastic about the game’s core affordances - distributed play, perhaps via Skype, and intimate, disembodied conversations as the world literally ends. No game made us want to stop deliberating and immediately play it more than Long Time Listener, Last Time Caller.