“Cana According to Micah” tells the story of the wedding at which Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine. After the jump, there’s some general discussion of the design, then spoiler space, then a couple more particulars. As always, those who want to encounter the game in total innocence should avoid reading.
PataNoir is a detective noir-themed wordplay game in which the player is able to manipulate the objects that appear in similes (so “His teeth are like a row of tombstones” would make “tombstones” an interactive object). It’s probably most appealing to players who enjoyed Puddles on the Path or Earl Grey.
More detail follows the jump, though no specific spoilers.
“The Play” is an Undum piece by Deirdra Kiai (Life Flashes By, Pigeons in the Park). “The Play” concerns the dress rehearsal of a play about a statue come to life, her artist, and an escaping gladiator. There’s a certain amount of slapstick humor, but mostly the story is about juggling the moods of the actors you’re overseeing in an attempt to get through the evening.
In the review to follow, there are some comments on thematic content at the beginning, then spoiler space, then a more detailed discussion of structure. That said, even the thematic comments give away a certain amount of what the game is about, so if you want to encounter it entirely fresh, don’t read on.
I have to make a couple of observations about this year’s crop. One, there were fewer games, and two, there were fewer games that were really foully buggy. These two facts suggest to me (ever the optimist, I) that people are catching on to the fact that it’s just really not worth submitting a completely unfinished game, and that they held over some items that were un-enterable for another competition or for independent release. If you did this, hooray for you: you made what I firmly believe is the right choice, which will bring more pleasure for you and everyone else.