Pseudo-Official XYZZY Awards Reviews!

Last year’s XYZZY reviews were awesome, but we didn’t exactly give them the most user-friendly presentation. Nobody likes a wall-o-text. So this time around, we’re going to be rolling them out a few at a time, and we’re going to be using a goddamn blog. A blog, I tell you. (We have other plans for the blog, but let’s just focus on the reviews for now).

We have a freakin’ all-star team of reviewers this year. Today, in no particular order, I give you Jenni Polodna on Best NPCs, Carl Muckenhoupt on Best Puzzles, and Yoon Ha Lee on Best Writing.

(Yes, it’ll be hooked up to planet-if. No, I don’t know when.)

Yay more Jenni reviewage! [emote]:D[/emote]

Looking forward to the rest of the reviews. There is some great stuff so far & not just because it was good to see writing on my game. As a tester for Manor I was glad to see some ideas I couldn’t express about why I liked the game overlap with Carl Muckenhoupt’s writeup.

And looking forward to whatever other plans you have for the blog.

This is super amazing. I was worried that there wasn’t going to be a repeat of last year’s review successes but I have been happily mistaken.

The blog isn’t functioning for me. A few minutes ago I could access the main page, but none of the ‘continue reading’ or jumps to games links worked (they gave 404s). Now the front page is also giving me a 404:
“The requested URL /blog/ was not found on this server.”

  • Wade

Yes - with the seamless coordination for which the XYZZY organisers have become famed, it’s now just the XYZZY Awards front page.

This is, of course, all part of my plan to take over the XYZZYs and use them as a platform for my aimless ramblings about Wittgenstein and underground hip-hop, which is what the IF community would care about if it knew its own mind.

I’ll be rolling out a new one of these every day. Today: Dannii Willis on Best Technological Development.

How about an aimless rambling rap about Wittgenstein? (Well, it’s not so much hip-hop as opera-yodel-oompah rapping at that point.)

Thanks Dannii for the Tech writeups. They’re probably a category that a lot of folks (like me) found it hard to think about.

  • Wade

No worries! It looks like I’ll have some defending of my no-plot-in-StoryNexus to do in the comments! Stay tuned for that! [emote]:P[/emote] is also down.

Oog. That I was not aware of. I’ll see if I can get that figured out.

edit: the link’s now fixed (it’s now to

Today’s reviews feature Sean M. Shore on Best Implementation.

Christ Almighty.

I misspelled Ellen Ripley. Pudlo pinpointed how chickens lay eggs and could not see THIS ONE?

I’m not joking. This is by far the WORST mistake I’ve made in my life. Now I have to re-release.

Well, didn’t he just say there are a whole bunch of others? So that…counts, if you’re into giving the other guy the benefit of the doubt, or five or six doubts?

I’ll do a 180 here and say that, as one of your testers, there were a lot worse mistakes that got caught. IIRC the accomplishments were a relatively late addition & most importantly bug-free.

I actually remember the text raising a small red flag (“Hey, wait, Helen only has one L”) but I figured I’d only watched the movie once…so hooray, me not googling. And hooray another entertaining essay set today.

Shore here. I was an usher at a movie theater in 1986, and I saw Aliens 26 times that summer (and a few times since). If anyone makes a game which references Rodney Dangerfield’s Back to School, I am uniquely well-positioned to catch its errors as well, let me assure you.

If this is the worst mistake of your life, well, I think things have gone pretty well for you. I thought the game was terrific. I maybe should have also mentioned the brilliant cover, but that’s probably in someone else’s review.

Well, thanks [emote]:)[/emote]

Many thanks to the authors of these reviews! I’m very much enjoying reading them, and I find it really interesting to see analyses that focus on specific aspects of the nominees, as opposed to the more typical all-round review that might have one paragraph dedicated to each major aspect of the game. The time and effort is highly appreciated.

You know… I just assumed “Helen Ripley” was from the Italian version of Alien. [emote]:D[/emote]

Or you were making some extremely convoluted pun about Helen Keller and Ellen Ripley.

Today’s is C.E.J. Pacian on Best Individual NPC.