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2006 Top 10 Games of the Year

2006 marks the fifth year of the Game Tunnel Independent Game of the Year awards. It's been 5 great years for Indie Games capped by an excellent 2006.

While a few Independent games have gained increased mainstream exposure over the last couple of years through Xbox Live Arcade and Steam, the majority remain undetected, awaiting discovery by the gaming world. Creating off-beat, original, and carefully crafted games is the heritage of Independent Game developers, and the Top 10 Independent Games of 2006 does its ancestry proud.

Each of the games is a winner in its own right, an undiscovered gem just waiting to be found. So dim the lights and warm up your modem, as Game Tunnel presents: The Top 10 Independent Games of 2006.

Number 10 - Kingdom Elemental

Developer: Scott Thunelius/Chronic Logic Players: 1
System Requirements: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, 1 gz, 64 mb video card, 128 MB Ram, Directx 7.0+

Somewhere between tactical and real time strategy there exists a perfect blend. Kingdom Elemental may very well be it.

Played out in the fantasy realm of Eteran, players take on the role of the 'good guys' as they try to chase the beasties back into the realm of the shadow by following them straight down to the underworld (not to say that the 'good guys' are all the friendly sort, Necromancers teamed with Elfish-looking female archers make for a very original pair).

The mixture of play in the game is really what sets Kingdom Elemental apart. Players pick out a small army and place units on the board like a tactical game, and then like a real-time strategy title, the army will engage the enemy.

Most of the intrigue in the play comes from the ability to pause the game and issue commands to each unit. In games like Starcraft and Warcraft the special abilities of the units are often difficult to use in the heat of the battle. The ability to pause Kingdom Elemental at any time and issue commands to each soldier makes using the special abilities of each unit much simpler and adds greatly to the strategic nature of their well-timed use.

Of course special-ability usage is just a part of the commands that can be issued while the game is paused. Players commonly spend a lot of time targeting different enemies and plotting their own strategy to keep the goblin archers from having clear shots at their army.

Between rounds players can use unlock points gained in the previous round to unlock new characters or new special abilities for existing characters. This allows for a lot of customizability in the army chosen and it's abilities. More decisions must be made as the army is placed on the board because there is a limited budget and a different cost to deploy each unit. These factors allow for many interesting choices to be made when deciding what units to use. Picking the right units and picking the right targets while deciding how to best utilize special abilities makes for a very interesting mix that plays quite differently from other strategy titles on the market and is wholly addicting. Once we got the hang of the game, playing through all the levels become a quest of undeniable desire that was satisfying through the very last battle.

Number 9 - Fizzball

Developer: Grubby Games Players: 1
Website Download Purchase
System Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP, Mac OS X or Linux, 400MHz CPU, 128MB RAM

You know what most people get really tired of in brick-breaking games? Bricks.

Seriously! How many bricks do you need to break before they are all broken for good? BreakQuest, from a couple of years ago, really did a good job of creating so much variety in the levels that they didn't feel like the same brick-breaking monotony that we've played 42 million times before. Now Fizzball has come along and done away with brick breaking altogether. Really! You don't have to break a single one...and you even get achievements if you don't!

Fizzball pays obvious homage to Katamari Damacy in the way it is played. Professor Fizzwizzle, fresh off a Top 10 Game of the Year appearance in last year's awards, takes to the tracks in this game with a rocket-powered contraption that has a rounded barrier that will bounce a bubble (aka your ball). The thing that really makes the game different is that instead of trying to break things, you try to save them in your bubble. Players must start with the smaller animals on the board, and as more of them are collected, the bubble becomes larger and can then pick up the larger animals. By the time you have completed the level, your bubble is huge and full of all the animals on the board. The graphics of each of the animals twisting and twirling inside the ball is something to see in and of itself.

Players progress through the levels by collecting all the animals. You don't have to break a single box (aka 'the bricks') on the board to pass (though in most cases you will, you just don't have to). Achievements can be won by succeeding in different ways, such as simply passing multiple levels or collecting the chicken before you collect its egg.

Like last years Professor Fizzwizzle, the game has an up-beat sense of humor that makes it fun to play even when things aren't exactly going your way. Hitting the animals, for example, when they are too large to be collected into your ball will always cause a reaction, from the hopping of a frog to the um 'spraying' of a skunk.

In the end, it's not just another breakout; you don't trade hitting that last stupid brick for catching that last stupid animal. Fizzball is a much more engrossing game than any other breakout we've played. The progression of the game feels very much like the quest it is designed to be, moving players from island to island looking to collect all of the many different animals in the game. Each animal you collect is kept in your sanctuary, which is maintained by the money you earn while playing. Adding to the fun is the challenge of getting combos by carefully using the 'fan', and there are bonus levels to top it all off.

Good games can typically be identified by the quality of the content. Sure you've probably played games that were long or had quests or bonus levels before. It is that rare game where you enjoy each of these aspects without reserve that really stands out of the pack, and Fizzball certainly stands out! It was an easy pick as one of the best games of the year after winning our 2006 Arkanoid Game of the Year award as well as the Kid's Game of the Year award for fun that all ages can enjoy!

Number 8 - Kudos

Developer: Positech Games Players: 1
Website Download Purchase
System Requirements: Windows 98/2000/XP, 500MHz processor, 256 MB RAM

Kudos is an ambitious project from the creator of the engaging political sim, Democracy. In Democracy, the goal of the gamer was to constantly adjust different societal factors in order to best please the voters at large. Each decision involved a different level of push and pull across a multitude of special interest groups and the game really gave a good feeling of how difficult it can be as a politician to make everyone happy.

Kudos aims to take a similar principle (how different actions will affect stats) and apply them to the life of a human being. For that reason many players have looked at the game and dismissed it, comparing it to the Sims. While the focus on improving your character's employment and well-being while maintaining their relationships does seem Sims-like, the games really aren't all that similar.

The fundamental difference between them is the focus of each game. The Sims is focused on the player working with a group of people, controlling multiple people at the same time. Kudos is really about one person. Everything from what book the person is reading to which television shows they are watching is within your control.

The ultimate goal is really to experience another life. What would it take to become a lawyer or a scientist or a journalist. Schooling and working your way up the career ladder are definitely places to start, but without balance in life it can be hard to really feel successful and 'happy.'

A good piece of that balance comes in hanging out with friends, but of course that must be managed as well. You won't always have the money to go out and even when you do, you need to make conscientious decisions about what you will be doing and who should be invited. Honestly, if everyone put as much thought into their day-to-day relationships with each other as they do into their virtual relationships in this game, the world would be a better place.

Ultimately, what makes both Kudos and Democracy really fantastic games is the amount of variety to be found in the game. There are many options available that create a near limitless number of paths to explore. Kudos is everything a sim game should be. It creates a situation that sucks you in and puts you in the position of really simulating what isn't real, but feels entirely real at the same time.

Number 7 - The Odyssey: Winds of Athena

Developer: Liquid Dragon Studios Players: 1
Website Download Purchase
System Requirements: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP, 500 MHz, 64MB RAM, DirectX 7.0+

Winds of Athena is based, as one might expect, on Homer's classic Greek epic (The Odyssey) detailing the journey of Odysseus who is attempting to return home after the legendary Trojan War (which his crafty mind brought an end to). Gone at war for a decade, Odysseus' only wish is to return home to his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus. Poseidon, however, is less than pleased with Odysseus and engineers one hell of a road-trip for our beleaguered hero. If you're going to borrow a story, there is possibly no richer tale in history to take from than the Odyssey. The tale is filled with nearly endless adventure and imagination.

But what kind of a game is Winds of Athena? It's an arcade-puzzler, essentially. Each level consists of attempting to get a requisite number of Odysseus' ships and men from Point A to Point B. Along the way are many obstacles and enemies that attempt to stop the men from returning home. Sounds pretty normal, right? Well, so far, it is. The real magic of Winds of Athena comes in the way the game is controlled.

You, the gamer, are a God with a top-down omniscient view of the seas that the men sail upon. You also have the power of a God to influence the world below... but you can only influence. By clicking and dragging through the water you can create swirling ocean currents that force the ship in particular directions. By clicking the mouse inside your wind circle on the screen and rotating in a clockwise motion you can call forth great winds that push boats directly towards their goal. Each of these central movement mechanics have their dangers, though. Currents react in a surprisingly realistic and capricious manner. They don't merely form a straight line as the gamer draws it. They start straight, but begin to fade out in swirling vortexes that might send your ships whipping back in the complete opposite direction. Much care must be taken in forming currents. Winds, too, fade over time and must be maintained to be of any use at all.

The mesh of game and game-world in Winds of Athena is nearly flawless. There's no clunky clicking of arrows or drop-down magic menu to select. There's the wind, the sea and the hands of the Gods. It's simple and wickedly challenging at the same time. Gamers frequently take movement for granted. Press left, move left. Press jump, then jump. Winds of Athena forces the gamer to take care and plan not just their movements, but the way in which they make those movements. Too much wind and you might beach your boats on a shoreline. Carelessness with currents could swirl your ships directly into a deadly reef. And this is to say nothing of the enemies. The need to continually abandon navigation efforts to do battle with the forces that face the ships leads to some truly manic and awesome gameplay.

The mechanic is very original, giving players a rare game where they don't directly control the characters, but instead interact with the game's environment and enemies through a variety of actions that each require skill, timing, and a solid strategy. From creating currents through the water to guide the ships, to whipping up the wind to blow them forward, Winds of Athena provides a unique experience that we awarded with the 2006 Game of the Year Award for Innovation, and we are happy to include it as one of the top games of the year as well.

Number 6 - Dawnspire: Prelude

Developer: Silent Grove Studios Players: 16
System Requirements: Windows 2000/XP, 2 GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, DirectX 9.0c+, 128MB Video Card with Pixel Shader 2.0

Dawnspire: Prelude is unfortunately often mis-categorized as a MMORPG. Clearly the people who label the game as such need to start playing games before they try to categorize them.

If they did they would find that not only is Dawnspire NOT a MMORPG, it's not even an RPG. What is Dawnspire? Well it is fun, really fun, and maybe that should just be the rating as well as the category.

Dawnspire plays a bit like Counter-strike. It is a team-based game of capture and keep the relics set in a fantasy world. Each player creates a character, from one of the five character classes, and then divides skill points out giving their character special abilities. The abilities vary based on the character class and include offensive and defensive abilities similar to those you'd find in an RPG, with abilities such as healing and resurrection thrown in for good measure.

Ah, you say. Sounds like an RPG. However, in this game you never level up. Your character never gains more points or becomes more powerful. You can reassign your skill points to try different combinations of skills, but you can't ever create a character more powerful than the one you first started with. In essence, Dawnspire is an multiplayer PvP action game with very customizable character selection.

Once players have the slightly quirky player movement down they'll be amazed at how intense and fun team combat is. Players can infinitely respawn which puts the focus of the confrontations on more strategic play.

Team play is absolutely crucial to winning. Small groups of 3 or more can be quite effective, but players who try to go it alone will quickly find that they don't live long. The required team interplay makes the game rather social in a frantic "can't stop and chat for a minute or you'll lose the game" sort of way. It's a mix that works extremely well and makes for fun short games that are exciting and eventful.

Dawnspire is an interesting mix of its own ideas about character creation in a fantasy world and intense moments of battle that are similar to those that so many people look forward to in MMORPGs, without the character leveling that creates a barrier between veterans and newbies. The intensely fun multiplayer battles already won it our 2006 Multiplayer Game of the Year, and now have placed it in the top games of the year.

Number 5 - Virtual Villagers

Developer: Last Day of Work Players: 1
Website Download Purchase
System Requirements: Windows 98/2000/XP/Me, 96 MB RAM, DirectX 7+, 300 mhz processor

Living on an undiscovered island with a small group of people who are trying desperately to survive is an adventure that most everyone dreams about at one time or another. Virtual Villagers lets players live that dream as they control a small struggling group of survivors on a nearly deserted island.

In a lot of ways Virtual Villagers shouldn't work. It isn't a game in the way you normally think of a game. Much like its predecessor Fish Tycoon, you don't really play Virtual Villagers. The game is built to run in real-time, which means that your little sim islanders are carrying out their business while you are watching TV, at work and even when you are sleeping. All you have to do is give them a nudge in the right direction. Don't get too comfortable though, leaving them alone too long without direction is a good way to find the village covered with bleached bones when you return.

Virtual Villagers is designed to be a sim game with puzzles. There are 16 puzzles that need to be solved by your villagers. To unlock the puzzles you will need to raise your villagers up to specific ability levels, complete the prerequisite puzzles, build up to specific tech levels and keep a watchful eye on your villagers and observe how they react to objects in their environment.

You give the villagers their instructions by grabbing them and moving them around the world map and dropping them on or near objects. For example, dropping them on the berry bush will encourage them to forage for berries, dropping them on the wreckage on the shore will encourage them to clean it up, and dropping them on each other will encourage them to ... um ... increase the number of babies in the village.

A major piece of the game is research. Assigning villagers to do research will increase the player's tech points, which allows for the unlocking of new abilities such as farming and ancestor burial. However, players have to be judicious about where their villagers are 'dropped.' Assigning out too many villagers to tasks such as research and healing may leave not enough people to gather the food, and when the food is gone the villagers will soon perish.

Virtual Villagers tops it all off with a bit of randomness to keep the game fun and variable. Each of the villagers has their own personality with likes and dislikes that can be viewed from the villager detail screen. They may like running, which will be apparent on screen as, with a watchful eye, players will notice the villager pick up and run across the screen for no apparent reason. The inclusion of this detail adds a lot to the variety of the game and makes each little villager feel more real.

The game also has random events, such as crates washing up on the beach. How players respond to these events will completely alter how the game progresses. For example, choosing to eat the whale will certainly give a lot of food, but returning it to the ocean so that it can live may increase your tribe's spirituality tech level. Between the real-time play of the game and the soothing music that so well captures the feel of relaxing in a beautiful place, Virtual Villagers is a wonderfully crafted game that has won over many people and captured our 2006 Sim Game of the Year award as well as finishing in the top 5 games for the year.

Number 4 - Master of Defense

Developer: Voodoo Dimention Players: 1
Website Download Purchase
System Requirements: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP, Pentium III 500 MHz, 128 RAM

Master of Defense is a blast to play. The concept of the game is super-simple. You have these villagers, see, and these monsters, right, and the monsters want to kill the villagers. So, you build big freakin' towers and have them shoot at the monsters and try to kill them. BAM! That's the game in a nutshell.

The progression of gameplay is very simple. Monsters originate from Point A and walk or fly or crawl or lurch unerringly towards Point B at which point they will kill X number of villagers or the villagers will kill them. The gamer's goal is, by managing gold resources and experience points, to lay down an iron-clad defense. Gold is used to purchase upgrades for towers or new units and experience points are used to level up either tower attributes, magic types, gold earned or villager hardiness.

There's a sizable bestiary of creepies in the game, but they all behave more or less the same, the only differences being hit points, appearance and speed of movement. There are four tower types (ground attack only, air attack only, a mixture, and an ice tower to freeze enemies), a fire trap to lay on the road and, after the third level, a balloon to hover over the action and drop bombs on the enemies. The scarcity of units is made up for by the fact that with each level up of the unit its appearance changes until it's hard not to nod approvingly and think that you really ARE one bad mother for making them.

Where Master of Defense really works is in its simplicity. The game starts out and ramps up quickly, but at no time does the player question what they are doing. Simply build the towers in the right places in order to defeat the enemies.

Placing the towers is the first bit of strategy. As the paths curve, and the towers each have a round firing radius, it behooves players to carefully place their towers where they will have the most coverage of the path. However, there is also a lot of strategy in considering what a tower's increased firing radius will be in the future as the towers are leveled up. Using a solid combination of land and air attack towers with well placed ice towers to slow the baddies down is really all there is to the game. Like most good games, being simple doesn't hinder the game at all, in fact that's what makes the game so enjoyable.

It's breezy fun to lay down units and scramble to beef them up or add new ones to fill the holes in your defense. A sliding bar to control the game speed helps slow the action down while setting up and helps speed things along in between waves of enemies (some levels have you facing down as many as 35 independent waves of enemies).

It's the mark of a great game to entertain you and to leave you wanting more and Master of Defense certainly succeeds in that area. Players who complete the game find themselves drawn back to the simplicity of the game play and the difficulty of perfecting the strategy. It's an addicting mix that any gamer would have a hard time putting down. We certainly enjoyed many hours of the game here at Game Tunnel and were proud to award it our 2006 Strategy Game of the Year award.

Number 3 - Titan Attacks

Developer: Puppy Games Players: 1
Website Download Purchase
System Requirements: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP, Mac, Linux

Gamers that are introduced to Titan Attacks will naturally assume the game is a Space Invaders clone, because at first glance, that is what the game seems to be. A longer look at the game will prove that the title is more than that. It's an awesome blend of old and new, a fantastic pixel-retro homage to the golden days of the arcade.

Once the gamer progresses far enough into the game things become a kinetic blend of Galaga and Space Invaders with far more depth to it than either of its inspirations can boast.

A bit of that depth comes in the weapon upgrade path. Cash earned through each level can be used to purchase upgrades such as additional shields, more powerful guns, additional bullets, a faster ship, bombs and add-ons for the ship. Managing these upgrades is vital, too. Shields are all-important, as the gamer will only be afforded a single ship for their adventure and will be given no continues. The proper balance of speed, power and protection is very tough to iron out and will likely vary heavily from gamer to gamer.

It's not just upgrades that make the game a rich experience, either. Every level the gamer manages to avoid being shot boosts a point multiplier for the next level, raising the rewards for every alien ship taken out. Bear in mind however, that the game's difficulty automatically adjusts to the level of the multiplier. The better you're doing, the harder the game becomes. Is it a good plan to get hit every now and then to tone down the difficulty? That all depends on how high you're aiming on the high score boards and how many shields you can afford to purchase. Beware that the more you're hit, the easier it is, but the less cash you make to keep yourself alive and the lower you'll score in the online high score list.

During gameplay, certain ships will come crashing to the ground instead of simply exploding into nothingness when hit, causing them to act as another missile to dodge. Other exploded ships will release an alien escapee who will come parachuting to the ground and who can be caught for a cash bonus. Advanced levels feature environmental hazards as well, such as falling asteroids.

These are very simple gameplay tweaks in the overall scheme of things, but their aggregate effect is a shooter that requires thought beyond the requisite thinking process of "left, right, shoot, bomb".

Titan Attacks is a solid bit of gaming any way you slice it. It's hard to screw up a classic format like Space Invaders or Galaga and PuppyGames doesn't just get it right, it makes it better. The look and feel of the game is hip and new and full of style and the gameplay itself is filled with the simplicity that keeps the old classics popular after so many years and through so many technical advances. It's a rare package of neo-retro goodness that every gamer should enjoy.

Number 2 - Eets: Hunger. It's Emotional

Developer: Klei Entertainment Players: 1
Website Download Purchase
System Requirements: Windows 98/2000/XP, 500MHz processor, 128 MB RAM

Pure and simple, Eets is a fun piece of gaming. Nearly everything about Eets oozes whimsy. The art, the characters, the levels, the sound, the awards. Everything.

Very reminiscent of the art to come out of the Alien Hominid studio, The Behemoth, Eets himself is a quirky and endearing protagonist. Eets behaves like the Lemmings of old and will walk unerringly straight ahead, to his doom if players let him. His behavior changes according to his mood (angry, happy, scared), which the gamer can alter (among other ways) by placing mood marshmallows on the ground in front of Eets . He'll devour whatever lies in his path and then assume the emotion that object confers. Scared Eets will be too frightened to leap off of ledges and will move slowly and silently. Happy Eets will bumble merrily along and hop off and ledges he gets to. Angry Eets storms around the the stage and gives a huge leap off of any ledge.

Emotions are probably the key to the charm of the game. True, the art is vibrant and the characters are all fun and unique creations and of course the variety of the world art as you move through different lands is interesting. But where player's will really enjoy Eets is in the fact that you don't feel like you are controlling a mindless Lemming-esque creature. It helps that there's only one Eets, but more importantly, you are messing with his emotional state. You may find that you don't want to feed Eets scared marshmallows and hear his frightened squeak, but you have to get the job done. He becomes something of your little brother, your charge, your little buddy.

With those simple beginnings Eets begins to take shape as a Puzzle game extraordinaire. Reminiscent of The Incredible Machine, players place various objects on the screen and then click 'Go' to put everything into motion. Timing and placement are everything as setting up the correct chain reaction can be the difference between life and death.

Fortunately there isn't always one right answer, which gives players a lot of leeway in how they approach the levels. What's more, there is quite a bit of variability in the objects at the player's disposal. Progressing through the levels, players will be introduced to new items at a reasonable rate, which keeps the game both challenging and interesting. Many of the 'items' are living beings complete with their own animations and silliness. Whenever a game is making you giggle, the developer should be patted on the back for doing something right.

There are a fair number of levels to the main game, but that's just the beginning as the game includes the ability for users to play custom-created maps that can be easily downloaded from the Eets website (about 200 are just waiting for you at this very moment!). The maps expand the life of what was already a game full of life (and emotion). If you haven't played Eets yet you are missing out on a great game...the emotional winner of the 2006 Casual Game of the Year award.

2006 Game of the Year - Gumboy Crazy Adventures

Developer: Cinemax Players: 1
Website Download Purchase
System Requirements: Windows 2000/XP, DirectX 8.0+, 1 GHz CPU, 256 MB RAM, 32 MB Video Card

Gumboy Crazy Adventures is, as the name would seem to imply, very quirky. In Gumboy, the gamer takes control of a small creature that, frankly, is hard to categorize.

He's a ball, and he's smooshy and resilient like a ball of gum, but is drawn so it looks as if he has a scaled and armored top. Suffice it to say, he's unique. The gamer rolls Gumboy around each level using the arrow keys or gamepad and uses momentum and the angles of the level to propel Gumboy through various obstacles. There is the occasional power-up to help move things along, but the basic principle is the use of speed and the environment to propel the action.

Gumboy isn't always a ball of gum. In some levels (and with some power-ups), he can begin as a square or a star, which changes the way he moves through the environment. In each of these forms, Gumboy can also become an air or a water version of himself. With each variant, Gumboy moves through those spaces as well as he used to do along the ground, but he must now avoid sharp outcroppings, lest he be popped.

Playing Gumboy is like playing through a work of beautiful fantasy art. All of the levels have a wonderfully intricate and vibrant look that feels hand-drawn. Leaves are drawn with detailing that includes their creases and cracks. The graphics are a huge highlight of Gumboy Crazy Adventures. The lighting and particle effects in the game are top notch as well. Pushing fairy dust around in the early levels is an especially fun effect, taking good advantage of both the game's physics and its lighting.

The objectives in Gumboy are as nebulous, vague and intriguing as the game itself. The game as a whole has the feel of being a foreign product ported to the states. There's no real explanation as to what Gumboy is or why we guide him around, but part of the spirit of the game is that we shouldn't care.

Mostly, Gumboy rolls through levels activating events by rolling into and over items and checkpoints. He seems to be doing all this as the agent of mystical creatures that dwell in the environments he travels through. A forest elf needs fairy dust collected and brought to him, a tree spirit is missing his little bean pet, etc. Gumboy, without arms or legs, essentially becomes repellent to transport these objects around levels and return them to their caretakers.

Which brings us to the physics and controls in the game. Everything has a lot of bounce in Gumboy, including the protagonist himself. When Gumboy is rolling, the way he speeds through the levels and careens off the environment is reminiscent of Sonic the Hedgehog. Where Gumboy runs (rolls) into problems is that it requires a fair degree of precision inside of a control scheme made to be loose. Nailing down the exact speed and angle that Gumboy needs to hit an object or bounce off a ledge can, at times, be frustrating. Thankfully, the game is very forgiving and the gamer will get as much time as they need to finish a task.

Gumboy is a stellar title, with great visuals, quirky sound and an endearing premise. It is a game that is equally unique and innovative as the oft-compared Gish. Gumboy is the kind of game that really shows what independent games are all about, it's a game that every gamer should spend hours getting to know better. Those who do will be rewarded with a unique experience that rolled away with our award for Adventure Game of the Year and completes the journey by winning the 2006 Game of the Year award.

Other Awards & Game of the Year Award History

Action Game of the Year - Titan Attacks
Arkanoid Game of the Year - Fizzball
Casual Game of the Year - Eets: Hunger. It's Emotional
Quest/Adventure/Platform Game of the Year - Gumboy Crazy Adventures
RPG Game of the Year - FastCrawl
Sim Game of the Year - Virtual Villagers
Sports Game of the Year - Motorama
Strategy Game of the Year - Master of Defense

Technical Categories:
Game of the Year: Graphics - Steam Brigade
Game of the Year: Sound - Aveyond
Game of the Year: Innovation - The Odyssey: Winds of Athena
Game of the Year: Multiplayer - Dawnspire: Prelude

Special Awards
Kid's Game of the Year - Fizzball
Webgame of the Year - Dodge that Anvil!
Technical Excellence - Minions of Mirth
Freeware Game of the Year - The Blob
Player's Choice Award - Steam Brigade

Independent Game of the Year History:
2006 - Gumboy Crazy Adventures
2005 - Oasis
2004 - Gish
2003 - Starscape
2002 - Mutant Storm

By: Russell Carroll
Posted: Saturday December 30, 2006
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