[titlesml]Best Underground Game of 2003[/titlesml]
There was never really a question when we began our discussion of these awards who would be the winner of Best Game; Hungry Software's Out of Order is the runaway winner. What many people aren't aware of is that, right up until near the end of its development, it was planned as a commercial release. At the last minute, Tim Furnish decided to release it as an underground adventure in order to showcase the SLUDGE engine that he also created.
And what a showcase it was; all of us at Adventure Gamers Underground agree that this is the first underground adventure to truly feel, in all respects, like it should be commercial. One of those rare games where you just can't believe you're playing it for free. With very detailed and appealing graphics, an excellent original soundtrack, consistently humorous dialogue, very substantial length, and one of the most amusingly bizarre stories we've seen in a long time, we couldn't be happier about Tim's generosity, and we're all the better for having played Out of Order, the clear choice for Best Underground Game of 2003.
Now we come to the most difficult choice of all. It's easy to give an award based on sound or graphics, but BEST OVERALL? This was hard, but not too hard. For sheer professionalism, quality and gameplay, the winner was Hungry Software's Out of Order. It's pure fun, completely original and has the best twist ending I've ever seen in an adventure game, bar none. Congratulations to Hungry Software for an amazing job.
To me, there were two contenders for Best Game -- Perils of Poom and Out of Order. Both games had good plots, well-written characters and great humour, but Out of Order's superior graphics help it win out in the end. Out of Order is a great game, with humour in spades and often very inventive puzzles.
Congratulations again to all of the winners, and happy adventuring to all in 2004!