Best Music: Machinarium
These production awards for Machinarium are starting to feel like a broken record, aren’t they? But this one sure doesn’t sound like one! This award provided some of the fiercest competition of all, but any soundtrack that warrants its own standalone music release must be something special. Sure enough, Tomas Dvorak’s soundtrack for Machinarium made the game sound every bit as great as it looks.
The music’s greatest achievement is the way it intuitively captures the feel of Machinarium’s distinctive style. The game itself melds grimy, industrial, almost post-apocalyptic scenery with lovable, anthropomorphic robots – think WALL-E through a surrealist filter. It makes sense, then, that the music is an eclectic hybrid as well: a relaxing mélange of minimalist electronic, glitch-pop, ambient, and even the odd bit of folk. It’s a loving compromise between airy charm and foreboding, mechanical electronic that is refreshing, unique, and the perfect accompaniment for the game’s robot hijinx.
Runners-Up: Tales of Monkey Island, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures
Readers’ Choice: Tales of Monkey Island
For Tales of Monkey Island, the talents of John Marsden and some random guy off the street named Michael Land were brought in to helm the accompaniment. (Okay, so Land composed the music for many enduring LucasArts classics, but other than those.) Not surprisingly, the pair created a splendidly jaunty soundtrack that fit the whimsical settings perfectly and earned it the readers’ choice award. We’d argue harder for our staff selection, but we’ve got that darned MI theme song stuck in our heads now. Thanks a lot.
Runners-Up: Machinarium, Runaway: A Twist of Fate
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Next up: Best Voice Acting... the envelope, please!