9 Days isn't a lot of time to generate a professional quality piece of work, but a lot of people have produced some finely polished pieces of semi-professional writing and game design. Quite a few of them could probably do with a good read-over and like all new games I'm sure they need a bit of playtesting to iron out the bugs. But, all in all, there are some great games in there and quite a few I'd like to play if I wasn't in a limbo state of trying to move house, and caught between groups of roleplaying friends. I don't know how many of the games would hold up well under a two person play scenario (I can probably rope in a third, but only for short periods of time).
As a result, I'm going to give a general critique on the games that stuck out to me as being interesting. My criteria of interesting is based on the blurb written on the game chef site, the number of comments made on threads during game development (on praxis, the forge, or 1km1kt), and whether or not I've been interested in the games produced by the author in the past.
With 59 finished games produced for the competition, I could have just limited myself to to the 10% that met all those criteria, but I really could have missed some of the gems of the competition. Instead, I've downloaded and printed out the top half of the entries according to my criteria. Remember that 2 of my criteria are highly personal things regarding my tastes in gaming, so my top half might not be your top half. But the third is pretty quantifiable.
The first five I'll review will be from the praxis feedback group to which I belonged in the contest; but beyond that, there's no particular order that I'll be reviewing them in. I'll try to alternate between longer games and shorter games where possible.
If there are any games on the short-list that I haven't critiqued, I'll make sure to add them to my list.
I'll be trying to get a critique done once a day; but given that I'm in the middle of moving house, I
can't 100% guarantee that I'll keep up that schedule.
Feel free to make your own comments if you think my critique is off in some way, of if you appreciate what I've written about the games. Anyway, on with the reading, and then the critiquing.