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Bytten Ernie Awards 2012

Strangest Experience - Retention
This year's most hotly contested category - especially with the introduction of iPhone games, which are frequently unusual - took me some time. Eventually, however, Retention was the clear choice; nothing else I have ever seen shares its simple yet unusual premise. Choose images from your protagonist's past to decide on the future. The choices you make will determine his fate. This must be one of very few games I've ever played that made me think about my life outside of the game itself. Simple, unusual and emotionally powerful - this is a game that deserves recognition.

I would like to mention a runner-up for this category - Menrva Games' Invidia 422AC was definitely one of the oddest of the rest. Choose a religion, conquer the world... or die trying. I died several times over, but never the same way twice.

Retention Fall of Angels

Most Addictive - Fall of Angels
This was a difficult category to fill this year. Our overall winner Din's Curse did well here, but few others had that all-consuming pull that an addictive game requires. Fall of Angels did this the most effectively for me, in part because the iPhone interface meant I could play virtually anywhere. An easy to pick up RPG in the style of the Final Fantasy series, this one did something unusual from the start by sidelining magic. The use of spoils from enemies to make money was another neat touch.

Well done to Kevin Mitchell and I hope this Ernie encourages him to keep developing!

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