The Interactive Fiction Competition has started again. The last time that the winner of the Best Game XYZZY Award was not an entry in the IF Comp was 2002, when Emily Short's Savoir-Faire won. One is justified to suppose, then, that the best game of 2009 is among this bunch.
Or is one? In fact, 2009 is an extremely successful year already. We have seen Blue Lacuna, Alabaster, The King of Shreds and Patches, and Make it Good, among others. This is a list that makes some other years pale by comparison. I haven't played Make it Good yet, but about the other three games I am perfectly willing to claim that they are better than the Best Game XYZZY winners of at least the last two years (earlier games I'd have to replay to refresh my memory). Violet and Lost Pig were good games, but not, I think, as good as these.
Indeed, I would be surprised if any game in the IF Comp manages to change my vote for Best Game! But it would of course be a pleasant surprise, so I'm going into this competition with a big smile on my face.
I'm not quite sure I'll spend a lot of time with the comp games, though. On the one hand, it is a great social event in the community. On the other, it means wading through a lot of half-baked games, and with the number of people participating, my votes are hardly necessary to make the event a success. Perhaps the time is better spent playing some non-comp games that are still in my to-do-list, finishing my next essay for SPAG, coding... and then playing the winners of the comp once it's finished.
We will see.
Since I'm rambling anyway: I was totally blown away when I saw how many registered members the IFDB has: 1322. If I had had to make a guess, I'd have put it at maybe 10% of that number.