Melbourne Queer Games Festival is an event open to ALL developers of LGBTIQ video games from ALL OVER THE WORLD. Big games, small games, fun games, serious games, trash games. Its goals are to inform, entertain and challenge LGBTIQ players by reflecting their lives in games and to bring the best of world queer culture to Melbourne and to connect international and Australian game developers.
This collection brings together the MQGF Winners of 2021. The blurbs were taken from Jason Drake's article about the MQGF on Kotaku AU.
Winner of the Gold Medal.
"The tragic mortality rates of trans women are often central to the stories told about them, and this game’s skull-faced protagonist, Meredith, drives that point home mercilessly. The second monster girl entry on the list, Winter shines in every aspect. From the driving soundscape to the eerie glitch art and provocative dialogue, there isn’t a single element that hasn’t been deliberately crafted.
It’s an interactive fiction that offers a gut wrenchingly honest introspective on sex, trans insecurity and self-perception and doesn’t shy away from tackling the hard issues — be sure to check the content warnings. As you browse the dialogue options carefully, you’ll be swept up in its often dark but deeply touching story of love and adversity. A worthy Gold Medal champion."
Winner of the Emerging Developer Award.
"A charming puzzle game about the small trials of a rabbit who runs a flower shop, the art and story of Parcels and Pollen are filled to the brim with youthful enthusiasm. With kitschy visuals and adorable characters (each sporting its own whimsical musical theme) it creates a soothing and super cute atmosphere that makes you feel right at home.
There’s also a suite of accessibility options — caption tools, localisation — so it’s a game that’s playable for everyone. Settle in with a cup of tea on a rainy day and have a perfectly peaceful moment."
Winner of the Silver Medal.
"A raw commentary on queer migration to urban centres, this interactive visual narrative uses moody glitch art and low synth tones to weave a tale of personal and private struggle. It’s got haunting imagery, a Stephen King small town horror vibe, and features a protagonist drenched in the triumph and despair inherent in the monster girl genre. Surprisingly short on traditional gameplay elements for a silver medallist, but the framing and visual impact make this a tale that will stick with you."
Winner of a Bronze Medal.
"A magnum opus of the furry romance genre with a staggering word count — 500,000 words! That’s more words than the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy; it even has its own wiki and forum. The effort isn’t limited to the dialogue, though – this visual novel has full character customisation, puzzles, lore items and even achievements. If delving into the labyrinth in search of prime beef looks a bit too steamy, there’s a safe for work mode available, too. An evolving project, this will surely attract some die-hard fans."
Winner of a Bronze Medal.
"Less a game and more a virtual interactive gallery, this masterfully constructed, non-Euclidean installation will educate and inspire as you navigate through it. The focus here is on the terminology surrounding gender, and the clinical dictionary definitions combine with the humanising narrative voice to create a beautiful little moment of introspection. There’s a lot of value here as an educational tool, for those who find it hard to keep up with modern parlance surrounding sexuality and gender. Take the time to explore."
Technical Achievement Award for "a game that excels in technique and craft."
"Queer immigrant experiences can be especially harrowing, but this adorable texting and cooking simulator brings an optimistic tone to the table. It tells the story of a Chinese-American girl discovering her heritage with the help of her mother.
The chiptune soundtrack is so bouncy! Played entirely on a simulated phone, this half hour experience packs quite a punch. It’ll pull at your heartstrings and maybe make you a little hungry along the way."