Bring on the trumpets and the baton twirlers and the backflipping dolphins and more fireworks than Guy Fawkes could have ever dreamt of because it's time to announce the competition winners. Three days ago we managed to whittle down the 144 or so entries we received to a shortlist of ten favourites and now that number gets sliced in half once more.
A little note on how we went about doing so: Each staff member was given five votes and to determine the winners it was a simple case of totting up the votes and seeing which titles amassed the most nominations. After the final five had been uncovered, each staff member was then called upon to rank the winners from 1 to 5, with 1 as the most deserving and so on. At the end of that we would have found our winner.
Again, congratulations to everyone who entered, and we may well do one or two imaginative follow-up features envisaging what some of these titles might actually entail should they ever go into production. Big kudos to those ten who made the shortlist, whether through laughter, anticipation or intelligence, you all made this fina lround of voting incredibly difficult indeed!
And so, without further ado, Ladies and Gents, Boys and Girls....I give you, in alphabetical order....The Birthday Blowout Winners!
There was a wide consensus amongst a good chunk of the staff that this was one of the entries that would actually make a barnstorming game. It wouldn't have a huge amount of depth - although maybe side missions could include Guitar Hero style jazz flute, finding your way out of the labyrinthine glass cage of emotion and a massive dollop of DLC that spans the globe simply entitled Baxter's Adventure - but it got us excited and made us laugh. So much so that a good half hour was spent between four of us endlessly quoting the damn thing.
Cattlefield: Bad Company Moo
I'm not entirely sure what would happen if you crossed the Frostbite 2.0 destruction engine with a load of cows but I'm pretty sure the results would be hilarious. Particularly apt considering the online dominance of the insidious FarmVille this became a firm office favourite as soon as it landed. We love a good pun (we love bad ones too) and this had two, not to mention some lovely attention to detail. The thought of piloting airborne beef and running cow-pat airstrikes on a neighbouring farm may have tipped some members of staff over the edge.
There were some entries that just made everybody laugh and this was one of them. There's something quintessentially British about the entire concept. From the theme to the blurb to the limp Snickers wrapper on the front, this was a masterful collage of satirical understatement. If modern day Rare took on Quantic Dream this would probably be the result.
We did say that aesthetics didn't really matter and, to be honest, it was the simplicity of the theme and the playful use of the acronym that really got us first, but the artwork hammered it home emphatically and really gave this one some 'wow' factor. It's a thematic triumph and an exceptional piece of cover design, right down to the little detail in the top right. I reckon if Pure Football had involved caveman, flaming torches, flint spears and occasional pitch invasions from a variety of Galapagos-dwelling creatures it would have been much better.
Tesco Value: Really Good Action Game
As a piece of aesthetic design frankly this wasn't anything special at all, but it made clever use of a widely recognised brand label that we felt illustrated an excellent point: the virtual homogenisation of the action genre. It's one of the few entries that actually made us stop and think. With every single FPS game these days seemingly sporting a multiplayer nicked from MW2 or third-person action titles depending on crushingly similar cover mechanisms, the games are all starting to blur into one. Opportunistic? Perhaps. Intelligent? Certainly. Made us laugh, ponder and nod our heads in sage agreement? Absolutely.
Ranking this lot was a tough process, and it went right down to the last person to cast their scores. However, after all of the responses came in, by a margin of 4 points, we had our winner. To be honest, considering a good half of the writing staff are twentysomething males, one could have predicted a certain similarity in voting choices, but appreciation for the ultimate winner went beyond that. Lauded by the public and championed thanks to Dealspwn democracy, the winner of the inaugural Dealspwn Birthday Blowout is...
Again, congratulations to all of the winners for getting this far. We will be getting in touch with all of you to arrange prizes. Big thanks to everybody who entered, you helped make our first birthday very special indeed.