The sheer amount of product pouring in the past week has been unbelievable. If you are a publisher and are reading this, first off, thank you for entrusting your product to us for this. I promise you no matter how many products we get, yours will get a good and fair look.
Let me get to some of the overviews of a few recently-received products:
Faery's Tale Deluxe: This is a sweet game, and is really nicely though out, as you might imagine a game at least partialy geared towards children would have to be. My daughter has been sitting here, looking at the illustrations with me (which I think are pitch-perfect for this sort of product).
Skeleton Key Games: Finally, a rebuttal to 01 Games' submissions! I think likely my favorite submission of theirs is Key Encounters: The Volcanic Shrine, which I can't wait to print out and put to good use.
Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress: Aside from reading the myself, I took the step of giving this to my non-gaming wife to read, as it purports to be "A Girl's Guide To Dungeons & Dragons. Understanding my wife is much more of a card and board gamer than a tabletop gamer, I can tell you this book was not well-received by her. It's harmless enough and cute in places, but didn't really do much for either of us.
Adventure Games Publishing: The Wilderlands of High Adventure Campaign Map 18: Souther Reaches (link for map enthusiasts) is pure gold. I love it when a map makes you want to kick down the door and go adventuring.
WarpWorld: BTRC subitted this, and its a clever campaign set in two different periods (two different, but related campaigns, really): one set immediately in the days after the world is thrown into a cataclysm by the return of the old gods, and one some 300 years later, where the players' earlier campaign has affected the world for good or for ill. I'm still reading through this, but my initial impression is definitely favorable.
Mongoose Traveller: I actually already had this previously, but I guess I'm just getting around to posting about it. It's definitely better than the abysmal playtest reports that were going around online, but its still a very average iteration of Traveller. It's definitely closer to Classic Traveller in a lot of ways, and there's been a bit of streamlining and improvements, but it doesn't really excite and inspire (aside from the fact its Traveller) in any one category. I'm not saying its a bad RPG by any means, just not one that swept me off my feet.
I'm curious to see who the 11th-hour submission folks were! I know there's more books out there, but I'm not sure what yet. I'll try and update more a bit later, but I definitely just wanted to let everyone know I and the other judges are in the thick of it now. I think this is going to be a really exciting, close contest in a lot of categories, with a very good possibility of some surprises in store!