The finalists for Game Chef 2006 have been selected, so I now have to read another few games to vote on the winners. I'll share my impressions here.
First up is Time Traitor by Brian Hollenbeck.
This is a really nice looking pdf, is the first impression. The initial premise is great too.
You're a team of time travellers, trying to preserve the civilization you live in. You play two sessions, at least two weeks apart. The first covers a seemingly normal mission to fix something in history that has been meddled with. The session ends with your return to discover that the timeline has collapsed and one of your team is the traitor who did it during that mission.
The second session involves redoing the mission in an attempt to find the traitor. Reconstructing events is done via limited notes taken in the first session and your memories. Players may bid to challenge each other (which is kind of accusing them of being the traitor). At the end of the second session, the traitor(s) are unmasked.
The group setup is pretty cool, too. Each player gets to do only limited things - one can move the focus of the group back or forward in time, another can interact with the people there, another can make objects, and so forth.
It's a great way to do a time travel game, but I can't really get a feel for how the mechanics will work in play. Worth a read, probably worth buying if Hollenbeck gets it published.