Runners-up: HarnMaster, an old-school game Jay Loomis is getting off the ground for a few of us, because of how defiantly traditional-and-yet-not-traditional it wants to be; Macciato Monsters, a tiny little ashcan-copy-type OSR game with some really neat mechanics; and Mystwood and Treehouse Dreams, a pair of games from Gray Pawn that speak with earnestness.
I’m going to say Golden Sky Stories, though.
This is one of the sweetest, nicest games I can imagine. It’s a Ghibli movie come to life. Nothing exciting happens, there’s no combat, no death-defying feats. To quote a review of the anime “Aria”: Nothing happens, but in a really good way.
Characters are shapeshifting animals, who interact with each other and the human inhabitants of a sleepy country village. They meet each other, have misunderstandings, build relationships, help people through rough emotional spots, and just generally act from the heart. It’s the sort of gaming I wish more gamers were into.