The Independent Games Festival has been a part of GDC for more than two decades, showcasing well-made indie games to a more broad audience and offering some pretty nice cash prizes to winners. This year’s list of finalists has been revealed recently, whittling down the 550+ entries to a few dozen. While you wait for the award ceremony in March, read on for some highlights and thoughts.
First off, if you want the full list of finalists, be sure to check IGF’s website. If you want to check out all the entries yourself, the best place to start is this Youtube playlist, which contains 500+ trailers.
There are separate categories for visual art, narrative, audio design, game design and more, but the only ones I’m really interested in are the grand prize and the Nuovo Award. The former is usually reserved for highly polished indie titles, so there’s nothing new to be learned there, but it’s nice to see games I’ve enjoyed getting recognition. The latter is the meat of the IGF, as far as I’m concerned – it’s an award for all the off-kilter stuff, the weird and experimental games, and there’s always a bunch of stuff I wouldn’t have heard of if it wasn’t nominated for the Nuovo.
This year’s grand prize nominees include:
- Eliza (Zachtronics)
- A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu)
- Untitled Goose Game (House House)
- Mutazione (Die Gute Fabrik)
- Slay the Spire (Mega Crit Games)
- Anodyne 2: Return to Dust (Sean Han Tani & Marina Kittaka)
And on the opposite side of the spectrum, the Nuovo finalists are:
- Tales From Off-Peak City Vol. 1 (Cosmo D)
- Infini (Barnaque)
- The Space Between (Christoph Frey)
- Life Tastes Like Cardboard (Demensa)
- Promesa (Julián Palacios)
- Song of Bloom (Philipp Stollenmayer)
- The Longing (Studio Seufz)
- PAGAN: Autogeny (Oleander Garden)
I only know one of these people / games, so there’s a bunch of new stuff I’m going to have to check out, which is always nice.