Here is the shortlist for this year’s Independent Games Festival (IGF) awards

The Independent Games Festival (IGF) has revealed its shortlist for its 22nd annual awards ceremony.

“After an initial screening process overseen by more than 300 judges, over 550 entries for the 2020 IGF Awards were distributed to a diverse set of expert jurors from across the industry for final consideration,” the website explains. “The juries for each individual category then selected the IGF finalists after playing, discussing and meticulously evaluating them.”

Leading the charge is Mutazione (Die Gute Fabrik), which received four nominations, while Knights and Bikes (Foam Sword Games), Elsinore (Golden Glitch), A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu), Untitled Goose Game (House House), Eliza (Zachtronics), and Slay the Spire (Mega Crit Games) also all received multiple nominations.

Winners will each get a $1,000 and collectively share the $20,000 IGF prize pool, including the $10,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize. 

Set to run on March 18th, 2020 – to coincide with the next Game Developers Conference – the next awards will be hosted once again by League of Geeks director, Trent Kusters. The show – which “honours the most influential, innovative and acclaimed projects in independent game development” – will be streamed for those not at the conference via the official GDC Twitch channel.

The full shortlist, including honourable mentions, is below:

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • Eliza (Zachtronics)
  • A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu)
  • Untitled Goose Game (House House)
  • Anodyne 2: Return to Dust (Sean Han Tani and Marina Kittaka)
  • Mutazione (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Slay the Spire (Mega Crit Games)

Honourable Mentions: Katana Zero (Askiisoft), Lonely Mountains: Downhill (Megagon Industries), Song of Bloom (Philipp Stollenmayer), Wide Ocean: Big Jacket (Turnfollow), Elsinore (Golden Glitch), Astrologaster (Nyamyam), Heaven’s Vault (inkle)

Excellence in Visual Art 

  • Mutaione (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Knights and Bikes (Foam Sword)
  • Void Bastards (Blue Manchu)
  • Creature in the Well (Flight School Studio)
  • Eastward (Pixpil)
  • Stone Story RPG (Martian Rex/standardcombo)

Honourable Mentions: Luna: The Shadow Dust (Lantern Studio), Eastshade (Eastshade Studios), Minute of Islands (Studio Fizbin), Katana ZERO (Askiisoft), Song of Bloom (Philipp Stollenmayer), A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu), Creaks (Amanita Design)

Excellence in Audio

  • Observation (No Code)
  • Vectronom (Ludopium)
  • Astrologaster (Nyamyam)
  • Knights and Bikes (Foam Sword)
  • Mutazione (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Untitled Goose Game (House House)

Honourable Mentions: Afterparty (Night School Studio), Kind Words (lo fi chill beats to write to) (Popcannibal), Manifold Garden (William Chyr Studio), Alt-Frequencies (Accidental Queens), Don’t Look (Don’t Look Team), Lonely Mountains: Downhill (Megagon Industries), Tales From Off-Peak City Vol. 1 (Cosmo D)

Excellence in Design

  • Katana Zero (Askiisoft)
  • Lonely Mountains: Downhill (Megagon Industries)
  • Slay the Spire (Mega Crit Games)
  • A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu)
  • Elsinore (Golden Glitch)
  • Patrick’s Parabox (Patrick Traynor)

Honourable Mentions: Guildlings (Sirvo Studios), Nauticrawl (Andrea Interguglielmi); Blabyrinth (Sleeping Beast Games); Children of Morta (Dead Mage); Void Bastards (Blue Manchu); Untitled Goose Game (House House); Creature in the Well (Flight School Studio)

Excellence in Narrative 

  • Mutazione (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Heaven’s Vault (inkle)
  • Elsinore (Golden Glitch)
  • Wide Ocean: Big Jacket (Turnfollow)
  • Eliza (Zachtronics)
  • Lionkiller (Sisi Jiang)

Honourable Mentions: American Election (Greg Buchanan), Night Call (Monkey Moon, BlackMuffin), Astrologaster (Nyamyam), A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu), Adventures With Anxiety! (Nicky Case), Observation (No Code)

Nuovo Award 

  • 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)

Honourable Mentions: Astrologaster (Nyamyam), Elsinore (Golden Glitch), Fit for a King (Brent Ellison & Tanya X. Short), My Exercise (Atsushi Wada, Ryoya Usuha, Nobuaki Doi), Where the Bees Make Honey (Brian Wilson), Smile For Me (Gabe Lane and Yugo Limbo / LimboLane)

Best Student Game 

  • Orbital Bullet (SmokeStab)
  • A Juggler’s Tale (kaleidoscube)
  • Forgotten (Mutiny Games)
  • Neon Beats (OKYO Games)
  • Bore Dome (Goblin Rage)
  • Nothing in Sight (Nothing in Sight Team)

Honourable Mentions: Unhatched (Filip Loster); Du Rejser (You Travel) (Victor Selnæs Breum + Katinka); Trail Mix (Puzzsoft); Where the Bees Make Honey (Brian Wilson); Northbound (Johannes Köberle & Arno Justus); Evergreen Blues (David Su and Dominique Star).

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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