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2022 Independent Games Festival Awards Finalists Revealed

by Rainier on Jan. 7, 2022 @ 7:24 p.m. PST

The organizers of the 24nd annual Independent Games Festival (IGF) have announced the finalists for the 2022 IGF Awards, which honors the most influential, innovative and exemplary projects in independent game development.

The Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2022 have revealed the finalists for the 24th annual awards ceremony of the Independent Games Festival (IGF), the longest running festival, summit and showcase celebrating independent games and their creators. The IGF is part of the Game Developers Conference 2022, which will be held in-person and virtually at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center from March 21 - 25.

Leading the nominations are Inscryption by Daniel Mullins Games and Unpacking by Witch Beam, which have both been nominated for four awards each. Both titles are nominated for the categories of Excellence in Audio, Excellence in Design, Excellence in Narrative and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Inscryption is a genre-bending love letter to video games that blends the deckbuilding roguelike, escape-room style puzzles and psychological horror into a surprising mix. Quite differently, Unpacking is a zen game about the familiar experience of pulling possessions out of boxes and fitting them into a new home, all while learning clues about the life of the person whose belongings are being unpacked.

After an initial assessment completed by hundreds of judges, over 400 entries for the 2022 IGF Awards were distributed to a diverse set of expert jurors from across the games industry for final consideration. The juries for each individual category then selected the finalists after playing, discussing and meticulously evaluating them.

The winners will be announced during the Independent Games Festival Awards, taking place at the 2022 Game Developers Conference (GDC) on Wednesday, March 23 (with a simultaneous broadcast on GDC Twitch). The IGF Awards will immediately precede the Game Developers Choice Awards, which recognizes the best games of the year across all sections of video game development. Both the Game Developers Choice Awards and IGF ceremonies are available to watch for all GDC 2022 pass-holders.

The full list of finalists for each category of the 2022 Independent Games Festival, along with "honorable mentions," is as follows:

Best Student Game

  • Cai Cai Balão (Look Up Games)
  • Abriss - build to destroy (Randwerk Games eG)
  • Letter Lattice (Ethan Zarov)
  • Smalllife (Yueqi Wu)
  • Nainai's Recipe (Fan Fang, Mai Hou)
  • Live Adventure (Live Adventure Team)

Honorable Mentions: Astreia's Gift (Femy Nassirou & Hervé Blanchot), There You Are (Funky Dango),  The Bleeding Tree (No Input Interactive), dumpling.love (the parks staff), Lysfangha (Baptiste Marsac & Daphne Pauchet-Deloffre), Jivana (Team Jivana), Hook Up (Team Hook Up), Come with Me (Xin Ye) 

Excellence in Audio

  • Toem (Something We Made)
  • Unpacking (Witch Beam)
  • Jett: The Far Shore (Superbrothers A/V + Pine Scented)
  • Mini Motorways (Dinosaur Polo Club)
  • Sable (Shedworks)
  • Inscryption (Daniel Mullins Games)

Honorable Mentions: Severed Steel (Greylock Studios), A Musical Story (Glee-Cheese Studios), Death's Door (Acid Nerve), The Vale: Shadow of the Crown (Falling Squirrel), Kena: Bridge of Spirits (Ember Lab), Overboard! (inkle), The Wild at Heart (Moonlight Kids)

Excellence in Design

  • Inscryption (Daniel Mullins Games)
  • Unpacking (Witch Beam)
  • Overboard! (inkle)
  • Strange Horticulture (Bad Viking)
  • Webbed (Sbug Games)
  • Midnight Protocol (LuGus Studios)

Honorable Mentions: Loop Hero (Four Quarters), Unsighted (Studio Pixel Punk), Mini Motorways (Dinosaur Polo Club), Card Shark (Nerial), KeyWe (Stonewheat & Sons), Sunshine Heavy Industries (Daisyowl Games)

Excellence in Narrative

  • Last Call (Nina Freeman and Jake Jefferies)
  • Neurocracy (Playthroughline)
  • Closed Hands (Passenger)
  • Overboard! (inkle)
  • Inscryption (Daniel Mullins Games)
  • Unpacking (Witch Beam)

Honorable Mentions: Card Shark (Nerial), Norco (Geography of Robots), The Big Con (Mighty Yell ), Tux and Fanny (Ghost Time Games), Opus: Echo of Starsong (Sigono), Sable (Shedworks), Blackhaven (Historiated Games)

Excellence in Visual Art

  • The Eternal Cylinder (ACE Team)
  • Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery (Silver Lining Studio)
  • Papetura (Petums)
  • Fuzz Dungeon (Jeremy Couillard)
  • The Wild at Heart (Moonlight Kids)
  • Jett: The Far Shore (Superbrothers A/V + Pine Scented)

Honorable Mention: Inscryption (Daniel Mullins Games), A Musical Story (Glee-Cheese Studios), Kena: Bridge of Spirits (Ember Lab), Saturnalia (Santa Ragione) Stonefly (Flight School Studio), Cris Tales (Dreams Uncorporated, Syck)

Nuovo Award

  • Memory Card (Lily Zone)
  • Okthryssia and Saturnia's Bureaucratic Adventures (Outlands)
  • Space Hole 2020 (Sam Atlas)
  • Tux and Fanny (Ghost Time Games) 
  • Cruelty Squad (Consumer Softproducts)
  • Sparkles & Gems (Resnijars)
  • Fuzz Dungeon (Jeremy Couillard)
  • Cuccchi (Fantastico Studio)

Honorable Mentions:  Last Call (Nina Freeman and Jake Jefferies), The Shape of Time (落日间 xpaidia studio), The Under Presents (Tender Claws), ~Song of Homunculus~ (Diamond Ace (Lily Zone + Zoë Sparks)), Card Shark (Nerial), The Vale: Shadow of the Crown (Falling Squirrel)

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • Inscryption (Daniel Mullins Games)
  • Unpacking (Witch Beam)
  • Loop Hero (Four Quarters)
  • The Eternal Cylinder (ACE Team)
  • Cruelty Squad (Consumer Softproducts)
  • Unsighted (Studio Pixel Punk)

Honorable Mentions:  Toem (Something We Made), Norco (Geography of Robots), Overboard! (inkle), Saturnalia (Santa Ragione), Dodgeball Academia (Pocket Trap), Webbed (Sbug Games), Fuzz Dungeon (Jeremy Couillard)

The Independent Games Festival has served as a springboard for breakthrough independent titles. Previous IGF prize winners include Umurangi Generation, A Short Hike, Return of the Obra Dinn, Quadrilateral Cowboy, Night in the Woods, Her Story, Spelunky, Braid, Castle Crashers, and many more critical and cultural hits.

For more information on the 2022 Independent Games Festival, including submission specifics and frequently asked questions, please visit the official Independent Games Festival website.

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