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IGF’s 2021 nominees announced, mostly correct

Videogame awards are good for three things: they encourage people to continue creating new work; they direct attention towards particular pebbles among the otherwise amorphous landslide of new game releases; and they give bystanders like me something of mercifully little consequence to gripe about when nominations don’t align with our personal tastes.

I’m sad to report that the Independent Games Festival has delivered only two out of three in 2021. The nominations for this year’s IGF Awards were announced yesterday, but they have left me little to gripe about.

Sure, there’s some changes I’d make, but there’s no glaring omissions in my eyes. The panel of jurists have correctly identified that Teardown was one of the best games released last year, for example, and so it is nominated for both the Seumas McNally Grand Prize and Excellence In Design. The Grand Prize nominees also include Paradise Killer, Umurangi Generation, and Spiritfarer.

I’m slightly surprised that Blaseball didn’t get a nod for best narrative. The fictional baseball game found huge popularity last year by telling a story collaboratively with its players, in a way that felt new and exciting. But then, it did get a Nuovo award nomination, so fair enough.

The full list of nominees are below, and winners will be announced on July 21st.

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • Paradise Killer (Kaizen Game Works)
  • Teardown (Tuxedo Labs)
  • Chicory: A Colorful Tale (The Chicory Team)
  • Genesis Noir (Feral Cat Den)
  • Umurangi Generation (Origame Digital)
  • Spiritfarer (Thunder Lotus)

Honorable Mentions: A Monster’s Expedition (Through Puzzling Exhibitions) (Draknek & Friends), Blaseball (The Game Band), Bugsnax (Young Horses), Carto (Sunhead Games), Disc Room (Kitty Calis, Jan Willem Nijman, Terri Vellmann, Doseone), NUTS (Joon, Pol, Muuutsch, Char & Torfi), OMORI (OMOCAT), Spelunky 2 (Mossmouth, BlitWorks), There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (Draw Me A Pixel)

Excellence in Audio

  • Say No! More (Studio Fizbin)
  • Blind Drive (Lo-Fi People)
  • Sunlight (Krillbite Studio)
  • Genesis Noir (Feral Cat Den)
  • Spiritfarer (Thunder Lotus)
  • A Monster’s Expedition (Through Puzzling Exhibitions) (Draknek & Friends)

Honorable Mentions: Ikenfell (Happy Ray Games), Stilstand (Ida Hartmann & Niila Games), BPM: BULLETS PER MINUTE (Awe Interactive), Creaks (Amanita Design), In Other Waters (Jump Over the Age), Olija (Thomas Olsson / Skeleton Crew Studio, Inc.), Chicory: A Colorful Tale (The Chicory Team), Mixolumia (davemakes)

Best Student Game

  • Vessels (Local Space Survey Corps, LLC)
  • Dorfromantik (Toukana Interactive)
  • Some Old Stuff (Hao Fan, Harry (Weizhong) Chen, Haku (Minyan Cai), Emi Schaufeld)
  • Rainy Season (Inasa Fujio)
  • SYMPHONIA (Guillaume Roux, Nicolas Derio, Pierre Vrel, Guillaume Gille, Alexis Grand, Simon Larguier, Martin Lepretre, Corentin Pauvrasseau, Kilian Dufour, Alexandre Mansois, Quentin Vernet, Hicham Benrhannou, Olivier Esman)
  • Hadr (Dominik Konečný of Ateliér Duchů)

Honorable Mentions: Quest 4 Papa (Rumba Corp), Bots Are Stupid (Leander Edler-Golla), FAITH: The Unholy Trinity, (Airdorf Games), Liquidators (1986 CL3), Pink Gum (Mad Cream Games), Running Souls (Bar Levi, Asaf Kali, Yakir Oz, Michal Shoshan), Flicker of Hope (Studio Whip), Sketchball (Pincun Liu), Bunny Hill (Brendan Roarty)

Excellence in Design

  • Teardown (Tuxedo Labs)
  • Disc Room (Kitty Calis, Jan Willem Nijman, Terri Vellmann, Doseone)
  • Shady Part of Me (Douze Dixièmes)
  • There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (Draw Me A Pixel)
  • Signs of the Sojourner (Echodog Games)
  • A Monster’s Expedition (Through Puzzling Exhibitions) (Draknek & Friends)

Honorable Mentions: Boomerang X (DANG!), Ancient Enemy (Grey Alien Games & Jim Rossignol), Biped (NExT Studios), Ynglet (Nifflas & Triple Topping), Chicory: A Colorful Tale (The Chicory Team), Moncage (Optillusion), Airborne Kingdom (The Wandering Band), The Last Cube (Improx Games)

Excellence in Narrative

  • Lost Words: Beyond the Page (Sketchbook Games)
  • Across the Grooves (Nova-box)
  • Genesis Noir (Feral Cat Den)
  • Umurangi Generation (Origame Digital)
  • Haven (The Game Bakers)
  • In Other Waters (Jump Over the Age)

Honorable Mentions: Spiritfarer (Thunder Lotus), NUTS (Joon, Pol, Muuutsch, Char & Torfi), Blaseball (The Game Band), Inkslinger (Gateway: Jacob Hvid Amstrup and Lucas A. V. Møller), Paradise Killer (Kaizen Game Works), South of the Circle (State of Play), Stilstand (Ida Hartmann & Niila Games), Blind Drive (Lo-Fi People)

Excellence in Visual Art

  • Genesis Noir (Feral Cat Den)
  • Arrog (Hermanos Magia and Leap Game Studios)
  • In Other Waters (Jump Over the Age)
  • Shady Part of Me (Douze Dixièmes)
  • Call of the Sea (Out of the Blue)
  • Carto (Sunhead Games)

Honorable Mention: Stilstand (Ida Hartmann & Niila Games), Bloodroots (Paper Cult), OMORI (OMOCAT), Chicory: A Colorful Tale (The Chicory Team), Going Under (Aggro Crab), Umurangi Generation (Origame Digital)

Nuovo Award

  • Blaseball (The Game Band)
  • Nightmare Temptation Academy (Lena NW & Costcodreamgurl)
  • THAT NIGHT, STEEPED BY BLOOD RIVER (Taylor Swietanski)
  • Airplane Mode (Bacronym)
  • Welcome to Elk (Triple Topping)
  • Umurangi Generation (Origame Digital)
  • Chasing Light (Vittgen Inc.)
  • Kristallijn (Gaël Bourhis)

Honorable Mentions: Cai Cai Balão (LookUp Games at DADIU 2020), Genesis Noir (Feral Cat Den), Gnosia (Petit Depotto), Liquidators (1986 CL3), Night Dreams (Salem Hughes), Rainy Season (Inasa Fujio), Stilstand (Ida Hartmann & Niila Games), There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (Draw Me A Pixel)



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