Here’s the big list of indie games you “should” have played last year

By Brenna Hillier, Thursday, 4 January 2018 04:03 GMT

Ha ha, what are you talking about? I definitely know what all of these are.

We’re coming up on GDC 2018, which means we’re also coming up on the Independent Games Festival, which holds its annual awards in conjunction with the main conference’s gala evening.

The full list of nominated IGF finalists has been published, giving a grand overview of the indie games critics and industry insiders consider the best of the best. If you won’t to hold up your head down at the games hipster club when they start talking 2017’s best releases, you’d better get across as many as you can.

We were not at all surprised to see Night in the Woods receive multiple gongs (we named it one of our games of the year, actually), not that Cuphead was a repeat entry, as it’s been very popular with many of you.

Heat Signature, a sci-fi stealth rogue-like which comes to us from former games journalist and Gunpoint developer Tom Francis, also crops up multiple times. West of Loathing, the long awaited followup to Kingdom of Loathing, was also honoured.

Ultra hard and very beautiful platformer Rain World is on there, and so is Tacoma, the second game from the team behind Gone Home. Oh hey, and Shenzhen I/O got a nod – that’s on sale in the latest Humble Bundle, actually. There, one game sorted already.

I’ve been out of the indie loop this past year so I don’t recognise too many others, although there are some familiar developers on the list. Butterfly Soup is one I’ve seen on a number of game of the year lists, though, and with multiple nods, it looks like Bab is You and Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy should be pretty high on our priority lists.

Here’s the full list of finalists so you can get to studying.

    Seumas McNally grand prize

  • Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (Bennett Foddy)
  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  • West of Loathing (Asymmetric Publications)
  • Into the Breach (Subset Games)
  • Heat Signature (Suspicious Developments)
  • Baba is You (Hempuli)

Honorable Mentions: Tacoma (Fullbright); Rain World (VIDEOCULT); Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator (Game Grumps); Cosmic Top Secret (klassefilm); Hollow Knight (Team Cherry); Cuphead (StudioMDHR); Everything Is Going to Be OK (Nathalie Lawhead)

    Excellence in visual art

  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  • Cuphead (StudioMDHR)
  • Echo (ULTRA ULTRA)
  • Luna (Funomena)
  • The Gardens Between (The Voxel Agents)
  • Chuchel (Amanita Design)

Honorable Mentions: Jettomero: Hero of the Universe (Ghost Time Games); Dead Cells (Motion Twin); AER – Memories of Old (Forgotten Key); Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games); Rain World (VIDEOCULT); Shape of the World (Hollow Tree Games); Hollow Knight (Team Cherry)

    Excellence in audio

  • Tormentor X Punisher (e-studio)
  • Cuphead (StudioMDHR)
  • Vignettes (Skeleton Business)
  • Rain World (VIDEOCULT)
  • Uurnog Uurnlimited (Nifflas Games)
  • Celeste (Matt Makes Games)

Honorable Mentions: Tumbleseed (Benedict Fritz, Greg Wohlwend, Joel Corelitz, David Laskey and Jenna Blazevich); Hollow Knight (Team Cherry); Tacoma (Fullbright); Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games); Million Onion Hotel (Onion Games); Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)

    Excellence in design

  • Into the Breach (Subset Games)
  • Shenzhen I/O (Zachtronics)
  • Wilmot’s Warehouse (Richard Hogg, Ricky Haggett, Eli Rainsberry)
  • Baba Is You (Hempuli)
  • Uurnog Uurnlimited (Nifflas Games)
  • Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (Bennett Foddy)

Honorable Mentions: Heat Signature (Suspicious Developments); Dead Cells (Motion Twin); Factorio (Wube Software); Space Pirate Trainer (I-Illusions); Battle Chef Brigade (Trinket Studios)

    Excellence in narrative

  • Tacoma (Fullbright)
  • Attentat 1942 (Charles University and Czech Academy of Sciences)
  • Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (Dim Bulb Games)
  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  • Butterfly Soup (Brianna Lei)
  • Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games)

Honorable Mentions: A Mortician’s Tale (Laundry Bear Games); Lost Memories Dot Net (Star Maid Games); Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator (Game Grumps); Bury me, my Love (The Pixel Hunt, Figs and ARTE France); Cosmic Top Secret (klassefilm); West of Loathing (Asymmetric Publications); Rakuen (Laura Shigihara)

    Nuovo award

  • Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (Bennett Foddy)
  • Tarotica Voo Doo (TPM.CO SOFT WORKS)
  • 10 Mississippi (Karina Popp)
  • A Mortician’s Tale (Laundry Bear Games)
  • Cosmic Top Secret (klassefilm)
  • Everything Is Going to Be OK (Nathalie Lawhead)
  • Baba Is You (Hempuli)
  • Kids (Playables)

Honorable Mentions: Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (Dim Bulb Games); IO Interloper (DANG!); The Norwood Suite (Cosmo D Studios); Cheap Golf (Pixeljam); Witchball (S.L.Clark); Million Onion Hotel (Onion Games)

    Best student game

  • IO Interloper (DANG!)
  • Don’t Make Love (Maggese)
  • Penny Blue Finds a Clue (DigiPen Team Cactus Curse)
  • We Were Here (Total Mayhem Games)
  • Baba Is You (Hempuli)
  • Guardian of the Gears (DigiPen Team Studio 76)

Honorable Mentions: Crewsaders (Titan Squad); A.L.F.R.E.D. (Hugo Lefevre, Joseph Reichenbach, Romain Jaohar-Gaillard, Garance Royere Lebigre, Nicolas Tham, Marion Speiser, Delphine Migeot de Baran, Song Huang); MOLOCH (Seemingly Pointless); Kyklo’s Code (Cube Factory); Membrane (Perfect Hat / Seth S. Scott); That Blooming Feeling (The Tots Team); Tell Me What You See (Pesky Bees)

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