Everyone loves a good indie game in an age when large corporations have over-saturated gamers with disappointing releases and endless in-game purchases. The Independent Games Festival (IGF), an event that has been honoring the most influential, innovative, and acclaimed indie game projects since 1998, is at the forefront of indie game development. It just revealed the finalists for the 22nd annual awards ceremony, but the official award ceremony won’t be held until March 18 during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. The IGF Awards will follow the Game Developers Choice Awards, which recognizes the best games of the year across all sections of video game development.

After an initial screening that was overseen by more than 300 judges, more than 550 entries for this year’s IGF Awards were shared among a diverse set of jurors from across the industry to uncover which releases changed how gamers interact with each unique platform. There are four nominations in the categories for Excellence in Visual Art, Audio and Narrative, and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. The nominees for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize with multiple nominations include Untitled Goose Game, A Short Hike, Eliza, Slay the Spire, and Anodyne 2: Return to Dust.

Elsinore, from Golden Glitch

Other titles earning multiple nominations include Knights and Bikes, a beautifully handpainted, coming-of-age story by Foam Sword Games; and Elsinore, a creative re-imagination of Shakespeare’s Hamlet from the perspective of Ophelia, from Golden Glitch. IGF Award winners will receive more than $20,000 of prizes in various categories.

All GDC 2020 pass-holders are able to attend both the IGF Awards and the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremonies; if you’re not there, you can catch the ceremonies online via twitch.tv/gdc.

The alt.ctrl.GDC award, an award that honors engaging, intriguing, and well-executed games that use unconventional and accessible physical controls, will be announced alongside the IGF winners.

For more info about the 22nd annual IGF Awards, visit igf.com. If you’re curious about the GDC, Independent Games Summit, the IGF Pavilion, and the IGF Awards Ceremony, then visit the GDC’s official website, or check out social media for regular updates. 

Photos: House House, IGF