Gaming - IGF Indie Awards: The Defective Inspector Predicts...

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The Defective Inspector has been investigating some of the IGF Indie Award nominees. Now the time has come for him to put his money (OK, apples) where his mouth is and predict the winners ...

Oh it’s that time! THAT TIME AGAIN - the IGF Indie Awards. For the last 2 months I’ve been playing some of the best games this indie world has to offer and I’ve loved every moment of it, not one rotten apple in the bunch. But an award is not a matter of “who is least rotten?” but instead “who is crispy and juicy?” So without any further suspense I give you MY winners of the IGF Indie Awards based on the games I’ve been lucky enough to play!


Panoramical

Excellence in Visual Art – Panoramical

It doesn’t take complex graphics to make something beautiful and this game put that theory to the test and passed with flying colours. Everything visually about this game is like an acid trip without the horrible addiction withdrawal. As I played through each level I was strangely engrossed in the whole situation despite the fact it was, fundamentally, shapes moving around the screen. Somehow Fernando Ramallo and David Kanaga found a way to make me lose myself in a new age digital kaleidoscope and that required skill! I personally think you guys deserve the excellence in visual art! Full breakdown of the game here

Nominations include Mini Metro, GNOG, Armello, Oxenfree and Darkest Dungeon.


Magic circle

Excellence in Narrative – The Magic Circle

This was incredibly hard to pick as not ONE GAME disappointed in this category but ultimately I had to hand it to The Magic Circle. The concept of the game was already a little out of the ordinary but the way it was told was brilliant. Using the trapped ‘spirit’, downtrodden employees, narcissistic creators and pippy interns you were able to give me a leering look into the game process model without being d*cks about it. I genuinely loved the story behind this game for its realistic concept in an unrealistic world, bravo! If you want my full review click here

Nominations include The Beginner’s Guide, Black Closet, That Dragon, Cancer, Her Story and Undertale.


Mini Metro

Excellence in Design – Mini Metro

It takes a brave team of people to make a game based on a subway map, but dammit they did it well. Mini Metro is disturbingly addictive and shows a consistent enjoyment every time I play it! Granted this is not a game I would play for hours like I would an open world RPG but it is something I take great pleasure it and it’s down to the design. This game’s entertainment is like looking at beautiful naked body, we’re not talking slutty or dirty but 100% pure beauty. When in the presence of something so beautiful you just go slack jawed and take in the moment and that’s what Mini Metro does, it lets you enjoy it’s bare naked truth and simply enjoy yourself in a safe for work way. For a full glance at this beauty click here

Nominations include Kingdom, Her Story, Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes, Superhot and Infinifactory


Lumini

Excellence in Audio – Lumini

Making a Pikmin-esque game was dangerous ground as Nintendo are not known for their tender loving care of copyright. While I can see clear differences which will keep the solicitors at bay one thing I find very different about Lumini is its exceptional audio. The plinks and drops of the aquatic world resonate amongst the crystalline structures creating beautifully soothing music which quells my savage heart. It’s surprising that a game has such a relaxing effect when often the digital world is condemned for its violence and trolling. Lumini is above that, Lumini is beyond that and Lumini is better than that. Don’t understand? Click here!

Nominations include Mini Metro, Panoramical, That Dragon, Cancer and Darkest Dungeon.


Cibele

Nuovo Award – Cibele

This was a tough choice, the Nuovo is given to those with originality and creativity and every game on the list fits that category. I decided to go with Cibele because it was a story, in a game, in another game. The dangerous level of Russian doll inception reveals a bitter sweet tale of sex without a hint of rock n roll or drugs. It takes a unique and interesting look at how to make an interactive story/game without going too far off into the unknown. While other games have done similar things before the way it was presented was unique and interesting. Want a better breakdown? Click here!

Nominees include The Beginner’s Guide, Panoramical, Fantastic Contraption, Orchids to Dusk, Her Story, Progress and Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes.


Darkest Dungeon

Seumas McNally Grand Prize – Darkest Dungeon

The truth is Darkest Dungeon was the best all round game I played. While I loved every game I played throughout my IGF reviews this is one what I still regularly play today and will continue to do so for months to come. The visuals are gothic and dark, the narrative is brooding and cryptic, the design is intricate but understandable… Everything works! The true sign of a good game is one that is enjoyably long, it must draw you in time and time again because there is more to do, more to enjoy and challenges still to be overcome. I’ve still not entered the Darkest Dungeon and survived, mainly because I am enjoying the development of my other characters. But when I do dip into the darkness I know I’ll enjoy it… Even if I die. The Nihilist approach of the game enforces the idea of making the best out of a bad situation which is… Humbling. Sometimes as a gamer I need to be reminded it’s not as simple as going through the motions and then winning the day. For that reason, plus many written here, Red Hook Studios, you are becoming my new indie developer! See the full review here!

Nominees include Mini Metro, Her Story, Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes, Superhot and Undertale.


The more astute of you will notice I missed “Best Student Game”. This is simply due to the fact I didn’t play any of the games enough. My counter balance between real life and review life shifted in February and I ran out of time. This doesn’t mean the end for those games, not at all, I’ll be reviewing them regardless of results!

Images are from Steam and IGF.com