2018 Independent Games Festival Awards Nominees Revealed

The nominees for this year's IGF Awards have been named and leading the pack is a game the average player may not yet have heard of.

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The Independent Games Festival is celebrating a milestone in 2018. This is the IGF's 20th awards ceremony and this year, it continues honoring the best in indie gaming. Awards will be handed out on March 21 during the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, CA.

Already a big winner is Baba is You from student developer Hempuli Oy, which leads all games with four nominations, including the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. For those unfamiliar, Baba is You is a top-down puzzle game with the hook being that the rules of the world are present in every level as a physical object. Created with Multimedia Fusion 2, it won at the Nordic Game Jam 2017 and a full-fledged Steam version is set to release later this year. Let's watch the trailer.

Over 300 judges reviewed roughly 600 entries and came away with 35 nominated games. Here is the full list of nominees, via the Independent Games Festival website:

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)

Other multiple nominees include Night in the Woods, nominated for the Grand Prize, Excellence in Visual Art, and Excellence in Narrative; Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, nominated for the Grand Prize, Excellence in Design, and Nuovo Award; Night in the Woods, nominated for Grand Prize, Excellence in Visual Art, and Excellence in Narrative; and Cuphead for Best Visual Art and Excellence in Audio, along with an honorable mention for the Grand Prize.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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