A squirreled-away secret panel has whittled down a long-list of 18 games to a shortlist of just seven for this year's GameCity Prize. The GameCity Prize was launched as part of GameCity6 in October 2011. Minecraft, the open world building title and phenomenal success from Mojang founder Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, was the first winner last year.

Like last year, with Pokémon Black, Nintendo has a title in the final shortlist: Super Mario 3D Land.

Here are all of the shortlisted titles for 2012:

  • Catherine – Atlus Persona Games
  • Fez – Polytron
  • Johann Sebastian Joust – Die Gute Fabrik
  • Journey – thatgamecompany
  • Mass Effect 3 – Bioware
  • Proteus – Ed Key and David Kanaga
  • Super Mario 3D Land – Nintendo EAD

Deciding a winner, we’ve got a jury comprised of cultural commentators and leaders in their fields, all intentionally chosen from outside of the videogame industry. The Prize is chaired by the film maker Lord Puttnam, and includes: Lucy Kellaway, columnist with the Financial Times; comic artist and writer, David Gibbons; UK designer Wayne Hemingway; award winning journalist and BBC broadcaster Samira Ahmed; writer and broadcaster Ekow Eshun; writer and actress Louise Brealey; actor, writer, singer, comedian and novelist, Charlie Higson and BBC Radio DJ and television presenter, Jo Whiley.

The winner of the 2012 GameCity Prize will be announced on Wednesday 24 October 2012, at the GameCity7 festival in Nottingham. In all honesty we'll be surprised if Super Mario 3D Land wins: while we feel it's an excellent game and innovates with its use of 3D, it's difficult to see the prize going to anything other than the fantastic PSN title, Journey.

[via prize.gamecity.org]