Last night was the IGF and GDC Awards, a twin billing of awards shows that aims to celebrate indies (at the Independent Games Festival Awards) and blockbusters (at the Game Developers' Choice Awards).
The IGF portion was hosted by Victoria Tran, community director at Among Us studio Innersloth, and the GDCA portion was hosted by Sam Maggs, previously head writer for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and co-founder of new studio Soft Lock.
In the IGF categories, Umurangi Generation — a photography game in the vein of Pokémon Snap, but about a dystopian Aotearoa police state and impending doom — won big, scooping both the Excellence in Narrative prize and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
Genesis Noir also took home two awards: Excellence in Visual Art and Excellence in Audio, while black-and-white puzzle adventure game Arrog won the Audience Award. All of the games mentioned so far are on Switch! Hooray!
As for the non-Switch winners, we have voxel demolition simulation game Teardown winning Excellence in Design, surreal browser/social media fantasy sports game Blaseball winning the Nuovo Award (which is given to games that make the judges "think differently about games"; it used to be called the Innovation Award) and spooky space adventure game Vessels winning Best Student Game.
Congratulations to all the winners, finalists, and honourable mentions!
What? Not Areal Knights Never Yield? Was he even nominated?
I don't understand...
I quite like the look of this one. Really looks like a proper relaxing photography game so nice to see it’s winning awards.
Couldn't care less about awards.
Umurangi looks really interesting, just hoping for an eventual review while it sits on the wishlist.
@GrailUK You could care a little less and not comment, mate
@nofriendo Well, yeah, you got me there. But I don't not care so much as to not read anything lol.
Genesis Noir may be on the Switch, but NLife's review said it was a terrible, awkward, janky port and awarded it a 5, literally saying not only should you not play this on the Switch if you have any other options, but that "if you don't have any other options, still don't buy it, just wait until you do". So, hurrah for being on the Switch?
Still waiting for "Umurangi" to go on sale so I can snatch it up. Already have "Genesis Noir", "Paradise Killer" and "Spiritfarer", which were also finalists for the grand prize.
"The Independent Games Festival competitions have a diverse, industry-leading set of judges which includes representatives from mainstream games, the press, significant independent gaming websites, as well as previous winners, finalists and a number of indie veteran judges from the previous IGF judging pool."
It's basically the Oscars of independent games, and one of the awards that I follow closely every year.
@bimmy-lee we're not likely to do a full review, but I have played it — it can be slow and a little obtuse, especially when you have to do platforming sections to get the photo you need, but the environmental storytelling is quite special and interesting.
As for the story, it starts off pretty slow, but gets good quickly; it can be held back by its insistence on doing a Where's Wally of things to photograph, but there's always a lot of subtext to find as you explore.
It's probably around 4 hours of game time, if you don't care about 100%ing it, but you can take lovely photos whenever you like. There is a timer for each level, but it won't penalise you too much for taking longer to roam around and appreciate the surroundings.
And, honestly, we should be promoting more games that tackle what it's like to be part of an indigenous community during times like these!
@KateGray - Thanks for the mini review Kate! My biggest question was whether this was free roam or on rails. I love environmental storytelling, and every screen I’ve seen seems packed with it. It’s certainly reminiscent of photos and videos I’ve seen in the last week emerging from one of the current humanitarian crises. Thanks again!
@bimmy-lee ah, well, I can answer that!
It's not "on rails" like Pokémon Snap is, but there are levels that you'll be stuck in until you've completed all the objectives. You can freely roam around these levels, although they do have walls.
It very much sounds like you'll enjoy it
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