Mutazione, Untitled Goose Game, and A Short Hike do battle for IGF award's top prize

(Image credit: Akupara Games)
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Mutazione (opens in new tab), the "mutant soap opera" adventure game set in a gossipy small town 100 years after a meteor strike, leads this year's selection of Independent Games Festival awards nominees with four nominations including for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. 

Other games with multiple nominations this year include Knights and Bikes (opens in new tab) (Excellence in Visual Art and Audio), Elsinore (opens in new tab) (Excellence in Design and Narrative), Slay the Spire (opens in new tab) (Seumas McNally Grand Prize and Excellence in Design), A Short Hike (opens in new tab) (Seumas McNally Grand Prize and Excellence in Design), Eliza (opens in new tab) (Seumas McNally Grand Prize and Excellence in Narrative), and Untitled Goose Game (opens in new tab) (Seumas McNally Grand Prize and Excellence in Audi (opens in new tab)o, because of course it is). 

Nominees for the 2020 IGF awards were drawn from a selection of more than 550 games, which were submitted to "a diverse set of expert jurors from across the industry for final consideration." The winners will be announced during a ceremony that will take place on March 18 during the Game Developers Conference. For those who can't attend in person, the whole thing will be livestreamed on Twitch (opens in new tab).

Behold the full slate of nominees:

Seumas McNally Grand Prize:

  • Eliza (Zachtronics)
  • A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu)
  • Untitled Goose Game (House House)
  • Mutazione (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Slay the Spire (Mega Crit Games)
  • Anodyne 2: Return to Dust (Sean Han Tani & Marina Kittaka)

Excellence in Visual Art

  • Mutazione (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Knights and Bikes (Foam Sword)
  • Void Bastards (Blue Manchu)
  • Creature in the Well (Flight School Studio)
  • Eastward (Pixpil)
  • Stone Story RPG (Martian Rex / standardcombo)

Excellence in Audio

  • Observation (No Code)
  • Vectronom (Ludopium)
  • Astrologaster (Nyamyam)
  • Knights and Bikes (Foam Sword)
  • Mutazione (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Untitled Goose Game (House House)

Excellence in Design

  • Katana ZERO (Askiisoft)
  • Lonely Mountains: Downhill (Megagon Industries)
  • Slay the Spire (Mega Crit Games)
  • A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu)
  • Elsinore (Golden Glitch)
  • Patrick's Parabox (Patrick Traynor)

Excellence in Narrative

  • Mutazione (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Heaven's Vault (inkle)
  • Elsinore (Golden Glitch)
  • Wide Ocean, Big Jacket (Turnfollow)
  • Eliza (Zachtronics)
  • LIONKILLER (Sisi Jiang)

Nuovo Award 

  • Tales From Off-Peak City Vol. 1 (Cosmo D) 
  • Infini (Barnaque) 
  • The Space Between (Christoph Frey) 
  • Life Tastes Like Cardboard (Demensa)
  • Promesa (Julián Palacios)
  • Song of Bloom (Philipp Stollenmayer)
  • The Longing (Studio Seufz)
  • PAGAN: Autogeny (Oleander Garden)

Best Student Game

  • Orbital Bullet (SmokeStab)
  • A Juggler's Tale (kaleidoscube)
  • Forgotten (Mutiny Games)
  • Neon Beats (OKYO Games)
  • BORE DOME (Goblin rage)
  • Nothing In Sight (Nothing In Sight Team)

The winner of the alt.ctrl.GDC award, given to "the most engaging, intriguing, and well-executed game using unconventional, accessible or alternative physical controls," will also be handed out during the ceremony. More than 20 games are in the running for the trophy and $2000 prize this year—the full list of contenders, with trailers, is available at gdconf.com (opens in new tab).

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.