Tomorrow’s World: IGF Finalists 2013 Announced


Another year means another independent games festival (the 15th one, in fact), and now we know which games are in contention for gongs, bags of money and internet outrages.

Is your favourite in there? Probably not, because you’re a very naughty person.

Let’s see what we’ve got:

Excellence In Visual Art
Incredipede (Northway Games and Thomas Shahan)
Kentucky Route Zero (Cardboard Computer)
Guacalamelee! (Drinkbox Studios)
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime (Asteroid Base)
Year Walk (Simogo)

Honorable mentions: Fly’n (Ankama Play); Eleven (Christoffer Hedborg, Datahowler); The Bridge (Ty Taylor and Mario Castaneda); Thomas Was Alone (Mike Bithell, David Housden and Danny Wallace); Hundreds (Semi Secret feat. aeiowu)

Excellence In Narrative
Thirty Flights of Loving (Blendo Games)
Cart Life (Richard Hofmeier)
Kentucky Route Zero (Cardboard Computer)
Dys4ia (Auntie Pixelante)
Gone Home (The Fullbright Company)

Honorable mentions: Goblet Grotto (thecatamites, j chastain, NEW VADERS); Analogue: A Hate Story (Christine Love); Papo & Yo (Minority Media); The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe); 7 Grand Steps (Mousechief)

Technical Excellence
StarForge (CodeHatch)
Perspective (DigiPen Widdershins)
Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation)
Intrusion 2 (Aleksey Abramenko)
LiquidSketch (Tobias Neukom)

Honorable mentions: Mobiloid (Monty Melby); Skulls Of The Shogun (17-BIT); Foldit (University of Washington); 140 (Jeppe Carlsen); Gateways (Smudged Cat Games)

Excellence In Design
Samurai Gunn (Beau Blyth)
FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)
Starseed Pilgrim (Droqen & Ryan Roth)
Super Hexagon (Terry Cavanagh)
Super Space ______ (David Scamehorn & Alexander Baard/DigiPen)

Honorable mentions: Spaceteam (Henry Smith); Helix (Michael Brough); Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation); Rymdkapsel (Martin Jonasson, Grapefrukt Games); Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games)

Excellence In Audio
Kentucky Route Zero (Cardboard Computer)
Bad Hotel (Lucky Frame)
140 (Jeppe Carlsen)
Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games)
Pixeljunk 4AM (Q-Games)

Honorable mentions: Thomas Was Alone (Mike Bithell, David Housden and Danny Wallace); Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation); Gone Home (The Fullbright Company); Fract OSC (Phosfiend Systems); Dust: An Elysian Tale (Humble Hearts)

Nuovo Award
[Designed to honor abstract… and unconventional game development’.]
Cart Life (Richard Hofmeier)
Spaceteam (Henry Smith)
Dys4ia (Auntie Pixelante)
Bientot l’ete (Tale of Tales)
7 Grand Steps (Mousechief)
MirrorMoon (SantaRagione + BloodyMonkey)
VESPER.5 (Michael Brough)
Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation)

Honorable mentions: Renga (wallFour); Starseed Pilgrim (Droqen & Ryan Roth); Frog Fractions (Twinbeard); Thirty Flights of Loving (Blendo Games); The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe)

Seumas McNally Grand Prize
Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games)
FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)
Cart Life (Richard Hofmeier)
Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation)
Kentucky Route Zero (Cardboard Computer)

Honorable mentions: Gone Home (The Fullbright Company); Thirty Flights of Loving (Blendo Games); The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe); Super Hexagon (Terry Cavanagh); Starseed Pilgrim (Droqen & Ryan Roth)

My pick for Grand Prize? Don’t make me decide between Hotline Miami and FTL, but frankly that’s an incredible shortlist throughout. I’d happily see any of those take home the gold, I think. I suppose it’s a mite sad that the McNally category is dominated by established, successful games, but then that speaks to the huge change – and mass acceptance – of indie gaming lately.


  1. bateleur says:

    Seems like a really great list – easily the least I’ve ever disagreed with the judges.

    Hmm… maybe the new judging system actually works?! :-O

  2. AmateurScience says:

    I do hope FTL picks up a gong, certainly the game I enjoyed most out of the grand prize entrants – although I haven’t played Kentucky Route Zero. All the nominees are worthy though. Actually the whole list is looking pretty good!

    PS this post was almost simply: ‘Today’s fish is trout a la crème’ but I thought I’d subject you to my opinions instead. Ha.

  3. povu says:

    Oh, Stanley.

  4. westyfield says:

    It’s got to be Frog Fractions and FTL. Mostly because they’re the only two on that list that I’ve played.

  5. MOKKA says:

    I hope Super Hexagon wins the Design award. Terry Cavanagh deserves an award for this game.

    • Meat Circus says:

      Fuck Super Hexagon. RIGHT IN THE EAR.

      (I agree)

    • L. Boom says:

      Yeah, you can never be sure with these things, but if any category’s a lock, surely it’s Design for Super Hexagon.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Super Hexagon should just win everything ever and be declared king of the world.

      • b830702 says:

        I’ve read this before years ago, but by a different unknown developer with a different game title. I present to you, Dawn:

        • x3m157 says:

          Fuck you b830702.

          Though I must say, that is the most creative attempt at spam I’ve seen so far.

          • SubparFiddle says:

            Uh oh, I think the spam bots are trying to convince us that usernames with random numbers and letters are legitimate! Be wary of this one!

  6. rustybroomhandle says:

    I’m a naughty person then because… WOT? No The Real Texas anywhere? An outrage.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Ooh, Kentucky Route Zero. I’d completely forgotten about that one.

  8. Urthman says:

    I really don’t understand an award system that pits finished and released games like FTL and Hotline Miami against works in progress.

  9. Deano2099 says:

    I’m happy to see them dominated if not by established, successful games, games we can actually play right now (because they’re out, not because they’re on PC).

    They’ve become increasingly irrelevant to the consumer as they were highlighting games a regular person couldn’t play.

    • waaaaaaaals says:

      Certainly beats them being dominated by Minecraft while it was still in beta or FEZ before it even came out.

      They really need to add a rule about games having a full release, commercial or otherwise, before they can be accepted. They’ve already got to have the money to pay their entry fee from somewhere.

    • Lambchops says:

      Precisely what I was going to say as well, I don’t really mind pre-release games being in per se (Aquaria and Darwinia scooped awards pre release if I remember rightly) but the game should at least be well on the road to being a playable thing to the public (thanks to this I’ve now heard of Kentucky Route Zero which looks like my type of thing and is coming soon). I think this is especially true now since the success of Kickstarter et al. In previous years an IGF prize might have been one of the few things that was available to help tide a small developer over and get their game out there. This sort of curation aspect is less of an issue now (and still represented in the Neuvo award) thanks to the likes of Kickstarter and the grand prize can focus on awarding games wot were good.

      Good to see Cart Life get a few nods, I stopped playing it due to some bugs (perhaps ironed out now so might give it another go) but once you get into the flow of it it’s a worthwhile experience. I was going to say “and enjoyable” but it isn’t and I think that’s rather the point.

      Hope FTL scoops the grand prize (Hotline Miami wasn’t for me, though I guess it can win soundtrack if it wants!) and as some folks above mentioned Super Hexagon is a great shout for the design category,

  10. Laketown says:

    Why did Frog Fractions only get an honorable mention? did they not give the IGF enough zorkmids?

    I’m also not sure why Dys4ia is getting so much praise; it’s cool and all, and I appreciate the attention it got outside of this but it’s just not great as a game, or as a narrative.

    • lordcooper says:

      Yeah, I never really understood all the attention Dys4ia gets either. It’s -alright- IMO, nothing more, nothing less.

  11. Porpentine says:



  12. Lucas Says says:

    It’s interesting how there are so many already released games on the list. My recollection of previous years has been that they’ve mostly honored games not yet released, so it’s strange to see such a shift.

    Obligatory cynical remark: no Fez? Didn’t it release this year? Hurr hurr hurr. Back to my hole.

    • Moraven says:

      Damnit, you beat me to it.

      I thought Fez would be in the running for the Nuovo Award [Designed ‘to honor abstract… and unconventional game development’.]

    • Hoaxfish says:

      If you weren’t aware the IGF was renamed to the IGF, it now stands for “It’s Glorious Fez”

  13. pakoito says:

    Too much Little Inferno for my taste. That is one game for the critics…

    • noclip says:

      I still don’t get the message of Little Inferno. It seems like all it’s saying is “social games are pretty shallow and exploitative, huh?”. Well, duh.

  14. Hoaxfish says:

    Also, 4chan’s /v/ has opened its 2012 /v/GAs voting: link to

  15. sketch says:

    Man, Antichamber is never coming out is it?

  16. Mr. Mister says:

    Wasn’t expecting Intrusion 2 to be here, now I don’t know how dare I not expect it. Technicall excellence? Grabber gives a thumbs up!

  17. RagingLion says:

    This is one of my favourite days of the year for reading about games – discovering and seeing new exciting concepts and presentation.

  18. TheLupineOne says:

    Yes, Guacamelee! for Art award, yes please, I love Lawlzy, the artist for this game, and yes, I know it’s a PS3/PSVita game, please don’t shoot me.

    As for the McNally, haven’t played any of them, so no opinion.

    • LTK says:

      I’ve never heard of Guacamelee, but it has an awesome name.

      (Had to double check that is it not, in fact, spelled Guacalamelee, as it is in the above list.)

      Buuuuut…. not for PC. Boo hiss.

  19. thecaptain says:

    Thrilled to see Cart Life getting some love. That game was fantastic and depressing in all the right ways.

  20. SonicTitan says:


  21. kyrieee says:

    Little Inferno huh

  22. wsworin says:

    Happy to see StarForge make it. :)

  23. tobecooper says:

    The Hate Story should get more love.

  24. Dirk Beefhammer says:

    Looking at that list I only played Hotline Miami and FTL. So many games I haven’t even heard of before,

  25. D3xter says:

    “Excellence In Narrative: Thirty Flights of Loving”

    No…, just… no.

    • ZIGS says:

      Never played it but if it’s anything like Gravity Bone (the prequel) then that nomination is the biggest travesty of gaming in a long time

  26. kimadactyl says:

    Surprised Fez isn’t in there!

  27. LTK says:

    Pretty glad to see Fly’N get an honourable mention. I thought I was the only one to appreciate that little gem.

    But, wait a minute, aren’t these supposed to be the finalists for 2012? Or is the contest dated on the year it is held?

    And what’s this? Thomas Was Alone as an honourable mention in ‘Excellence of visual art’? What have those judges been smoking?

  28. Niymiae says:

    Where the hell is Dustforce? :(
    Seems to be the most underrated game of 2012.

    • surreal_pistachio says:

      Agreed! It’s the game I’ve played the most this year!

  29. Patches the Hyena says:

    Super Hexagon and Hotline Miami to win everything.

  30. Shooop says:

    Ooooooh I want to try Year Walk.

    Year Walk launches on iOS this winter.


  31. Mario Figueiredo says:

    I find that the year ended in stark contrast to the commercial alternative. It’s was a poor year for indie games.

  32. Deano2099 says:

    Should there not be a conflict of interest notice on this thing, given that some RPS writers were judges for it?

    It may seem silly, but I do think half the reason the IGF gets so much coverage versus other indie awards is that it ropes in so many journos to judge for it, who then obviously want to cover the thing so their work feels vaguely worthwhile.

  33. Kaminnozh says:

    So, games like Awesomenauts, Deadlight, Shad’O, The Iconoclasts and some other didn’t even got honorable mention because…? Why?

  34. noodlecake says:

    So the Seumas McNally Grand Prize is more than likely going to go to an already successful and profitable game… This didn’t used to be what these awards were about!