IGF 2015 Finalists Led By Talos, Invisible Inc, War Of Mine

Finalists for the 2015 Independent Games Festival awards have been announced, and it’s a good-lookin’ list full of many-splendoured things. Croteam’s The Talos Principle, Klei’s Invisible Inc and 11 Bit’s This War Of Mine are the most recurrent PC games (that we’re all able to play already) in the list, but there are quite a few other splendid titles you might have seen on RPS over the last few months in there too. A whole bunch I really need to check out myself, too. I hear particularly good things about Grand Prize finalist Outer Wilds, which is perhaps the most outsiderish contender in there. Anyway: everything in the running is below. What do you make of the line-up this year?

Here’s the line-up of finalists, distilled from some 650 games entered in total:

Excellence In Visual Art

Donut County (Ben Esposito)

Lumino City (State of Play Games)

Else Heart.Break() (Niklas Akerblad, Erik Svedang, et al.)

Memory of a Broken Dimension (XRA)

Metamorphabet (Patrick Smith)

Oquonie (XXIIVV and Kokorobot)

Honorable mentions: Crawl (Powerhoof); Future Unfolding (Spaces of Play); Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine); Mini Metro (Dinosaur Polo Club); The Sailor’s Dream (Simogo); The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts).

Excellence In Narrative

80 Days (Inkle Studios)

Coming Out Simulator 2014 (Nicky Case)

Ice-Bound: A Novel of Reconfiguration (Down to the Wire)

Pry (Tender Claws)

This War of Mine (11 Bit Studios)

Three Fourths Home ([Bracket]Games)

Honorable mentions: Curtain (Llaura, Dreamfeeel); Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) (Upper One Games/E-Line Media); Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wilds); The Fall (Over The Moon); The Sailor’s Dream (Simogo); The Talos Principle (Croteam).

Excellence In Design

80 Days (Inkle Studios)

Framed (Loveshack)

Invisible Inc. (Klei Entertainment)

Killer Queen (Joshua DeBonis & Nikita Mikros)

Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wilds)

The Talos Principle (Croteam)

Honorable mentions: Desert Golfing (Captain Games); Dungeon of the Endless (Amplitude Studios); Endless Legend (Amplitude Studios); Helix (Michael Brough); Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Steel Crate Games); Mini Metro (Dinosaur Polo Club),


Excellence In Audio

Ephemerid: A Musical Adventure (SuperChop Games)

Phonopath (Kevin Regamey)

Shovel Knight (Yacht Club Games)

The Sailor’s Dream (Simogo Games)

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts)

Thumper (Drool)

Honorable mentions: Deep Under the Sky (Rich Edwards and Colin Northway); Fotonica (Santa Ragione); Goat Simulator (Coffee Stain Studios); Hotline Miami 2 (Dennaton); Nuclear Throne (Vlambeer); Smash Hit (Mediocre).


Nuovo Award

Become A Great Artist In Just 10 Seconds (Michael Brough and Andi McClure)

Bounden (Game Oven)

Desert Golfing (Captain Games)

Elegy For A Dead World (Dejobaan Games & Popcannibal)

How Do You Do It? (Nina Freeman, Emmett Butler, Jonathan Kittaka and Deckman Coss)

Plug & Play (Mario von Rickenbach and Michael Frei / Etter Studio)

Rooftop Cop (Stephen Lawrence Clark)

Tetrageddon Games (Nathalie Lawhead)

Honorable mentions: Curtain (Llaura, Dreamfeeel); Ice-Bound: A Novel of Reconfiguration (Down to the Wire); International Jetpack Conference (Rob Dubbin and Allison Parrish); Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wiilds); Phonopath (Kevin Regamery); Push Me Pull You (House House).


Seumas McNally Grand Prize

80 Days (Inkle Studios)

Invisible Inc. (Klei Entertainment)

Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wilds)

The Talos Principle (Croteam)

Metamorphabet (Patrick Smith)

This War of Mine (11 Bit Studios)

Honorable mentions: Donut County (Ben Esposito); Endless Legend (Amplitude Studios)Killer Queen (Joshua DeBonis & Nikita Mikros)Shovel Knight (Yacht Club Games)The Sailor’s Dream (Simogo Games); The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts).

Congrats and good luck to everyone. The 2015 IGF awards on happen Wednesday, March 4h at the San Francisco Moscone Convention Center. We’ll be looking more closely at all the PC games in the running for prizes soon.


  1. Geebs says:

    This year’s awards are early access. The final versions will be released to the devs in 2017.

    (Snark aside, this looks like a very impressive year although I would be voting for the Talos Principle in all categories, especially the ones it’s not actually in)

    • DrollRemark says:

      Yes. The Talos Principle is genuinely fantastic.

    • spookas says:

      I’m genuinely curious about the eligibility for IGF. A lot of these games aren’t even close to completion. Memories of a Broken Dimension legitimately looks gorgeous but based on what… a minute-long teaser trailer?

  2. Stellar Duck says:

    Oh hey! 80 Days is out on Android! To the Android Shop or whatever it’s called!

    That aside, there are some very good games in this list, at least based on the ones I’ve played and what I’ve heard from others.

    I really must look into Elegy for a Dead World soon!

  3. NordicNinja says:

    Killer Queen is an absolute blast, i’m really glad to see it nominated for design. Well deserved.

    Definitely gameraging over no Transistor anywhere, though.

  4. MrFinnishDude says:

    The vanishing of Ethan Carter didn’t make it in the visuals section?
    I’m officially befuddled.

    • Frosty Grin says:

      It’s not the “visuals” section. It’s the visual art section – and the visuals in The Vanishing of Ethan Carter look so impressive partly because of the level of detail and the technical aspects, not just because of the art.

      • Zallgrin says:

        Yet still, it disregards the great choice of its colour scheme, arrangement of trees and etc and just the sheer beauty of it. I have taken many random screenshots that turned out great because the developers have settled for a great composition – like that bridge, or the manor, or the forest with the tree arch.

        Basically, I strongly disagree with trying to separate between technological and design choices.

  5. mukuste says:

    Croteam are indie? I’m genuinely asking, thought they have been around long enough/are big enough not to fall under that moniker. But then, they do self-publish these days I guess?

  6. almostDead says:

    Invisible is too hard.

  7. eggy toast says:

    Invisible Inc is really great, I’ll keep saying it every chance I get

  8. Frosty Grin says:

    I’m happy to see Memory of a Broken Dimension get some recognition. It really looks special.

  9. somnolentsurfer says:

    I read that headline as including ‘Invisible War’.

  10. Brosecutor says:

    What about One Finger Death Punch? Your Kung-Fu is weak, IGF!

  11. Catchcart says:

    I just had a go at Coming Out Simulator 2014 and recommend it wholeheartedly. It’s engaging, well made, and somewhat disturbing albeit not without a sense of humour and uplifting-ness. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the developer. Also: His cartoon representation of himself is totes cute.