IGF finalists include Stardew Valley, Inside and Event[0]

And so this cosmic dance begins anew. The finalists for the Independent Games Festival awards 2017 have been announced. Out of 650 games examined by the giant gang of 340 judges, a final 30 have been selected for a bunch of categories. There’s plenty of familiar names among them, including Inside, Stardew Valley, Virginia, Hyper Light Drifter and Event[0]. But also some other boyos worth giving some attention. Come on over here and let’s take a look at them all.

Let’s start with the big dollah prize, aka the Seumas McNally Grand Prize of $30,000. What’s in the running here and, more importantly, what do we think of it?

Seumas McNally Grand Prize nominees

That’s that. Her Story was last year’s big winner, beating Undertale, Mini Metro and Darkest Dungeon (among others) to the Grand Prize while also picking up the award for excellence in narrative. This year, Nina Freeman of Cibele (which won the Nuovo award last year) will be hosting the whole shebang on March 1 during the Game Developers Conference. We’ll let you know what wins on the day. Or you can watch it yourself on GDC’s Twitch stream. Until then you can argue among yourselves what deserves the love. Here’s the full list of finalists for all the other categories (or you can see it with additional honourable mentions here):

Best Student Game
Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (Sundae Month)
Lily, Colors of Santa Luz (Lily, Colors of Santa Luz Team)
Un Pas Fragile (PAF team)
FAR: Lone Sails (Mr. Whale’s Game Service / Mixtvision)
Frog Climbers (TeamCrew)
Bamboo Heart (Sokpop Collective)

Excellence in Audio
The Flame in the Flood (The Molasses Flood)
GoNNER (Art in Heart)
Virginia (Variable State)
Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
Everything (David OReilly)
Inside (Playdead)

Excellence in Design
Imbroglio (Michael Brough)
Ultimate Chicken Horse (Clever Endeavour Games)
Duskers (Misfits Attic)
Overcooked (Ghost Town Games)
Event[0] (Ocelot Society)
Quadrilateral Cowboy (Blendo Games)

Excellence in Narrative
Ladykiller in a Bind (Love Conquers All Games)
1979 Revolution: Black Friday (iNK Stories)
Virginia (Variable State)
Orwell (Osmotic Studios)
Event[0] (Ocelot Society)
One Night Stand (Kinmoku)

Excellence in Visual Art
The Flame in the Flood (The Molasses Flood)
Inside (Playdead)
Virginia (Variable State)
Old Man’s Journey (Broken Rules)
Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
She Remembered Caterpillars (jumpsuit entertainment)

Nuovo Award
Islands: Non-Places (Carlburton)
Close (Tobias Zarges and Moritz Eberl)
Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (Sundae Month)
Oiκοςpiel, Book I (David Kanaga)
Everything (David OReilly)
Virginia (Variable State)
Mu Cartographer (Titouan Millet)
Lieve Oma (Florian Veltman)


  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I really wanted to like Event[0], and I found the general storyline to be interesting, but the game was pitched as relying on a relationship with the AI.

    It just doesn’t matter what you say to Kaizen, the game always plays out the same. He’ll be a little more rude if you are, but that’s it. It’s beyond flat and boring.

    Also the game is twenty bucks and like two hours long.

  2. Premium User Badge

    alison says:

    I own a couple of these that I haven’t gotten around to playing yet (Diaries, Virginia), and 1979 was a great take on the Telltale formula, but how did NORTH not make the cut here? It’s one of the best games I have ever played.

    • MajorLag says:

      Undertale lost to Her Story for these people. I wouldn’t put a lot of faith in their judgement, personally.

  3. Frank says:

    Flame in the Flood is nice audio-wise, but I haven’t played most of the rest of these.

  4. malkav11 says:

    Wait, an IGF where frontrunners are actually available to the public? When did this happen?

  5. jonnyherbert says:

    That’s not how I normally spell Virginia.

  6. Czrly says:

    An Indie game list with no Zachlikes in it earns no respect from me.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    Penny was the “kind and boring” one from Stardew Valley, surely?