Stuck in a gaming rut? Try playing some of the IGF 2020 finalists


Mutazione earned the most nominations

The next time you’re looking to branch out beyond your typical week-to-week video game backlog, consider poring over the finalists for the 2020 Independent Games Festival. The list is brimming with wonderful indie games – some you’ll recognize, others you won’t – and it’s a great place to start.

One of the games on my must-play list is Mutazione, a garden-tending hang-out adventure from Die Gute Fabrik “where small-town gossip meets the supernatural.” It’s the most prevalent nominee this year, earning nods for the Grand Prize along with Excellence in Visual Art, Audio, and Narrative.

The IGF Awards will be hosted by Armello director Trent Kusters and live-streamed on March 18, 2020. After that ceremony wraps up, the night will continue with the Game Developers Choice Awards.

Let’s get into it. These are the Independent Games Festival finalists and runners-up for 2020:

A Short Hike

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

Honorable Mentions: Katana ZERO (Askiisoft); Lonely Mountains: Downhill (Megagon Industries); Song of Bloom (Philipp Stollenmayer); Wide Ocean, Big Jacket (Turnfollow); Elsinore (Golden Glitch); Astrologaster (Nyamyam); Heaven’s Vault (inkle)

Knights and Bikes

Excellence in Visual Art

Honorable Mentions: LUNA The Shadow Dust (Lantern Studio); Eastshade (Eastshade Studios); Minute of Islands(Studio Fizbin); Katana ZERO (Askiisoft); Song of Bloom (Philipp Stollenmayer); A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu); Creaks (Amanita Design)

Untitled Goose Game

Excellence in Audio

Honorable Mentions: Afterparty (Night School Studio); Kind Words (lo fi chill beats to write to) (Popcannibal); Manifold Garden (William Chyr Studio); Alt-Frequencies (Accidental Queens); Don’t Look (Don’t Look Team); Lonely Mountains: Downhill (Megagon Industries); Tales From Off-Peak City Vol. 1 (Cosmo D)

Katana Zero

Excellence in Design

Honorable Mentions: Guildlings (Sirvo Studios); Nauticrawl (Andrea Interguglielmi); Blabyrinth (Sleeping Beast Games); Children of Morta (Dead Mage); Void Bastards (Blue Manchu); Untitled Goose Game (House House); Creature in the Well (Flight School Studio)

Heaven's Vault

Excellence in Narrative

Honorable Mentions: American Election (Greg Buchanan); Night Call (Monkey Moon, BlackMuffin); Astrologaster(Nyamyam); A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu); Adventures With Anxiety! (Nicky Case); Observation (No Code)

Tales From Off-Peak City

Nuovo Award

Honorable Mentions: Astrologaster (Nyamyam); Elsinore (Golden Glitch); Fit for a King (Brent Ellison & Tanya X. Short); My Exercise (Atsushi Wada, Ryoya Usuha, Nobuaki Doi); Where the Bees Make Honey (Brian Wilson); Smile For Me (Gabe Lane and Yugo Limbo / LimboLane)

A Juggler's Tale

Best Student Game

Honorable Mentions: Unhatched (Filip Loster); Du Rejser (You Travel) (Victor Selnæs Breum + Katinka); Trail Mix(Puzzsoft); Where the Bees Make Honey (Brian Wilson); Northbound (Johannes Köberle & Arno Justus); Evergreen Blues(David Su and Dominique Star)

Here are your finalists for the 2020 Independent Games Festival Awards! [IGF]