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2009 Independent Games Festival Finalists Revealed

by Rainier on Jan. 8, 2009 @ 10:15 a.m. PST

The Independent Games Festival has named the main competition finalists for its historic 11th annual set of awards, celebrating the most ground-breaking creations to come out of the independent game community this year.

From a record field of 226 entries, 30% over last year’s totals, a number of notable games scored multiple nominations this year, including orbital osmosis sim Osmos (3 nominations), abstract PSN action-er PixelJunk Eden (3 nominations), time-reversing guitar-compatible antishooter Retro/Grade (2 nominations), and atmospheric ball-ambulator Night Game (2 nominations).

Other examples of the finalists, which number more than twenty, include charming exploration-game Blueberry Garden and music-based block puzzler Musaic, both double nominees, and several of the finalists for the new Innovation award, including Ratloop’s Mightier, Jason Rohrer’s Between and Tale Of Tales’ The Graveyard.

Finalists were decided by a panel made up of over 40 industry-leading game creators and journalists, including the makers of previous IGF honorees World Of Goo, Braid, Aquaria and N+; industry veterans from studios including Maxis, Big Huge Games, and SuperVillain Studios; and noted writers from Wired, Newsweek, and MTV.

“IGF has seen another record-breaking year, both in terms of volume of entries and the bar of quality and innovation across the board,” said Simon Carless, IGF chairman. “We congratulate the amazing finalists, and thank Direct2Drive for working with us to help celebrate and encourage the creativity that comes from a healthy indie community.”

Finalist games will available in playable form on the GDC show floor, and will compete for nearly $50,000 in prizes, including awards for Innovation, Excellence in Design, and the coveted $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize, as well as the new Direct2Drive prize.

Winners will be announced on stage at the prestigious Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 25, 2009, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The Independent Games Festival Awards are held along with the Game Developers Choice Awards, and both award shows are part of the 2009 Game Developers Conference. Full festival information is available at

The finalists for the 2009 Independent Games Festival are:

Seumas McNally Grand Prize:

  • Blueberry Garden (Erik Svedang)
  • Osmos (Hemisphere Games)
  • Carneyvale Showtime (Singapore-MIT Gambit Game Lab)
  • Night Game (Nicalis)
  • Dyson (Rudolf Kremers/Alex May)

Excellence In Visual Art:

  • Zeno Clash (ACE Team)
  • PixelJunk Eden (Q-Games)
  • Machinarium (Amanita Design)
  • Cletus Clay (TunaSnax)
  • Feist (Filthy Grip)

Excellence In Audio:

  • Musaic (KranX Productions)
  • Blueberry Garden (Erik Svedang)
  • BrainPipe (Digital Eel)
  • PixelJunk Eden (Q-Games)
  • Retro/Grade (24 Caret Games)

Excellence In Design:

  • Retro/Grade (24 Caret Games)
  • Snapshot (Six AM)
  • Night Game (Nicalis)
  • Musaic (KranX Productions)
  • Osmos (Hemisphere Games)

Innovation Award:

  • Between (Jason Rohrer)
  • Mightier (Ratloop)
  • The Graveyard (Tale Of Tales)
  • Coil (From The Depths)
  • You Have To Burn The Rope (Mazapan)

Technical Excellence:

  • PixelJunk Eden (Q-Games)
  • Cortex Command (Data Realms)
  • Osmos (Hemisphere Games)
  • The Maw (Twisted Pixel Games)
  • Incredibots (Grubby Games)

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