2015 Independent Games Festival Awards finalists include both the familiar and the new

80 Days screenshot 10
The 2015 Independent Games Festival released its list of finalists, all of which will be playable on the convention floor of of the 2015 Game Developer’s Conference in March when the winners are announced.

Nearly 650 nominees were whittled down by expert committees of industry professionals into the list of almost 40 finalists and a selection of honorable mentions in each category. The nominees include a number of games that have already caught our attention here at Digital Trends, and plenty of other interesting sounding pieces we haven’t been able to check out yet.

The Talos Principle, from Serious Sam developer Croteam, is up for the Suemas McNally grand prize, as well as the award for Excellence in Design. This first-person puzzler combines head-scratching environmental puzzles with a philosophical and introspective narrative, promising to keep your brain firing on all cylinders late into the night. That is, unless you stole the game, in which case it promises to lock you in an elevator.

Invisible Inc. is a turn-based stealth/strategy game from Klei Entertainment (Don’t Starve, Mark of the Ninja), also in contention for both the grand prize and Excellence in Design. Think XCOM, but with spies instead of marines. Steadily rising alert levels encourage you to get in and get out as quickly as possible in the game’s espionage and infiltration missions, but the promise of greater rewards to be found if you stick around and explore creates a delicious risk/reward tension.

80 Days, an innovative mobile game from the small, British Inkle Studios, is also up for both the grand prize and Excellence in Design. This twist on Jules Verne’s classic novel combines resource management with choose-your-own-adventure storytelling into a race around the world that plays out very differently each time, depending on your choices. The action plays out in real time, with the travails of other players around the world showing up on your map to drive you forward in this steampunk race.

Elegy for a Dead World, from Dejobaan Games and Pop Cannibal, is up for the Nuovo Award that honors games that stretch our notion of what games can be. A vistor from Earth on distant, alien worlds, you are tasked with exploring their ruins and speculating about the secrets of the civilizations that once flourished there. The fascinating twist is that throughout your exploration you are prompted to write about your journey and share your ideas about what you find. These are then shared with the world, making the game a platform for communal storytelling and player creativity.

The full list of nominees and honorable mentions is available on the IGF website. Winners will be announced on March 4 in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference 2015, preceding the Game Developers Choice awards.


‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ wins Game of the Year in 2018 Steam Awards

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds took home Game of the Year at the 2018 Steam Awards. The other awards handed out include Labor of Love, Better with Friends, and Most Fun with a Machine.

You can play these classic Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One

The Xbox One supports backward compatibility with a growing library of Xbox 360 games. These are the best Xbox 360 games that are backward compatible with Xbox One, including action games, shooters, and more.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.

Here's how you can play your favorite PC games with a Nintendo Switch controller

Nintendo's Switch controllers, including the Joy-Cons and the aptly titled Pro Controller, use Bluetooth, which makes them compatible with your PC. Here's how to start using them for PC gaming.

I'm canceling my backlog for Apex Legends. Be back never

Live service games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are eating up everyone's time, leaving other games out in the cold. While my backlog continues to grow, it seems the gaming industry is struggling to keep up as well.

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.

Get creative and collect 15 coins with our Fortnite overtime challenges guide

The first Fortnite overtime challenges are now available. Use our guide to help you collect the hidden coins in the featured Creative mode islands and get closer to that free season eight battle pass.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.

Become a champion with our beginner's guide to Apex Legends

Jumping into Apex Legends for the first time? Need help becoming a champion? Our Apex Legends beginner's guide has 15 tips and tricks that will hopefully help your team make it into the champion's circle.

Buy a new Switch console and get a $35 eShop gift card at some retailers

Multiple retailers are currently offering the Neon Blue and Red Nintendo Switch console with a free $35 eShop gift card. The system still costs the standard $300 and includes Joy-Con controllers and the dock.

Thrive in the nuclear apocalypse with our Metro Exodus survival guide

Metro Exodus is a difficult shooter, especially if you're new to the series' blend of stealth, action, and scavenging. Here is what you need to know to survive the nuclear apocalypse.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.