The annual Independent Games Festival Awards nominees have been announced for 2022 and once again, the judges seem to have picked some great and popular independant games that may have otherwise flown under the radar for many gamers.
The point of the Independent Games Festival Awards is normally to commemorate games that were often underappreciated in their year of release. However, some breakout hits have also crept their way into the awards in recent years. One of the big winners in last year’s awards was Hades, which started off being overlooked before ending up with a small mountain of accolades after being universally praised by many different publications. Hades even became the inaugural winner of a Hugo award for best video game.
This year’s Independent Game Awards Festival once again focused on lesser-known games such as Inscryption. Although not widely popular, Inscryption was able to redefine what a horror game could actually be owing to the title being a deck-building card game. The creator of the game, Daniel Mullins stated in an interview with Game Rant that he never intended the game to be outwardly scary and instead went for a more creepy and intense style that seemed to hit the mark. Inscryption was nominated for the Seamus McNally Grand Prize as well as the Excellence in Design category.
Another interesting nominee at this year’s awards was Loop Hero, which was another game that decided to go against the grain. In Loop Hero players are not in control of the Hero, instead, the character makes their way along a pre-generated path in an empty landscape. The Hero then kills enemies along this path for which they receive landscape cards that change the terrain and offer different effects such as healing and increased movement speed. This fascinating game design choice is what led the judges to nominate the game for the Seamus McNally Grand Prize.
For many who played it, Unpacking is another very deserving nominee as the game was included in Nintendo’s list of its Top 15 best-selling indie games of 2021. Many fans of the game felt that it should have been a nominee for the Best Indie Game at The Game Awards but the title, unfortunately, did not make the cut. With this announcement, fans of Unpacking may finally feel satisfied that the game is getting some of the recognition that they feel it deserves thanks to the game getting nominated for the Seamus McNally Grand Prize. While the list of nominees is strong, Unpacking may just have what it takes to win it all.