2018 Independent Games Festival Nominees Announced

A mixture of notable indie games from 2017 and 2018 will vie for victory during the 20th annual IGF Awards. 

The nominees for the 20th annual Independent Games Festival have officially been announced. This year, the IGF Awards are scheduled to take place on March 21st during the Game Developers Conference and will be hosted by Trent Kusters (co-founder of League of Geeks).

Nominees were whittled down from 600+ entries, with the IGF finalists selected after being played, discussed, and meticulously evaluated. Included among the IGF finalists are an exciting mix of 2017 hits along with games to keep an eye on in 2018.

The reason for this blend of 2017 and 2018 titles stems from IGF’s eligibility requirements, which state that all games either need to be currently released, or be “substantially feature-complete.” The latter meaning that a developer needs to have the intent of releasing their game within 12 months of the IGF Ceremony.

Thanks to IGF’s eligibility criteria, indie fans can get a good idea as to what games may be worth keeping an eye on in 2018. So, without further ado, here are the nominees for the 2018 Independent Games Festival!

2018 Independent Games Festival Nominees

Below, you'll find the full list of nominees for this year's IGF Awards.

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (Bennett Foddy)
  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  • West of Loathing (Asymmetric Publications)
  • Into the Breach (Subset Games)
  • Heat Signature (Suspicious Developments)
  • Baba Is You (Hempuli)

Honorable Mentions: Tacoma (Fullbright), Rain World (VIDEOCULT), Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator (Game Grumps), Cosmic Top Secret (klassefilm), Hollow Knight (Team Cherry), Cuphead (Studio MDHR), Everything is Going to be OK (Nathalie Lawhead)

Excellence in Visual Art

  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  • Echo (ULTRA ULTRA)
  • Luna (Funomena)
  • The Gardens Between (The Voxel Agents)
  • Chuchel (Amanita Design)

Honorable Mentions: Dead Cells (Motion Twin), Jettomero: Hero of the Universe (Ghost Time Games), AER - Memories of Old (Forgotten Key), Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games), Rain World (VIDEOCULT), Shape of the World (Hollow Tree Games), Hollow Knight (Team Cherry)

Excellence in Audio

  • Tormentor X Punisher (e-studio)
  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  • Vignettes (Skeleton Business)
  • Rain World (VIDEOCULT)
  • Uurnog Uurnlimited (Nifflas Games)
  • Celeste (Matt Makes Games)

Honorable Mentions: Tumbleseed (Benedict Fritz, Greg Wohlwend, Joel Corelitz, David Laskey, and Jenna Blazevich), Hollow Knight (Team Cherry), Tacoma (Fullbright), Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games), Million Onion Hotel (Onion Games), Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)

Excellence in Design

  • Into the Breach (Subset Games)
  • Shenzhen I/O (Zachtronics)
  • Wilmot’s Warehouse (Richard Hogg, Ricky Haggett, Eli Rainsberry)
  • Baba Is You (Hempuli)
  • Uurnog Uurnlimited (Nifflas Games)
  • Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (Bennett Foddy)

Honorable Mentions: Heat Signature (Suspicious Developments), Dead Cells (Motion Twin), Factorio (Wube Software), Space Pirate Trainer (I-Illusions), Battle Chef Brigade (Trinket Studios), Tacoma (Fullbright)

Excellence in Narrative

  • Tacoma (Fullbright)
  • Attentat 1942 (Charles University and Czech Academy of Sciences)
  • Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (Dim Bulb Games)
  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  • Butterfly Soup (Brianna Lei)
  • Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games)

Honorable Mentions: A Mortician’s Tale (Laundry Bear Games), Lost Memories Dot Net (Star Maid Games), Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator (Game Grumps), Bury me, my Love (The Pixel Hunt, Figs and ARTE France), Cosmic Top Secret (klassefilm), West of Loathing (Asymmetric Publications), Rakuen (Laura Shigihara)

Nuovo Award

  • Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (Bennett Foddy)
  • Tarotica Voo Doo (TPM.CO SOFT WORKS)
  • 10 Mississippi (Karina Popp)
  • A Mortician’s Tale (Laundry Bear Games)
  • Cosmic Top Secret (klassefilm)
  • Everything is Going to Be OK (Nathalie Lawhead)
  • Baba Is You (Hempuli)
  • Kids (Playables)

Honorable Mentions: Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (Dim Bulb Games), IO Interloper (DANG!), The Norwood Suite (Cosmo D Studios), Cheap Golf (Pixeljam), Witchball (S.L. Clark), Million Onion Hotel (Onion Games)

Best Student Game

  • IO Interloper (DANG!)
  • Don’t Make Love (Maggese)
  • Penny Blue Finds a Clue (DigiPen Team Cactus Curse)
  • Baba Is You (Hempuli)
  • Guardian of the Gears (DigiPen Team Studio 76)

Honorable Mentions: Crewsaders (Titan Squad), A.L.F.R.E.D. (Hugo Lefevre, Joseph Reichenbach, Romain Jaohar-Gaillard, Garance Royere Lebigre, Nicolas Tham, Mario Speiser, Delphine Migeot de Baran, Song Huang), MOLOCH (Seemingly Pointless), Kyklo’s Code (Cube Factory), Membrane (Perfect Hat/Seth S. Scott), That Blooming Feeling (The Tots Team), Tell Me What You See (Pesky Bees)

All in all, there are a lot of fantastic nominees this year, including games who managed to snag repeat categories like Baba Is You by Hempuli. We can't wait to see who wins this year!

For those looking to get involved, the public will also have the chance to take part in awarding the winner of the IGF Audience Award. Online voting for the IGF Audience Award beings in late January, so be sure to check the IGF website later this month for more details on voting.

Morgan is a writer, indie game lover, and socially awkward coffee addict. Need something? Morgan can be reached at morgan.shaver@allgamers.com or if you like, you can say hello using GIFs on Twitter.

Nintendo Products

Shop Now


Shop Now