The self-proclaimed "Sundance of Independent Video Games", IndieCade came to a close last weekend and since they like to fancy themselves a Sundance-esque festival it looks like they give out some awards to games that have achieved a particular thing. Is it obvious that I don't really know how awards work [note: I've never won an award for anything and it's not in my nature to be mysterious but I don't want to talk about why].
Below is a shortlist of some of the games that won awards during IndieCade that I really took a liking to. Now before I start talking about these games, I don't really know too much about any of them (I have a brief history with one of them but you'll hear about that in the block), so these are all my initial impressions of each game and how I kind of, sort of, already really like them.
Memory of a Broken Dimension -- Visual Design and Audio Design Awards
Memory of a Broken Dimension might be one of the weirdest games I've ever seen. I don't really know what it's about and if it's an actual game. It treads the line between fiction and non-fiction so carefully, taking soft steps between what might be real and what might not be. It doesn't even call itself a game on its website. It's described as a "emulator of obscure research software" and, honestly, I have no idea what that means. But I do know there's a lot more to it than just purposely glitchy graphics and an eerie soundtrack.
Donut County -- Story/World Design Award
Donut County is a game that looked at Katamari Damacy and said, "Hey, I want to do that but cuter". The trailers soundtrack is Wes Anderson-esque and the bright, vibrant colors are easy on the eyes. The character design is amazingly cute (do you see the raccoon in the screenshot above?). I'm not too sure about the game itself, but it's a game where the player gets control of a hole that gets bigger every time something falls into it. It seems like the perfect game to play after a long day at work.
Her Story -- Grand Jury Award
Her Story is a game that I've followed ever since it was announced. It has since left my brain and it only returned after I found out it won the Grand Jury Award. From what I know about it, I think that it greatly deserves it. Most nitpickers would say that Her Story is a game but I believe it is. It pushes the medium in a way that has never been done before. It's self-described as a game about "a woman being interviewed by the police" but I don't think that does the game justice. From what I've heard from friends and other websites, it's a game about empathy and awareness. It's one that sticks with you long after you play it.
And those three were the games that resonated with me the most. I mean, of course, there are dozens and dozens of games that were shown at IndieCade this past weekend, but I don't think I have the time (or the determination) to get through all of them and work a job that is a job.
If those three games intrigued you check out the video above which is a short synopsis of the IndieCade Awards Ceremony.