Indie Game’s Blockbuster! Here are the Independent Game Festival 2018 Finalists

By Febrianto Nur Anwari

Some titles like Cuphead, Night in the Woods and Baba is You are nominated in more than one category. Congratulations!

IGF 2018 has announced its finalists. Here is the list!

There are a lot of awards and festivals to recognize the best indie games in the world. One of the most popular events is Independent Game Festival (IGF) held annually in Game Developer Conference (GDC).

IGF is an event which honors the most influential, innovative and acclaimed projects in independent game development. This year will mark its 20th annual awards ceremony and will take place on March 21, 2018, during the GDC 2018.

Since its debut in 1999, the IGF has remained a platform that recognizes the efforts and artistic craft of some of the most beloved independent games in history, including revolutionary and memorable titles such as Her Story, Papers, Please, Minecraft and Fez.

30 Games, 7 Categories

Earlier this month, the organizer announced the IGF 2018 finalists who are going to compete in the final round. All the entries has been reviewed by over 300 judges, and then shortlisted into around 30 games.

There are seven categories of awards with six nominees in each category. A few titles received nominations in multiple categories, including Baba is You, Cuphead and Night in the Woods.

The winners of the IGF will be announced at the Independent Games Festival Awards which is going to take place on the evening of Wednesday, March 21st at Moscone Convention Center, California. They will receive more than $50,000 of prizes in various categories, including the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

So, here are the finalists for IGF 2018 awards.

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

IGF 2018 Finalist

Baba is You

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(StudioMDHR); Everything Is Going to Be OK (Nathalie Lawhead)

Excellence in Visual Art

IGF 2018 Finalist

The Gardens Between

Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)

Cuphead (StudioMDHR)


Luna (Funomena)

The Gardens Between (The Voxel Agents)

Chuchel (Amanita Design)

Honorable Mentions: Jettomero: Hero of the Universe (Ghost Time Games)Dead Cells (Motion Twin)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

IGF 2018 Finalist


Tormentor X Punisher (e-studio)

Cuphead (StudioMDHR)

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

IGF 2018 Finalist

Into the Breach

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)

Excellence in Narrative

IGF 2018 Finalist

Night in the Woods

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

IGF 2018 Finalist

Getting Over It with Bennet Foddy

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

IGF 2018 Finalist

Don’t Make Love

IO Interloper (DANG!)

Don’t Make Love (Maggese)

Penny Blue Finds a Clue (DigiPen Team Cactus Curse)

We Were Here (Total Mayhem Games)

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, Marion Speiser, Delphine Migeot de Baran, Song Huang)MOLOCH (Seemingly Pointless)Kyklos Code (Cube Factory)Membrane (Perfect Hat / Seth S. Scott)That Blooming Feeling (The Tots Team)Tell Me What You See (Pesky Bees)

Game Highlights


Baba is You (Hempuli)

Baba is You is the winner of Nordic Game Jam 2017. This is a puzzle game where the rules of the game are present as a physical object in the level, allowing you to alter the rules and game logic as a part of solving the puzzles. So, imagine you can solve a puzzle with a rule that can be defined by yourself.


Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)

Night in the Woods is an adventure game focused on exploration, story, and character, featuring dozens of characters to meet and lots to do across a lush, vibrant world. Previously, this game launched a Kickstarter campaign back in 2013 and successfully funded with US$209,375 pledged from more than 75,000 backers. This game is already available for PC.


Getting Over it With Bennett Foddy (Bennet Foddy)

First look at this game, we can assume that Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy is a kind of puzzle game. You move the hammer with the mouse, and that’s all there is. You’ll be able to jump, swing, climb, fly and help the man to climb and pass through the obstacle. This game is also available for PC.


Cuphead (Studio MDHR)

Cuphead is a classic run and gun action game heavily focused on boss battles. Inspired by cartoons of the 1930s, the visuals and audio are painstakingly created with the same techniques of the era, i.e. traditional hand-drawn cel animation, watercolor backgrounds, and original jazz recordings.


Into the Breach (Subset Games)

Into the Breach is a turn-based strategy that comes from the makers of Faster Than Light (FTL). In this game, you must control powerful mechs from the future to hold off this alien threat. Each attempt to save the world presents a new randomly generated challenge.

The public will also be able to take part in awarding the winner of the IGF Audience Award from all the finalists for the IGF. The organizer will launch an online voting for the Audience Award in late January.

Source: Gamasutra. Edited by Devi




About Writer

Febrianto is the Senior Editor of Duniaku.net and the Lead Editor of Gameprime.org. He started his career in game industry as a game journalist since 2008, and was one of the initial members of Duniaku.net since 2011. His biggest interest is local game developer scene. Currently, his mission is to spread the news about Indonesia’s game industry to both local and international game and creative industry’s enthusiast.