Last night, the Independent Game Festival (IGF) Awards took place at GDC in San Fransisco. So we're here to bring you the winners of each award, recognized for creating a great and often impactful indie game!


Winners of the Seumas McNally Grand Prize ($10,000) - Venba

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Venba takes home IGF's Seumas McNally Grand Prize, awarded to a game for innovation, quality, impressiveness, and overall enjoyability of the title. Essentially, it means the game was voted the best of the best. The game is of course on Steam and rated Verified on the Steam Deck by Valve.

Excellence in Visual Art ($2000) - Phonopolis

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IGF's Excellence in Visual Art is awarded to the game for the most impressive and high-quality visual art, and you can kind of see why Phonopolis took this one home, it certainly has a unique and striking art style that sets it apart from most games you see.

Excellence In Audio ($2000) - Rhythm Doctor

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Unsurprisingly, IGF's best Audio Design goes to a game based around rhythm/music. Rhythm Doctor has actually been in Early Access on Steam for a few years. It's been received very well by the community and is verified on the Steam Deck, so it might be worth looking into if you're after a solid rhythm game!

Excellence In Design ($2000) - Cryptmaster

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Cryptmaster walks away with IGF's Excellence in Design award. This includes things such as level design, design and functionality of game mechanics, as well as difficulty balancing. We can certainly see the uniqueness that Cryptmaster offers, which is likely why it was nominated for and won this award! It launches on May 9th, 2024.

Excellence in Narrative ($2000) - Mediteranea Inferno

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Mediterranea Inferno won IGF's Excellence in Narrative award. Which means it was selected for having the best storytelling, made up of dialogue, plot construction, and the scenario itself. The game falls under the Visual Novel genre, so it's fitting that it won an award for its narrative. It's available now on Steam and is rated Verified on the Steam Deck.

Nuovo Award ($2000) - Anthology of the Killer


Anthology of the Killer won IGF's Nuovo Award, which is given to games that challenge the norms, such as by taking a unique approach to game-making or taking risks, making you think differently about video games as a medium. The "game" is certainly unique, as it is made up of 9 different games that you can download from or Gamejolt. A full collection of all 9 games will be released in April 2024.

Best Student Game ($2000) - Once Upon a Jester


Once Upon a Jester takes IGF's Best Student Game award. No prizes for guessing what this award is for though, it's simply the best game that was produced by a student! It's not surprising when you check out the Steam reviews for this title, as of writing this article, it has 115 reviews, all of which are positive, meaning it holds a rare 100% rating.

Audience Award ($2000) - RAM: Random Access Mayhem


RAM: Random Access Mayhem won the IGF Audience Award, which is voted for by the public, it's a fast-paced top-down shooter where there is no player character. Switch between controlling enemies and deal as much carnage as possible!

alt.ctrl.gdc Award ($2,000) - Chú Mó


Chú Mó took home the alt.ctrl.gdc Award, which the IGF gives to games that are engaging, intriguing, and well-executed using unconventional, accessible, or alternative physical controls.

And that wraps it up for this year's IGF Awards, go check out the winners and you just might find yourself a gem you can enjoy playing!

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Oliver Stogden
Oliver began playing video games at an early age, starting with the SNES console and Commodore Amiga computer. Nowadays, his interest is in the future of portable technology, such as handheld gaming systems, portable power stations/banks, and portable monitors. And seeing just how far we can push these devices.
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