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‘Return of the Obra Dinn’ Leads IGF Awards Nominees

Lucas Pope’s excellent puzzle game/murder mystery “Return of the Obra Dinn” leads this year’s Independent Games Festival (IGF) Awards with a total five nominations, IGF announced on Thursday.

“Obra Dinn” is Pope’s second commercial game. His first was the critically-acclaimed 2013 title “Papers, Please.” Set aboard a fictional East India Company ghost ship, “Obra Dinn” tasks the player with uncovering the fates of sixty crew members by using a magical pocket watch to catch glimpses of the past. It’s story is told via bits of dialogue and still images using a 1-bit monochromatic art style reminiscent of early Macintosh computer games.

The title has earned nominations for excellence in audio, design, visual art, narrative, and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

Other nominees this year include “voyeur simulator” “Do Not Feed The Monkeys,” the adventure game “Paratopic,” and action rogue-lite “Noita.”

The IGF Awards take place Wednesday, Mar. 20 at 6:30 p.m. PT during the 2019 Game Developers Conference. It will be hosted by “80 Days” writer Meg Jayanth at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center. All GDC 2019 pass-holders can attend the ceremony. It will also be streamed online on the GDC Twitch channel.

Here is the full list of IGF Awards finalists for 2019, along with honorable mentions:

Seumas McNally Grand Prize
“Minit” (Kitty Calis, Jan Willem Nijman, Jukio Kallio & Dominik Johann)
“Opus Magnum” (Zachtronics)
“Noita” (Nolla Games)
“Return of the Obra Dinn” (Lucas Pope)
“Hypnospace Outlaw” (Jay Tholen, Mike Lasch, Xalavier Nelson Jr., Corey Cochran)
“Do Not Feed the Monkeys” (Fictiorama Studios)

Honorable Mentions: “Wandersong” (Greg Lobanov & A Shell in the Pit); “Subnautica” (Unknown Worlds Entertainment); “Mirror Drop” (Ian Lilley); “Moss” (Polyarc); “Unavowed” (Wadjet Eye Games); “Iconoclasts” (Joakim Sandberg); “Virtual Virtual Reality” (Tender Claws); “Beat Saber” (Beat Games)

Excellence in Visual Art
“Forgotton Anne” (ThroughLine Games)
“Alto’s Odyssey” (Team Alto)
“Hypnospace Outlaw” (Jay Tholen, Mike Lasch, Xalavier Nelson Jr., Corey Cochran)
“Just Shapes & Beats” (Berzerk Studio)
“Mirror Drop” (Ian Lilley)
“Return of the Obra Dinn” (Lucas Pope)

Honorable Mentions: “Beat Saber” (Beat Games); “Wandersong” (Greg Lobanov & A Shell in the Pit); “Subnautica” (Unknown Worlds Entertainment); “Moss” (Polyarc); “Iconoclasts” (Joakim Sandberg); “Guildlings” (Sirvo Studios); “Paratopic” (Arbitrary Metric)

Excellence in Audio
“ETHEREAL” (Nonsense Arts – Nicolás Recabarren and Tomás Batista)
“Hypnospace Outlaw” (Jay Tholen, Mike Lasch, Xalavier Nelson Jr., Corey Cochran)
“Moss” (Polyarc)
“Return of the Obra Dinn” (Lucas Pope)
“Alto’s Odyssey” (Team Alto)
“Paratopic” (Arbitrary Metric)

Honorable Mentions: “Creaks” (Amanita Design); “Holedown” (grapefrukt games); “Pikuniku” (Sectordub); “The Messenger” (Sabotage); “Distance” (Refract Studios); “Wandersong” (Greg Lobanov & A Shell in the Pit); “Wattam” (Funomena)

Excellence in Design
“What the Golf?” (Triband)
“Do Not Feed the Monkeys” (Fictiorama Studios)
“Noita” (Nolla Games)
“Return of the Obra Dinn” (Lucas Pope)
“Dicey Dungeons” (Terry Cavanagh, Chipzel, and Marlowe Dobbe)
“Opus Magnum” (Zachtronics)

Honorable Mentions: “Subnautica” (Unknown Worlds Entertainment); “Carto” (Sunhead Games); “Black Room” (Cassie McQuater); “JUMPGRID” (Ian MacLarty); “Mirror Drop” (Ian Lilley); “Hypnospace Outlaw” (Jay Tholen, Mike Lasch, Xalavier Nelson Jr., Corey Cochran); “Beat Saber” (Beat Games)

Excellence in Narrative
“Wandersong” (Greg Lobanov & A Shell in the Pit)
“Genital Jousting” (Free Lives)
“Unavowed” (Wadjet Eye Games)
“Seers Isle” (Nova-box)
“Watch Me Jump” (Jeremy Gable)
“Return of the Obra Dinn” (Lucas Pope)

Honorable Mentions: “Do Not Feed The Monkeys” (Fictiorama Studios); “The Hex” (Daniel Mullins Games); “Speed Dating for Ghosts” (Copychaser Games); “after HOURS” (Bahiyya Khan, Claire Meekel, Tim Flusk, Abi Meekel); “Fortune-499” (AP Thomson); “Marie’s Room” (like Charlie); “Tango: The Adventure Game” (Gualicho Games)

Nuovo Award
“Circle0” (yesyes)
“eCheese Zone” (Seemingly Pointless)
“Noita” (Nolla Games)
“Mirror Drop” (Ian Lilley)
“Black Room” (Cassie McQuater)
“Paratopic” (Arbitrary Metric)
“Do Not Feed the Monkeys” (Fictiorama Studios)
“Nth Dimension[al] Hiking” (Zachariah Chandler)

Honorable Mentions: “All Our Asias” (Sean Han Tani); “Hypnospace Outlaw” (Jay Tholen, Mike Lasch, Xalavier Nelson Jr., Corey Cochran); “Cyberpet Graveyard” (alienmelon); “levedad” (solimporta); “Subserial Network” (Aether Interactive); “macdows 95” (gamebra.in); “The Norwood Suite” (Cosmo D); “Nerve Damage” (Dennis Carr)

Best Student Game
“It’s Paper Guy!” (Paper Team)
“Grace Bruxner Presents: The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game” (Grace Bruxner)
“After HOURS” (Bahiyya Khan, Claire Meekel, Tim Flusk, Abi Meekel)
“En Garde!” (En Garde! Team)
“levedad” (solimporta)
“Sole” (Gossamer Games)

Honorable Mentions: “We Should Talk” (HeartBeetStudio); “Coffin Rot Brewing Co.” (Rosser-McGraw Studio); “Fling to the Finish” (SplitSide Games); “Indecision.” (Bilge Kaan); “Seasons” (David Su and Dominique Star); “supertype” (Philipp Stollenmayer); “Atlas’ Fate: Between Light and Darkness” (Baby Robot Games); “Marbloid” (Supyrb)

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