2023 IGF Awards nominations include Tunic, Club Low, and more

Last year’s indies are making for some tough competition

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The nominees for the 2023 Independent Games Festival Awards are locked in. And after a stellar year for independent games, the categories look pretty packed with viable candidates.

Both action-adventure game Tunic and dreamlike RPG Betrayal at Club Low leads the nominations at three apiece. Some other familiar faces from awards season also appear, including ImmortalityNeon White, and NORCO.

Of course, the IGFs are also great for finding hidden gems you missed in the year prior, and the 2023 nominees are no different. While you might be aware of some notable breakouts, there may be some lesser-known games hanging around in the nominees or honorable mentions worth checking out.

The IGF Awards are part of GDC 2023, which is being held in San Francisco this coming March 20 through 24.

Here’s the full lineup for this year’s 2023 IGF nominees and honorable mentions.

2023 Independent Games Festival Awards nominees

Best Student Game

  • Gevaudan (Nicolas Bernard)
  • Mind Diver (Indoor Sunglasses)
  • Presenter Slides (Mathias Schifter & Brin Žvan)
  • Shutter (ARTFX 2022)
  • Skala (Gustav Almström)
  • Slider (randomerz)

Honorable Mentions: A Mallard’s Song (Ducky Elford), Error143 (Jenny Vi Pham), Paper Planet (Doodlegames), The Longest Walk (Alexander Tarvet), zenosyne (Ezra Szanton)

Excellence in Audio

  • Dome Keeper (Bippinbits)
  • Paradise Marsh (LazyEti)
  • South of the Circle (State of Play)
  • The Forest Quartet (Mads & Friends)
  • TUNIC (TUNIC Team)
  • We are OFK (Team OFK)

Honorable MentionsBetrayal at Club Low (Cosmo D Studios), Cult of the Lamb (Massive Monster), IMMORTALITY (Sam Barlow, Half Mermaid), Melatonin (Half Asleep), Neon White (Angel Matrix), Tinykin (Splashteam)

Excellence in Design

  • Against the Storm (Eremite Games)
  • Betrayal at Club Low (Cosmo D Studios)
  • Mr. Sun’s Hatbox (Kenny Sun)
  • Neon White (Angel Matrix)
  • Stacklands (Sokpop Collective)
  • The Case of the Golden Idol (Color Gray Games)

Honorable Mentions: Citizen Sleeper (Jump Over the Age), Cursed to Golf (Chuhai Labs), Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator (niceplay games), Swordship (Digital Kingdom), Terra Nil (Free Lives), Tinykin (Splashteam)

Excellence in Narrative

  • Butterfly Soup 2 (Brianna Lei)
  • Citizen Sleeper (Jump Over the Age)
  • I Was a Teenage Exocolonist (Northway Games)
  • IMMORTALITY (Sam Barlow, Half Mermaid)
  • NORCO (Geography of Robots)
  • South of the Circle (State of Play)

Honorable Mentions: Eternal Threads (Cosmonaut Studios), Queer Man Peering Into a Rock Pool.jpg (Fuzzy Ghost), Roadwarden (Moral Anxiety Studio), The Case of the Golden Idol (Color Gray Games), The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow (Cloak and Dagger Games), The Wreck (The Pixel Hunt)

Excellence in Visual Arts

  • Afterglitch (Vladimir Kudelka)
  • How Deep Is the Dark Water? (Rhett Tsai)
  • Potionomics (Voracious Games)
  • RPG Time: The Legend of Wright (DeskWorks Inc.)
  • To Hell With the Ugly (La Poule Noire, ARTE France)
  • TUNIC (TUNIC Team)

Honorable Mentions: I Was a Teenage Exocolonist (Northway Games), Melatonin (Half Asleep), NAIAD (HiWarp), Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator (niceplay games), Return to Monkey Island (Terrible Toybox), Swordship (Digital Kingdom), Terra Nil (Free Lives), Voodoo Detective (Short Sleeve Studio LLC)

Nuovo Award

  • Afterglitch (Vladimir Kudelka)
  • An Outcry (Quinn K.)
  • Betrayal at Club Low (Cosmo D Studios)
  • He Fucked The Girl Out Of Me (Taylor McCue)
  • Queer Man Peering Into a Rock Pool.jpg (Fuzzy Ghost)
  • Sylvie Lime (Love♥️Game)
  • Time Bandit (Joel Jordon)
  • Titanic II: Orchestra for Dying At Sea (Flan Falacci)

Honorable Mentions: Atuel (Matajuegos), Ib (kouri), Not For Broadcast (NotGames), Of Moons and Mania (Absurd Walls), RPG Time: The Legend of Wright (DeskWorks Inc.)

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • Betrayal at Club Low (Cosmo D Studios)
  • TUNIC (TUNIC Team)
  • The Case of the Golden Idol (Color Gray Games)
  • IMMORTALITY (Sam Barlow, Half Mermaid)
  • Neon White (Angel Matrix)
  • Not For Broadcast (NotGames)

Honorable Mentions: Tinykin (Splashteam), Terra Nil (Free Lives), RPG Time: The Legend of Wright (DeskWorks Inc.), Roadwarden (Moral Anxiety Studio), Hardspace: Shipbreaker (Blackbird Interactive), Citizen Sleeper (Jump Over the Age)

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Eric Van Allen
Senior Editor - While Eric's been writing about games since 2014, he's been playing them for a lot longer. Usually found grinding RPG battles, digging into an indie gem, or hanging out around the Limsa Aethryte.