The list of finalists for awards at the 2013 Independent Games Festival came out this week, significantly winnowed down from the 589 games on October’s longlist. There’s not quite as many mobile games on the list of potential laureates as I would have expected, but iOS is still pretty well represented. There’s not a single Android game amongst the finalists.
With two unavoidable exceptions, all of the iOS finalists are on sale at the moment – Spaceteam isn’t on sale because it can’t possibly get any cheaper (being free to begin with) and Simogo’s spooky Year Walk hasn’t been released yet.
Remarkable physics simulation Liquid Sketch is free at the moment, down from $0.99. The iPad-only Liquid Sketch is on the shortlist for the Technical Exellence award – you’ll see why from the moment you boot it up. I’ve never seen a more convincing simulation of fluid motion. Well, I did once. But I probably shouldn’t tell that story.
Terry Cavanagh’s Super Hexagon was one of the most talked-about iOS games of 2012, but I still haven’t played it. I’ve heard raves from friends but it looks more like an enhanced interrogation technique than a game to me. If you’re possessed of a sturdy enough stomach, the Excellence in Design finalist been on sale for a few weeks now at $0.99, down from $2.99.
Excellence in Audio finalist Bad Hotel bills itself as a tower defense game – but don’t hold that against it. It’s kind of a defense game but it’s also a musical toy and is generally much, much weirder than any other game that wears the TD epithet. Bad Hotel is on a half-price sale at $0.99.
I talked about science fiction-themed shouting facilitator Spaceteam last week – it’s free, as ever. Everyone should have this game. It’s on the shortlist for the IGF’s Nuovo award for innovation and if it doesn’t win I’ll be the first one passing out the pitchforks and torches.