IndieCade 2017 – The Official Award Winners
Reporting from the festival award ceremony in Culver City, California, the complete list of IndieCade 2017 award winners:
Everything Is Going to Be OK!
With a visually hectic but cutesy graphics approach that borrows from punk zines and MS Paint art, Everything Is Going to Be OK! is a collection of interactive vignettes commenting on humanity’s ability to find humor even in the darkest situations.
by Red Candle Games
Detention wins the Journey Award for its depiction of an alternate ’60s-era Taiwan under martial law. Drawing on Taoist and Buddhist influences, this side-scrolling adventure takes a unique approach to atmospheric horror.
Cat Sorter VR
by Pawmigo Games
An obvious choice for the Aesthetic Award due to its seamless blending of the adorable and horrifying – call it “adorifying” – Cat Sorter VR provides players with the opportunity to play god (or monster) by mixing and matching feline anatomy to create scorpion cats, three-eyed kittens and other hideous examples of cuteness.
Cosmic Top Secret
Another game with obvious punk zine influences in its visual approach, Cosmic Top Secret is an autobiographical story about director Trine Laier learning about her father’s past…
Game Changer Award
As cofounder of Studio Vlambeer, Rami Ismail is responsible for such high-octane indie games as Super Crate Box and Nuclear Throne. Releasing games across multiple platforms, Ismail has established a solid “house style” for his studio, featuring bright, fast-moving pixel art and relentless action: the kind of games that are almost as fun to lose – as in Super Crate Box and its numerous explosions and beheadings – as they are to win.
Jury Choice Award
The Incredible Playable Show
by Alistair Aitcheson
Combining interactive theater with lots of classic video game callbacks and custom controllers, The Incredible Playable Show brings a new approach to theater, with a focus on large crowd interaction and improvisation.
by Tracking Ida Team
A historical alternate reality game inspired by African-American journalist Ida B. Wells’ crusade against lynchings in the 1890s, Tracking Ida is a series of puzzles that feels a bit like a classic point-and-click adventure but gains weight and historical impact through its hands-on approach and era-appropriate props.
Best known for Katamari Damacy, Keita Takahashi has set an incredibly high bar thanks to his playfully surreal approach to game design.
Dark Horse Award
by Sharang Biswas and Sweta Mohapatra
A storytelling RPG for five players, Feast combines an exploration of memory with that most primal of senses – taste – via the consumption of real food during each play session.
Audience Choice Award
by The Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab at Michigan State University
Plunder Panic is a team-based competitive arcade game for up to 12 people. Easy to pick up but enjoyably chaotic in its execution, it’s easy to see why this pirate-themed swashbuckler appealed to the IndieCade audience.
Bernie DeKoven Big Fun Award
The Bernie DeKoven Big Fun Award goes to Gnarwhal Studios, creators of Humans vs. Zombies and Slap .45, for their approach to designing live interactive experiences that are both memorable and fun.
Media Choice Award
by Mouse & the Billionaire
This year’s Media Choice Award goes to Busy Work, a local multiplayer game that turns office work drudgery into frantic -and comedic – competition.
Global Game Jam
This special award in honor of the 10th year of IndieCade celebrates #GlobalGameJam, the annual worldwide game design event. Last year’s Global Game Jam featured 36,000 participants from 93 countries.
Developers Choice Awards
Walden, a Game and Where the Water Tastes Like Wine
by USC Game Innovation Lab and Dim Bulb Games
A surprise tie, both winners of the Developers Choice Award explore Americana in different ways. Walden, a Game is an interactive interpretation of Thoreau’s book, while Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is a narrative video game inspired by a wide range of American folklore, from Native American myths to hobo legends.
Grand Jury Award
Oikospiel Book I
by Koch Games
A seemingly disparate arrangement of interactive experiences ranging from flooded cities to other planets to computer operating systems, Grand Jury Award winner Oikospiel Book I ties everything together through a soundtrack composed by David Kanaga (of Proteus fame).
Noble Prize Award
A special unannounced award, the “Noble Prize,” goes to Stephanie Barrish, IndieCade’s founder, from her peers for 10 years of blood, sweat and tears in celebration of forward-thinking indie games.
Indie-Game-Freak contributed substantially to this article and coverage.