Super Hexagon

Super Hexagon, nominated for Excellence In Design, is a brilliant little game from Terry Cavanagh, the sadistic creator of the tougher-than-Mario sidescroller VVVVV where you control a little triangle and rotate it through a maze that is constantly converging toward the center of your iPhone or iPad screen. The whole world is also constantly rotating, changing colours and getting ever faster as you last longer in the game.

The game, an expansion on Cavanagh’s original Pirate Kart entry Hexagon is as simple as it looks in its trailer, but trust this a game that you will only be able to handle, at first, for five seconds. Maybe six and about 20-30 after a day of two of continuous practice.

While all these make Super Hexagon sound as the most frustrating game ever created the truth is exactly the opposite. The instant restart, the soothing announcer, the crisp digital control and a score system that’s so brilliantly pure, manage to make you feel even more energized than you did before. You’ll find yourself loading up Super Hexagon constantly in your effort to improve your record for just a second. Super Hexagon is about testing your reflexes, reaction speed, memorization, your and instincts .

The game’s success on iOS has taken developer Terry Cavanagh very much by surprise as only on its first week on the App Store  sales have come in at just over 30,000. Super Hexagon retails for $2,99 on the App Store and Steam.


Hotline Miami

Dennaton Games is the game development union of developer Jonatan Söderström and graphic artist Dennis Wedin who with their first attempt titled Hotline Miami, nominated for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize and the Excellence In Audio award, have probably created one of the most hyped games in recent memory.

Dennaton’s title is a game that combines the aesthetics of Vice City, the violence you’ll find in Tarantino directed films, the top down view of Alien Breed retro pixelated graphics and probably the best electronic music you heard in recent memory.

Hotline Miami takes place in an 1980s underground Miami where bizarre messages on your answering machine seem to be urging you to commit terrible acts of violence. The game is brutal enough and you must make your way through impossible situations. There are over 20 multi-screen levels with 35 unique weapons and 25 game-altering masks to collect in what seems to be one of the darkest and most unusual independent games on the scene

The game is the perfect example of indie done right. It is also a breath of fresh air and a hugely enjoyable game deserving of high praise. If you thought that GTA was the pinnacle of video game violence then you ain’t seen nothing yet. You can get Hotline Miami from Steam, GOG, Gamersgate, and Getgames.


StarForge by CodeHatch Corp. (Windows PC) nominated for the IGF Technical award is a game about gathering resources, building bases, crafting anything you want, and surviving on an alien planet..

In a distant future Earth’s star is dying and humanity has transferred as much technology and resources as possible and left on a one way mission to populate another planet. With time economies will form, rival clans will fight for ownership of territories, and like with any sci-fi universe, there will be at least a few unlucky individuals that wind up being lunch for some ravenous alien creature.

According to the developer StarForge draws inspiration from Halo, Warcraft 3, Borderlands, Terraria, and Minecraft. It borrows elements from the RTS, FPS, RPG, Voxel Builder, Tower Defense, and Physics Sandbox genres.


Cart Life

Cart Life is a retail simulation for Windows that showcases the lives of self-employed street vendors in a small city located in the Western United States that is nominated in three categories, (Excellence In Narrative, Nuovo Award, Seumas McNally)

At the start of the game, the player can choose between one of three playable characters (one of which is locked in the free version of the game). After an introduction to the character’s back-story, which always evolves around some sort of personal and financial tragedy, and a and a brief tutorial about how to run the a ‘cart’business, the player is left to figure out the rest of the game with very little hand-holding. The success of the business determines the events to follow in your characters dreary life.



IGF represents the best in creativity, experimentation, storytelling. This year, each of the games in order to earn its name in the nominees list, went through a number of trials, and were recommended from almost 200 top independent game experts. Every game, not only the ones we presented you, impressed them in the fields of visual art, design, and audio.


The winner of the Seumas McNally Grand Prize may receive $30,000, the winner of the Nuovo Award for “abstract, short-form and unconventional game development” gets $5,000, and all other category winners receive $3,000. But that doesn’t mean someone will be a looser. Just getting nominated from among hundreds of other entries is truly an honor.

We would like to congratulate each of the developers that made it into the competition this year, and in March, when the results come out, we’ll provide you with a sneak preview of the winners in every category. Until then, we encourage you to support the indie scene by checking and, why not by buying, these great titles.