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Return of the Obra Dinn triumphs at the 2019 IGF Awards

Return of the Obra Dinn was the big winner at the 2019 Independent Games Festival awards.

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IGF Awards 2019

Lucas Pope’s Return of the Obra Dinn was the big winner at the 2019 Independent Games Festival awards.

Lucas Pope was the star of the show at the 2019 IGF Awards with Return of the Obra Dinn. Pope’s stunning tale of murder, mystery, and insurance claimed the award for Excellence in Narrative, as well as the prestigious Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

This year’s IGF awards ceremony – which was hosted by writer Meg Jayanth – also saw awards go to Opus Magnum for Excellence in Design, Mirror Drop for Excellence in Visual Art, and Paratopic for Excellence in Audio.

The Nuovo Award – which honours games that think differently about the medium – went to Cassie McQuater for Black Room

Here is the full list of finalists and winners. Congratulations to each and every game and developer on the list.

2019 Independent Games Festival Award Winners

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Alt.Crtl.GDC Award

  • Hots Swop (Peter Gyory and Clement Zheng)

God of War and Florence were among the games to pick up awards at the 2019 Game Developers Choice Awards. Check out the full list of winners.

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Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Dragon Quest XI, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Transistor.

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October’s Xbox Games with Gold are scarily average

Get ready for some Halloween scares with the Xbox Games with Gold lineup for October 2020.

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Xbox Games with Gold
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Stifle those yawns and prepare yourself for some Halloween scares with October’s Xbox Games with Gold lineup.

October’s Xbox Games with Gold freebies are entirely average, but there’s more quality on offer than you might think at first glance.

Headlining the Xbox One selection is Maid of Sker, the 2018 first-person survival horror set in a remote hotel. The game plucks its scares from Welsh folklore, and although it doesn’t rank among the best in the genre, it’s an effective and spooky experience.

Likewise, Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut is not the best puzzle game you’ll ever play, but it has some visual style and pays homage to the ’80s horror movie genre with lots of comic moments.

Octobers Xbox 360 games are Eurocom’s 2003 action-adventure game Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy, and Double Fine’s fine tale of childhood trick-or-treating, Costume Quest. Both titles are also playable on Xbox One via Back Compat.

The latest Games with Gold titles will be available to download and keep for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members from the following dates.

Xbox Games With Gold – October 2020

Xbox One

  • Maid of Sker – October 16 – November 15
  • Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut – October 1 -31

Xbox 360 and Xbox One

  • Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy – October 1 – 15
  • Costume Quest – October 16 – 31

Of last month’s games, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is free until October 15.


More video games from Thumbsticks

Get updates on the latest Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 video games from our new releases page. And follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook for daily news updates.

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Last chance to save on classic Final Fantasy games in a Nintendo Switch sale

You’ll find big discounts on classic Final Fantasy games – including 7 through 10 – in a sale on the Nintendo Switch.

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Final Fantasy Nintendo Switch sale
Nintendo / Square Enix / Thumbsticks

You’ll find big discounts on classic Final Fantasy games – including 7 through 10 – in a sale on the Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch does feature new games – every week! Bookmark our new releases page to stay up to date on that front – but it’s the console’s credibility as a retro machine that gets people excited.

Everything is getting ported to Nintendo Switch. Everything. Even PC games at both ends of the joke – Doom at the low-end, to Crysis at the high – are getting a run-out on Nintendo’s little handheld that could.

It’s a combination of that lovely form factor and the ease of portability, with a little help from a lovely 720p screen, that makes the Switch feel so good as a remaster-wielding retro machine. (And of course, Nintendo’s stellar back catalogue, from a raft of NES and SNES games with Nintendo Switch Online to the recently-released Super Mario 3D All-Stars.)

At the top of my list of things I wanted to see on the Nintendo Switch was “every Final Fantasy game ever, please,” and, sure enough, Square Enix and Nintendo are obliging. But they’re rarely cheap. You’d think for all the times I’ve bought and re-bought Final Fantasy VI, VII or IX over the years, I might get some sort of loyalty discount. Maybe a Final Fantasy equivalent of Nectar points? But no. They cost quite a lot, even if Square’s ports aren’t always that hot.

Which is why a Square Enix sale on the Nintendo eShop – featuring a bunch of Final Fantasy games, but also, more! – at discounted prices is so exciting. There’s up to 50% off, as well, which is a cracking discount.

Here’s everything included in the Square Enix Nintendo Switch publisher sale.

Square Enix Nintendo Switch publisher sale

  • Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon EVERY BUDDY!
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
  • Final Fantasy IX
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD
  • Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
  • Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD
  • Final Fantasy Explorers (Nintendo 3DS)
  • I Am Setsuna
  • Lost Sphear
  • Oninaki
  • Romancing SaGa 2
  • SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions
  • Spelunker Party!
  • Star Ocean: First Departure R
  • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call (Nintendo 3DS)
  • World of Final Fantasy Maxima

The picks of the litter are obviously the mainline Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy VII is obviously brilliant; the remaster of Final Fantasy VIII is splendid; Final Fantasy IX is secretly the best one; Final Fantasy X/X-2 is another excellent remaster; Final Fantasy XII isn’t great (but the Zodiac Age remaster makes it much more bearable); and Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is… also on sale. There’s a reason the Final Fantasy VII Remake is so great, and it’s because it steals its best ideas from these earlier iterations.

The recent remake of Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon – subtitled EVERY BUDDY!, their emphasis, not ours – is also well worth checking out, even if it is a bit of a peculiar curio. Romancing SaGa 2 is also well worth checking out, while I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear are modern-developed indie games published by Square Enix.

These deals are only available until September 30, so you’d better get on that.


Bookmark our sales and freebies pages for the latest video game promotions. You can also follow Thumbsticks on FacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for daily news updates.

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A fifth of the 1TB Xbox Series X storage is for the OS

An almighty 198GB of Xbox Series X is earmarked away from your game storage purposes.

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Xbox Series X console
Microsoft

An almighty 198GB of Xbox Series X is earmarked away from your game storage purposes.

If there was ever a doubt in your mind that new consoles are PCs at heart, then look at the storage space reserved for the operating system and system files on the Xbox Series X in IGN’s preview.

Whilst you expect a Windows 10 storage requirement of around 32 GB at most, expect the Xbox Series X to reserve a positively eye-watering 198GB. This is an increase on the Xbox One’s sizeable consumption by its OS of 138GB. This encapsulates the OS, first-party apps, and space for updates, but why in the name of Phil Spencer is it so much?

It’s for the best, then, that director of project management for the console, Jason Ronald, stated in an IGN interview that they were going to keep Xbox Series X game file sizes “as small as possible”. We’ll have to see if this becomes a differentiating factor between the consoles, since it was recently revealed that PS5 install sizes were going to be sizeable.

Many players might need an expanded storage solution, then. You can currently buy a Storage Expansion Card for the Xbox Series X that offers an additional 1 TB of external memory whilst promising no decrease in “peak speed and performance” compared to the internal SSD. The price of that speed-boosting shared Velocity architecture is a hefty £220 in the UK.

Alternatively, VentureBeat ran some transfer speed tests and found that transferring Assassin’s Creed: Origins from a much cheaper (and larger) external USB 3.0 HDD to the internal SSD took 7:46.03 minutes and seconds compared to  2:18.53 for an external SSD. As an infamous install juggler myself, this seems to be a good compromise. Certainly better than outright redownloading games.

It’s rumoured that within those 200GB is the lost city of Atlantis, the holy grail, and the meaning of life. At least, that’s the only justification I can see for its size.


Follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for daily gaming news updates.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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Pokémon Sword and Shield’s Crown Tundra DLC dated

The Pokémon Company reveals more details – and a release date – for the second part of the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass.

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Pokemon Sword and Shield - The Crown Tundra
The Pokémon Company / Thumbsticks

The Pokémon Company reveals more details – and a release date – for the second part of the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass.

In a video broadcast released today, Pokémon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara confirmed that the second part of Sword and Shield’s Expansion Pass will be released on October 22, 2020.

The Crown Tundra takes players to a new area of the Galar region and introduces a new character, Peony, who will guide players as they explore its wind-swept wastes and snow-capped peaks. The story will also include a trip to a mysterious Pokémon Den, previously only seen in the game’s Max Raid Battles.

Even more exciting for fans than the new story content is the announcement that every Legendary Pokémon from past mainline games is included in the DLC. The Legendaries will be obtainable by embarking on the new Dynamax Adventures raids. The expansion also adds the Galarian Star Tournament, in which players can buddy together and take on the Galar region’s cast of elite trainers.

Watch today’s presentation right here.

In other news, Pokémon Home will be updated before the end of the year to allow Pokémon from Pokémon Go to be transferred into Pokémon Sword or Shield. Finally, new retail editions of Sword and Shield that include all expansion pass content will come to the Nintendo Switch on November 6, 2020.


Follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily gaming news updates.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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Save up to 90% on Xbox One games in three new sales

Are you looking for a new game to play on Xbox One? Here’s a quick roundup of the latest Deals with Gold and Spotlight sales.

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Xbox One - Watch Dogs 2
Ubisoft / Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Are you looking for a new game to play on Xbox One? Here’s a quick roundup of the latest Deals with Gold and Spotlight sales.

Highlights from this week’s Deals with Gold lineup include the breezy retro racer Horizon Chase Turbo, isometric RPG Pathfinder: Kingmaker, and strategy hit Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. If you’re excited for the upcoming Watch Dogs Legion, you can catch up with the series so far with big discounts on its first two games.

Our picks from a new sale of games themed around the ocean are Subnautica, The Flame in the Flood, and Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition. Spotlight sale highlights include future racer Redout and Tom Clancy’s The Division 2.

This week’s Xbox One deals are available until October 5, 2020. Here’s a quick rundown of the best deals. Each game is available from the Xbox digital games store and Microsoft web store.

Xbox One Deals with Gold Highlights

  • Aery – Broken Memories – 33% off
  • Book of Demons – 50% off
  • Borderlands 3 Deluxe Edition – 50% off
  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – 75% off
  • Deployment – 70% off
  • Desert Child – 50% off
  • Disintegration – 50% off
  • Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac – 50% off
  • Faery: Legends of Avalon – 80% off
  • Horizon Chase Turbo – 70% off
  • Lumini – 50% off
  • NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 – 75% off
  • Pathfinder: Kingmaker – Definitive Edition – 20% off
  • Rebel Cops – 25% off
  • Relicta – 20% off
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization VI – 45% off
  • The Division 2 – Warlords of New York Edition – 67% off
  • Tower Of Time – 33% off
  • Waking – 30% off
  • War Tech Fighters – 50% off
  • Watch Dogs 2 – 80% off
  • Watch_Dogs – 65% off
  • WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship – 75% off
  • Wreckfest – 30% off

Xbox One Spotlight Highlights

  • 1971 Project Helios – 30% off
  • 8-Bit Armies – 90% off
  • A Knight’s Quest – 50% off
  • Aborigenus – 35% off
  • Battle Worlds: Kronos – 67% off
  • Bleed – 70% off
  • Castle Of No Escape – 20% off
  • Color Symphony 2 – 80% off
  • Doug Hates His Job – 40% off
  • Earth Atlantis – 60% off
  • Element Space – 40% off
  • Outbreak: The Nightmare Chronicles – 50% off
  • Redout – Lightspeed Edition – 50% off
  • Rogue Stormers & Giana Sisters Bundle – 75% off
  • Sine Mora EX – 75% off
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 – 67% off
  • We Are The Dwarves – 70% off

Deep Sea Sale Highlights

  • Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden – 90% off
  • Aqua Moto Racing Utopia – 50% off
  • Beyond Blue – 20% off
  • Black Desert: Conqueror Edition – 50% off
  • Captain Cat – 50% off
  • Chaos On Deponia – 65% off
  • Close To The Sun – 33% off
  • Death In The Water – 50% off
  • Deep Ones – 60% off
  • Deponia Collection – 55% off
  • Depth of Extinction – 33% off
  • Dovetail Games Euro Fishing – 67% off
  • Dread Nautical – 50% off
  • Euro Fishing: Ultimate Edition – 60% off
  • The Flame in the Flood – 75% off
  • Fishing: Barents Sea Complete Edition – 33% off
  • Freediving Hunter: Spearfishing The World – 20% off
  • Hydrophobia – 80% off
  • Legend of the Skyfish – 40% off
  • Maneater – 35% off
  • Nightmares from the Deep 3: Davy Jones – 80% off
  • Outbuddies DX – 50% off
  • Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire – Ultimate Edition – 35% off
  • Purple Chicken Spaceman – 70% off
  • Radio Squid – 40% off
  • Shantae and the Seven Sirens – 20% off
  • Stranded Deep – 25% off
  • Submerged – 90% off
  • Subnautica – 30% off
  • Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition – 67% off
  • Super Volley Blast – 50% off
  • Surf World Series – 40% off
  • Swim Out – 30% off
  • Swimsanity! – 30% off
  • Ultimate Fishing Simulator – 30% off

For more video game savings, visit our dedicated sales page. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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