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Independent Games Festival 2020 finalists announced

Mutazione, Knights and Bikes and Untitled Goose Game are among this year’s IGF award finalists.

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Independent Games Festival 2020

Mutazione, Knights and Bikes and Untitled Goose Game are among this year’s Independent Games Festival award finalists.

Die Gute Fabrik’s Mutazione leads the finalists at this year’s IGF awards with nominations in the categories of Visual Art, Audio, and Narrative, plus the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

Other games competing for the Grand Prize include Adam Robinson-Yu’s delightful A Short Hike, the honkingly good Untitled Goose Game, Slay the Spire, Eliza, and Anodyne 2. It’s a varied lineup that speaks volumes for the quality of independent games released in the past year.

Foam Swords’ Knights and Bikes gets two nominations, for visual art and audio, and there are nods for Katana Zero, Creature in the Well, and Patrick’s Parabox.

The IGF Awards will take place on March 18, 2020, at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The awards ceremony will once again be presented by League of Geeks director Trent Kuster, who memorably hosted 2018’s event. Here’s the full list of finalists in each category:

Independent Games Festival 2020 nominees

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • Eliza (Zachtronics)
  • A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu)
  • Untitled Goose Game (House House)
  • Mutazione (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Slay the Spire (Mega Crit Games)
  • Anodyne 2: Return to Dust (Sean Han Tani & Marina Kittaka)

Honorable Mentions: Katana Zero (Askiisoft); Lonely Mountains: Downhill (Megagon Industries); Song of Bloom (Philipp Stollenmayer); Wide Ocean, Big Jacket (Turnfollow); Elsinore (Golden Glitch); Astrologaster (Nyamyam); Heaven’s Vault (inkle)

Excellence in Visual Art

  • Mutazione (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Knights and Bikes (Foam Sword)
  • Void Bastards (Blue Manchu)
  • Creature in the Well (Flight School Studio)
  • Eastward (Pixpil)
  • Stone Story RPG (Martian Rex / standardcombo)

Honorable Mentions: LUNA The Shadow Dust (Lantern Studio); Eastshade (Eastshade Studios); Minute of Islands (Studio Fizbin); Katana ZERO (Askiisoft); Song of Bloom (Philipp Stollenmayer); A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu); Creaks (Amanita Design)

Excellence in Audio

  • Observation (No Code)
  • Vectronom (Ludopium)
  • Astrologaster (Nyamyam)
  • Knights and Bikes (Foam Sword)
  • Mutazione (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Untitled Goose Game (House House)

Honorable Mentions: Afterparty (Night School Studio); Kind Words (lo fi chill beats to write to) (Popcannibal); Manifold Garden (William Chyr Studio); Alt-Frequencies (Accidental Queens); Don’t Look (Don’t Look Team); Lonely Mountains: Downhill (Megagon Industries); Tales From Off-Peak City Vol. 1 (Cosmo D)

Excellence in Design

  • Katana ZERO (Askiisoft)
  • Lonely Mountains: Downhill (Megagon Industries)
  • Slay the Spire (Mega Crit Games)
  • A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu)
  • Elsinore (Golden Glitch)
  • Patrick’s Parabox (Patrick Traynor)

Honorable Mentions: Guildlings (Sirvo Studios); Nauticrawl (Andrea Interguglielmi); Blabyrinth (Sleeping Beast Games); Children of Morta (Dead Mage); Void Bastards (Blue Manchu); Untitled Goose Game (House House); Creature in the Well (Flight School Studio)

Excellence in Narrative

  • Mutazione (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Heaven’s Vault (inkle)
  • Elsinore (Golden Glitch)
  • Wide Ocean, Big Jacket (Turnfollow)
  • Eliza (Zachtronics)
  • LIONKILLER (Sisi Jiang)

Honorable Mentions: American Election (Greg Buchanan); Night Call (Monkey Moon, BlackMuffin); Astrologaster (Nyamyam); A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu); Adventures With Anxiety! (Nicky Case); Observation (No Code)

Nuovo Award

  • Tales From Off-Peak City Vol. 1 (Cosmo D)
  • Infini (Barnaque)
  • The Space Between (Christoph Frey)
  • Life Tastes Like Cardboard (Demensa)
  • Promesa (Julián Palacios)
  • Song of Bloom (Philipp Stollenmayer)
  • The Longing (Studio Seufz)
  • PAGAN: Autogeny (Oleander Garden)

Honorable Mentions: Astrologaster (Nyamyam); Elsinore (Golden Glitch); Fit for a King (Brent Ellison & Tanya X. Short); My Exercise (Atsushi Wada, Ryoya Usuha, Nobuaki Doi); Where the Bees Make Honey (Brian Wilson); Smile For Me (Gabe Lane and Yugo Limbo / LimboLane)

Best Student Game

  • Orbital Bullet (SmokeStab)
  • A Juggler’s Tale (kaleidoscube)
  • Forgotten (Mutiny Games)
  • Neon Beats (OKYO Games)
  • BORE DOME (Goblin rage)
  • Nothing In Sight (Nothing In Sight Team)

Honorable Mentions: Unhatched (Filip Loster); Du Rejser (You Travel) (Victor Selnæs Breum + Katinka); Trail Mix (Puzzsoft); Where the Bees Make Honey (Brian Wilson); Northbound (Johannes Köberle & Arno Justus); Evergreen Blues (David Su and Dominique Star)

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

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New Nintendo Switch releases (September 21-25, 2020)

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw and Lost Ember are among the new video games coming to the Nintendo Switch eShop this week.

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New Nintendo Switch eShop releases
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw and Lost Ember are among the new video games coming to the Nintendo Switch eShop this week.

This week’s crop of new Nintendo Switch releases features some promising new indie games and a bunch of mobile ports. Let’s focus on the cool indie games.

Sci-fi sequel Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is a trading and combat simulation from Double Damage Games. The first game was an ambitious, if flawed, homage to classics like Freelancer. Outlaw continues the space-Western vibe with a kicking country soundtrack, dusty trading posts, odd-ball characters, and improved dogfights. If the port is decent, this could be a gem in Switch’s library.

Another new release we’re keen to see running on Nintendo Switch is Lost Ember from Mooneye Studios. The game had some performance issues on other platforms, but if it runs well, we recommend this touching journey through a majestic and vibrant animal kingdom.

This week’s final pick is CastleStorm II from Zen Studios, the developer best known for its pinball games. Like its predecessor, Castlestorm II is a personality-packed blend of real-time action and tower defence.

Other new Nintendo Switch releases include Unrailed!, Going Under, and the Definitive Edition of fighting platformer Rivals of Aether. There’s also a new crop of games coming to the Nintendo Switch Online NES and SNES libraries.

We’ll update this article throughout the week with any late additions.

New Nintendo Switch releases: September 21-25, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

  • Worm Jazz

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

  • Rebel Galaxy Outlaw

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

  • CastleStorm II
  • Dungreed
  • Orbt XL
  • Unrailed!
  • Perky Little Things
  • Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure
  • Vigor
  • NSO: S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team
  • NSO: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest
  • NSO: Mario’s Super Picross
  • NSO: The Peace Keepers

Thursday, September 24, 2020

  • Alluris
  • BIG-Bobby-Car – The Big Race
  • Breakpoint
  • Great Conqueror: Rome
  • Lost Ember
  • Micro Pico Racers
  • Going Under
  • Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny
  • Rivals of Aether Definitive Edition
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition
  • Secrets of Me
  • This Is The Zodiac Speaking
  • Wartile

Friday, September 25, 2020

  • Jet Set Knights
  • Trollhunters Defenders of Arcadia

Catch up with this week’s new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releases.


More from Thumbsticks

Save the Thumbsticks new releases page for regular Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 updates. You can also follow us on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

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New PlayStation 4 releases (September 21-25, 2020)

Mafia: Definitive Edition tops next week’s list of new PlayStation 4 releases.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Mafia: Definitive Edition tops next week’s list of new PlayStation 4 releases.

Hangar 13’s ground-up remake of Mafia is this week’s PlayStation 4 pick. The original game is not an outright classic, but it’s certainly bold and was forward-thinking in its day. The remake includes new vehicles, improved visuals and audio, and a larger city of Lost Heaven to explore.

Another highlight is the console port of Port Royale 4. Kalypso Media’s trading and strategy game depicts the 17th-century Caribbean power struggle between Spain, England, France and the Netherlands. Turn-based naval encounters are the big new feature, and each nation has a full single-player campaign to complete.

Trading is also central to Rebel Galaxy Outlaw, the new space Western sequel from Double Damage Games. Outlaw improves on its predecessor with streamlined spaceship combat, seven new radio stations, and a fun cast of bounty hunters, aliens, and intergalactic ne’er-do-wells.

Other new PS4 releases include Tennis World Tour 2, Unrailed!, and Going Under. We’ll update this article throughout the week with news of any late additions. Here’s the full lineup of new PS4 games confirmed so far.

New PlayStation4 releases: September 21-25, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

  • 3 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
  • Rebel Galaxy Outlaw
  • Tennis World Tour 2

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

  • CastleStorm II
  • Jet Set Knights – TBC
  • Unrailed!

Thursday, September 24, 2020

  • Dungreed
  • Ginga Force
  • Going Under
  • Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny

Friday, September 25, 2020

  • Mafia: Definitive Edition
  • Port Royale 4
  • Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia

Bookmark our new releases page for weekly updates on the latest games. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

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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New Xbox One releases (September 21-25, 2020)

Mafia: Definitive Edition and Rebel Galaxy Outlaw headline the list of upcoming Xbox One releases.

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New Xbox One game releases
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Mafia: Definitive Edition and Rebel Galaxy Outlaw headline the list of upcoming Xbox One releases.

Xbox One owners can lead a life crime next week in the eagerly anticipated remake of 2002’s Mafia. The city of Lost Heaven has never looked better, but we’re interested to see how Hangar 13 has fleshed out the experience. The addition of motorcycles is a fun place to start.

Meanwhile, players of Rebel Galaxy Outlaw can live their lives on the outer rim of law and order. This sequel from Double Damage builds upon the strong foundations of the first game with improved dogfights, an engaging story, and an even better soundtrack. If you find Elite Dangerous too overwhelming, Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is an accessible blend of arcade and simulation sci-fi that scratches the same intergalactic itch.

Other new Xbox One release highlights include Port Royale 4, procedurally generated track laying game Unrailed!, and satirical dungeon crawler, Going Under. Halo ODST‘s Firefight mode is also coming to Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Tuesday.

Each new game can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store or the Microsoft web store. We’ll update this post throughout the week with any late additions to the lineup.

New Xbox One releases: September 21-25, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

  • Halo ODST: Firefight (The Master Chief Collection)
  • Rebel Galaxy Outlaw
  • Tennis World Tour 2

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

  • CastleStorm II
  • The Drone Racing League Simulator
  • Jet Set Knights
  • Unrailed!
  • Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure

Thursday, September 24, 2020

  • Going Under
  • Little Big Workshop
  • Tears of Avia

Friday, September 25, 2020

  • Mafia: Definitive Edition
  • Nexomon: Extinction
  • Port Royale 4
  • Sentinels of Freedom
  • Shotgun Farmers
  • Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia

Swoop by the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest games. You can also follow us on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter

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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Hello Games announces No Man’s Sky Origins update

No Man’s Sky is the gift that keeps on giving, from a team we don’t even deserve.

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No Mans Sky book covers
Hello Games / Thumbsticks

No Man’s Sky is the gift that keeps on giving, from a team we don’t even deserve.

Did you know that the procedurally-generated aesthetic for No Man’s Sky was based on pulpy, 70s science fiction novel covers?

(We did know, but it’s still fun to watch the video in the post linked above. For all of its “bazillion of procedurally generated planets” pitch, the aesthetic and the atmosphere of No Man’s Sky are still some of its biggest selling points, especially with the very scary Desolation update from a couple of months ago.)

As the free content updates kept coming for No Man’s Sky, each with its own science fiction cover, it built up a bigger picture: a “shelf” of those pulpy sci-fi book covers.

But when Sean Murray, of Hello Games, tweeted a picture of all the covers together following the Desolation update, it did not escape people’s notice that there was only “room” for one more cover left on that artificial bookshelf of pulpy book covers:

And with the No Man’s Sky Origins update set to be revealed next week, people have been worried that might be the last update we see for the game. The final space on the bookshelf will be filled, as it were.

But according to the blog post announcing Origins, “This update will be another small step in a longer journey.”

Perhaps Hello Games isn’t quite done with No Man’s Sky just yet.


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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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Play three cool games for free on Xbox One this weekend

This week’s lineup of Xbox One Free Play Days titles takes players to the high seas, a world destroyed by war, and a creature-infested Louisiana.

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Sea of Thieves - Xbox One

This week’s lineup of Xbox One Free Play Days titles takes players to the high seas, a world destroyed by war, and, erm, Louisiana.

Shiver me timbers, Sea of Thieves is free to play on Xbox One this weekend. Rare’s online pirate adventure was somewhat cooly received on release, but who’s cool now? A treasure chest of content and gameplay updates has helped build a thriving community of shipmates, most of whom are welcoming to new deckhands. Nonetheless, take care, there’s always someone waiting to steal a Bilge Rat Doubloon or two when your back is turned.

Players should also keep their wits about them in Hunt: Showdown, the popular PvP first-person hunting game from Crytek. Up to 12 players must venture into the dangerous swamps of Louisiana. Your task is to retrieve a bounty from a vicious creature, but once you have that bounty, friends become foes, and you become the target. Hi-jinks ensue.

Finally, Warhammer: Chaosbane is moderately fun hack-and-slash action RPG from EKO Software. If the phrase “fighting battles in the sewers of Nuln” gets your blood pumping, this game is probably for you.

All three games are playable for free until midnight on Sunday for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. As always, any earned achievements and save states carry over into purchased copies of each game. Here’s the lowdown on this week’s related digital discounts.

Xbox One Free Play Days Discounts

Hunt: Showdown

  • Standard Edition – 60% off
  • Master Hunter Edition – 50% off

Warhammer: Chaosbane

  • Standard Edition – 65% off
  • Deluxe Edition – 65% off
  • Magnus Edition – 70% off

Sea of Thieves

  • Standard Edition – 50% off

Bookmark our sales and freebies pages for the latest video game promotions. You can also 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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