DJ Arruda ’16 / Emertainment Monthly staff writer
Emertainment Monthly was lucky enough to get a seat at this years Figgies awards at the end of the Boston Festival of Indie Games – check out our coverage below for all the winners and special mentions.
Dragoon by Lay Waste Games
Putting 2-4 players in control of their very own dragon, this action strategy game involves both defending territory from invading humans and other dragons while also capturing gold and other loot in a fun and exciting game fit for all ages, using a fabric board and metal pieces to further stand out from the crowd, and attract the crowd as well.
Best in Show:
Karmaka by Hemisphere Games
In the player’s journey from Dung Beetle to Transcendence in this unique competitive card game, there is both strategy and sabotage as the choice to either climb the Karmic Ladder or halt another’s progress comes around each hand, making this game the star of the tabletop showcase.
Oh My Gods! by Gameworthy Labs
Tasking players with finding out who stole Zeus’ lightning bolt, this game takes the rich history of Greek mythology and turns it into a game of intrigue and deduction as players compete to solve the mystery before 2-4 of their friends in this quick and enjoyable game.
Most Innovative Game:
Slideways by R&R Games
Innovating on the classic tic-tac-toe formula, Slideways pits players against each other in a fast paced battle of wits as they try to reach four in a row while also outfoxing their opponents in this game for 2-4 players.
Karmaka by Hemisphere Games
The art behind this climb up the Karmic Ladder is gorgeous, and truly fits in with the theme of ascendance that drives the game.
Robit Riddle by Baba Geek Games
This cooperative game for 1-4 players tasks them with helping a robot find his missing robits, and also serves as an introduction to tabletop RPGs like D&D to younger children, with the art carrying the adventurers through their story in a quick and easy way.
Audience Choice and Best In Show:
Ultimate Chicken Horse by Clever Endeavor Games
Wildly fun and unique, Ultimate Chicken Horse takes platforming and competitive multiplayer to the next level. Players build a path through the level that only they can master, or so they hope, in order to score a point but prevent their competitors from doing so. With so much variety and replayability, as well as an awesome art design and soundtrack, this game easily shows why it is so popular to both attendees and the curators.
The Superior Smarts Award for Best Learning Game:
Smorball by Tiltfactor
Having players type words as they appear on the screen may seem like an easy enough game, but over time it gets harder and harder in this browser-based game which has the player’s team of the Eugene Melonballers trying to get the Dalahäst Trophy in the International Smorball Federation. In addition, each word typed is used to help digitize scanned copies of books in order to store them forever in a digital form, making it even more of an awesome educational game.
The Stunning Sound Award for Best Audio Design:
Thumper by Drool
Stunningly gorgeous, Thumper puts players in the role of a beetle trying to stop the giant Crakhed, on this visual and audial thrill ride of rhythmic violence. It’s no surprise that it won this award with developer Brian Gibson’s work both as a musician and with Harmonix, and Marc Flury’s work on games like Dance Central, two great minds coming together to craft a beautiful and invigorating game.
The C-C-Combo Breaker for Best Multiplayer Design:
Ninja Tag by Leandro Ribeiro
Pitting 2-4 players against each other as ninjas, this game is tons of fun as players try to outwit and outmaneuver their opponents to become the best ninja. Using crossbows and swords the ninjas battle it out using the map and pickups to their advantage. Endless fun, especially with friends, bringing out competition and a good time with a great art style to boot.
The Awesome Aesthetic Award for Best Visual Art:
Liege by Coda Games
Playing like a fantasy XCOM with a JRPG twist, Liege is a gorgeous game that clearly knows what it wants to be. Taking a strong narrative and making it seamless with strategic, tactical gameplay, the game brings it all together with its aesthetic which recalls the retro but yet also surpasses it to make something distinct and eye catching. Definitely worth keeping an eye on, and not just for the artwork.
The “Epic Epic” Award for Best Narrative/World Building:
Howie and Yarla by Syndicate Atomic
Using the already volatile time of puberty as the catalyst for this story makes it a great starting point, as Howie is confronted by the demon Yarla who wishes to enslave humanity with his help. Great art also helps tell the story in this 2D action game, which truly crafts a unique world from a universally strange time in people’s lives.
The Laser Kitten Award for Best Technical Quality:
Xeero by For All To Play
Transporting players into a computer system to save it from an Alpha Virus, this 3D platformer is fun and engaging as players track down the virus and take on malware and bugs with an emphasis on action and puzzles in an environment that feels like the inside of a computer with style and flair. Truly a technical masterpiece, and more than worthy of winning this award.