The unique approach of PC and mobile game Her Story earned the game the highest prize at the 18th annual Independent Games Festival Awards.
Oxenfree delivered one of the first surprise gaming delights of the year, a spooky mystery with surprisingly realistic (and funny) dialogue that blended the likes of Lost, The Goonies, Twin Peaks, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer into a playable adventure.
Letting players choose dialogue options for characters in games is nothing new, but rarely have those choices felt as genuine and true to life as they do in Oxenfree. The adventure game from Night School Studio demonstrates its special habit for nailing a realistic tone in every scene, even as the story takes a ride for the supernaturally wild. That adventure wears its influences on its sleeves, but Oxenfree never feels like an imitation of its inspirations.
The 18th Independent Games Festival finalists have been announced, celebrating a host of the last year’s most impressive independently developed games. Her Story, which EW named the third best game of 2015, and Mini Metro both lead the pack with four nominations, including one each for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Several other titles nominated for the top prize, including Undertale, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, and Darkest Dungeon, each garnered three nominations.
While January used to signal a dead zone in the entertainment world, mid-season TV, Oscar hopeful holdovers from the year before, and now, a slate of surprisingly exciting games has transformed the beginning of the year into an exciting season of releases.
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