Indie Prize Amsterdam 2016: In-Person Showcase Reaches New Heights

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Indie Prize Amsterdam 16

We continue to dive into the history of the Indie Prize and its phenomenal finalists, who left a noticeable mark on the gaming industry. Amsterdam 2016 attracted a lot of people at that time, breaking all Showcase records. There was a record for the number of projects, judges, and even sponsors, among which Unity, Intel, Epic Games, and Amazon wormed their way.

Speaking of projects, this time there are a bunch of puzzles, each offering a rich array of experiences that challenge conventions. Our list will consist of seven indie games that have managed to capture gamers’ attention worldwide:

Typoman: The Power of Words Unleashed

“Typoman” is a 2D puzzle platformer that brilliantly utilizes typography as a core element of its gameplay and narrative. Players assume the role of a character composed of letters, navigating a bleak world where words have the power to shape the environment.

The uniqueness of “Typoman” lies in its wordplay puzzles, requiring players to rearrange scattered letters to form meaningful words that directly affect the world. The game has been lauded for this unique gameplay mechanic, including becoming the finalist at the E3 and Indie Prize awards and winning the Best Artistic Achievement Award at the Deutscher Computerspielpreis 2016.

Q.U.B.E. 2: Mastering Matter, One Block at a Time

“Q.U.B,E. 2” builds upon the first-person puzzle gameplay of its predecessor, enhancing it with a captivating narrative and a deeper exploration of its physics-manipulating mechanics. Players find themselves in the shoes of an archaeologist who must solve the riddles of an ancient alien landscape using her ability to manipulate cubic structures.

“Q.U.B.E. 2” is a shining example of how a sequel can refine and evolve a game’s original concept. With its visually stunning environments and brain-teasing puzzles, it secured its place among the best indie puzzle titles, receiving the Unreal Engine Award for Outstanding Original Game at Develop: Brighton 2018. Of course, the project didn’t bypass the Indie Prize, where it also became a finalist in the event.

Deliver Us The Moon: A Lone Journey Beyond the Stars

In “Deliver Us The Moon,” players embark on a solitary mission to the moon in a desperate bid to save a resource-depleted Earth. This sci-fi thriller adventure sets itself apart with its atmospheric storytelling, zero-gravity exploration, and immersive lunar environments.

The title expertly blends puzzle-solving, exploration, and narrative elements to create a tense, captivating experience. Its innovative use of a desolate lunar setting to drive an impactful narrative has garnered praise, earning it the award for Best Indie Game at the Gamescom 2018 Awards. In addition, the title had a huge sales success, leading to full-fledged ports on PS4/PS5, Xbox One/Series, and Stadia. Later, a sequel about Mars was released.

Shelter 2: A Mother’s Wild Journey of Survival

“Shelter 2” offers a unique perspective by casting players as a lynx mother struggling to protect and nurture her cubs in the harsh wilderness. The game blends survival and family management mechanics, creating a remarkably immersive and emotional journey. “Shelter 2” is known for its innovative premise and its stunning art style, which beautifully captures the harsh and awe-inspiring beauty of nature. The project’s unique portrayal of animal life and survival dynamics has made it a standout title in the indie gaming scene.

Darkestville Castle: A Hilarious Dive into the Dark Side

“Darkestville Castle” is a point-and-click adventure that turns traditional hero-villain tropes on their head. Players control Cid, a demon who relishes in creating mischief for the citizens of Darkestville. However, his routine is disrupted when a group of demon hunters comes to town.

This game is renowned for its quirky humor, charmingly eccentric characters, and beautifully hand-painted art style. “Darkestville Castle” successfully blends comedy and dark fantasy elements, offering a unique twist on the classic adventure game genre. On IP Amsterdam 2016, “Darkestville Castle” won the “Best Game Narrative Award.”

Shadowmatic: A Play of Light and Shadow

“Shadowmatic” is a unique puzzle game that tasks players with manipulating abstract objects under a spotlight to create recognizable shadow shapes on the wall. This title features beautifully rendered 3D visuals and a calming, atmospheric soundtrack.

The ingenuity of “Shadowmatic” lies in its innovative use of light and shadow as core gameplay elements. Its success hasn’t gone unnoticed, bagging the Indie Prize award for the best art and the Apple Design Award in 2015 for its creative design and compelling gameplay. And that’s not the whole story with the Apple platform because, for many years, this project has been at the top among the best-selling in Apple Story, constantly occupying the first lines.

Castaway Paradise: Life in Your Own Personal Paradise

“Castaway Paradise” is a life simulation project where players find themselves washed up on a tropical island. “Castaway Paradise”  allows players to explore, build, and customize their islands. It offers various activities, from gardening and fishing to bug-catching and helping the local animal villagers.

What sets “Castaway Paradise” apart is its unique blend of life simulation and town-building elements in a charming tropical setting. The project’s vibrant visuals, endearing characters, and wealth of customization options make it a delightful addition to the genre. Unfortunately, the title didn’t get much love at the Indie Prize, but it made it to Showcase, which is confirmed even on the Steam page.

Concluding the Indie Exploration

“Typoman,” “Q.U.B.E. 2,” “Deliver Us The Moon,” “Shelter 2,” “Darkestville Castle,” “Shadowmatic,” and “Castaway Paradise” each contribute something unique to the landscape of indie gaming. They break the mold, challenging conventional game design and offering experiences that intrigue, captivate, and inspire. These seven projects underscore the limitless potential of creativity and innovation in the indie game industry, reminding us that there’s always something new to discover in the world of video games.

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