The next time you’re looking to branch out beyond your typical week-to-week video game backlog, consider poring over the finalists for the 2020 Independent Games Festival. The list is brimming with wonderful indie games – some you’ll recognize, others you won’t – and it’s a great place to start.

  One of the games on my must-play list is Mutazione, a garden-tending hang-out adventure from Die Gute Fabrik “where small-town gossip meets the supernatural.” It’s the most prevalent nominee this year, earning nods for the Grand Prize along with Excellence in Visual Art, Audio, and Narrative.

  The IGF Awards will be hosted by Armello director Trent Kusters and live-streamed on March 18, 2020. After that ceremony wraps up, the night will continue with the Game Developers Choice Awards.

  Let’s get into it. These are the Independent Games Festival finalists and runners-up for 2020:

  A Short Hike

  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)

  Knights and Bikes

  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)

  Untitled Goose Game

  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)

  Katana Zero

  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)

  Heaven's Vault

  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)

  Tales From Off-Peak City

  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)

  A Juggler's Tale

  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 Seln?s Breum + Katinka); Trail Mix(Puzzsoft); Where the Bees Make Honey (Brian Wilson); Northbound (Johannes K?berle & Arno Justus); Evergreen Blues(David Su and Dominique Star)

  Here are your finalists for the 2020 Independent Games Festival Awards! [IGF]

   Jordan Devore Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.