ftl Independent Games Festival 2013 Finalists Announced

We’ve barely cracked into 2013, and one of my favorite events of the year is now under way – the home stretch to see who wins what at the annual Independent Games Festival. The finalists have just been announced, and as someone who finally managed to win the game on Easy mode just last night, I was glad to see Faster Than Light (FTL) make the cut for finalists – chances are that’s that title I’ll personally be rooting for. But as always there’s far more titles to pay attention to at this event, and I’m going to talk about some of the at-a-glance highlights after the cut.

Right alongside FTL on the finalist list is an interesting title called Cart Life – some kind of retro street vendor simulation which ‘showcases the lives of street vendors located in a small city in the western united states’. Freeware, so you PC gamers can just dive into this one right away at that very site. Hotline Miami is next, and while I saw this one up at a decent price during the recent Steam sale, I did not grab it. It’s apparently a very nice title, but something about the visual style of the screenshots has been putting me off so far – the color scheme’s got kind of a “barftastic” thing going on, which is going to take me some time to get past. But it’s probably worth checking out for those of you more tolerant of that sort of presentation, or if you’re color blind.

Moving on, Little Inferno has a strange vibe to it – apparently, you play as children who iare setting their toys on fire in order to stay warm as the world descends into a new Ice Age. This one’s from the World of Goo designers, and manages to give off a vibe that seems like a mix between Invader Zim along with a dash of The Binding of Isaac. The last entry on the finalist list is Kentucky Route Zero, a “a magical realist adventure game about a secret highway in the caves beneath Kentucky and the mysterious folks who travel it.” Those of you curious can check out a nice, big video and purchase options over at KRZ’s Website.

Of course, those are only the grand finalists. There’s a whole lot of other games in other categories in the running for some awards, so be sure to swing on over to the IGF Website and have a look for yourself. Here’s a wish of good luck for all of this year’s finalists – we’ll be covering who wins what when the competition is over sometime in March.