Venba Wins Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the 26th Annual IGF Awards

Venba Win IGF
A good win. Visai Games

Visai Games was the biggest winner during the 26th Annual Independent Games Festival Awards. Its narrative cooking video game Venba took home the Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game.

Venba was also nominated in other categories like Excellence in Audio, Narrative and Visual Art. However, it had to bow down to other titles.

Why the hype you ask? While Venba may be a cooking game at its core, it offers players something different. Set in the 1980s, they get to experience what life is like for an Indian mom who has immigrated to Canada with her whole family. As players cook different dishes, they also get to restore lost recipes. The game features branching conversations that players can do and learn more about the story.

As the Grand Prize winner, Visai Games gets to take home $10,000. By the way, Venba also won at the GDC Awards and you can read more about it here.

Another category is the Nuovo Award. This is all about games that made the jurors think differently when it comes to games as medium. For this year, that honor went to Anthology of the Killer, developed by Thecatamites, Tommy Tone and A. As the title implies, it's not one game but is a collection of funny and freeware horror games which were individual released on Game Jolt. The collection has eight games so far and one more is on the way. All games are then going to be released in one bundle.

This year's IGF Awards also saw the return of the alt.ctrl.gdc Award, which was last handed out back in 2019. This is for titles that are considered being the most engaging, most intriguing, and well-executed game through the use of unconventional, accessible or alternative physical controls. The award was given to Chú Mó.

By the way, both games get to take home $2,000.

Other winners of this year's IGF, which are also receiving $2,000, are:

  • Excellence in Visual Art
    • Phonopolis (Amanita Design)
  • Excellence in Audio
    • Rhythm Doctor (7th Beat Games)
  • Excellence in Design
    • Cryptmaster (Paul Hart & Lee Williams)
  • Excellence in Narrative
    • Mediterranea Inferno (EYEGUYS)
  • Best Student Game
    • Once Upon a Jester (Bonte Avond)
  • Audience Award
    • RAM: Random Access Mayhem (Xylem Studios)

The show was livestreamed on the official Twitch channel for the Game Developers Conference at Twitch and are archived both on Twitch and on the official GDC YouTube Channel.

The IGF was established in 1998 to recognize the best independent game developers and encourage creativity and excellence in independent games.

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