'A Short Hike' strolls to Independent Game Festival Awards summit

With no multiple winners, the 2020 Independent Game Festival Awards delivers seven distinct titles, including park ramble "A Short Hike," holiday adventure "Knights and Bikes" and archaeology puzzle "Heaven's Vault."

The search for a mobile phone signal, a clearer family connection, and treasures hidden in a national park coalesce within beloved bird's journey "A Short Hike" (currently for Windows PC, Mac, and Linux), proclaimed overall Best Independent Game and Audience Award winner at the 2020 Independent Games Festival Awards.

It was the joint subject of an Epic Games Store giveaway over the past week, alongside Audio winner, gardening game, and mutant soap opera "Mutazione" (iOS PlayStation4 WinPC Mac), as well as fellow Grand Prize nominee "Anodyne 2."

"Untitled Goose Game" didn't come up trumps at the IGF Awards -- instead it won big at the associated Game Developers Choice Awards -- but another goose-featuring escapade, bold childhood adventure "Knights and Bikes" (PS4 WinPC Mac Linux), was crowned best in Visual Art.

Puzzling archaeology venture "Heaven's Vault" (PS4 WinPC, Switch in 2020), in which players decipher an unknown language and progress through conversation, won the Narrative prize, while "Patrick's Parabox" (TBA), a recursive, illusionary brain-boggler about pushing boxes contained within their own boxes, won Design.

It's not currently available but the win is sure to generate additional interest; its creator maintains a Twitter presence through the clockworkpat account.

Blurry, retro-style "The Space Between" (WinPC), which is about walls in building sites and personal relationships won the Nuovo award for innovation, while explorative sci-fi puzzle experience "Bore Dome" (WinPC) won as best Student Game.

The Independent Game Festival runs alongside the Game Developers Conference, whose March 2020 edition was postponed as part of measures taken to suppress the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Nevertheless, the IGF held its annual celebration of indie game talent via a livestreamed ceremony, available to watch through youtube.com/gdc.