You might not know it, but Latin America is becoming something of a star in the indie gaming circuit. This is primarily observed by BIG, the Brazilian Indie Game Festival, the fifth annual incarnation of which is being held this year, from June 24th to July 2nd. The event, currently the biggest indie gaming festival in Latin America, has received over 600 game submissions for the International Awards Competition, and if you’re into indie games, this may be a good chance to learn about beloved indie titles that you might have missed in this increasingly crowded corner of the gaming industry! BIG also has many other arms as well, such as BIG Booth, where 20 Brazilian games that didn’t make it to the finals are showcased, BIG Venture, where startups and investors attempt to unite creative and business-minded game development, and BIG Impact, where development projects with a positive impact on society are spotlighted.

The Deadly Tower of Monsters, developed by Chile-based ACE Team, leads the BIG nominations for Best Game, where five games compete for a $3,000 USD prize. The Deadly Tower of Monsters, an homage to 1950’s sci-fi classics that’s available for PC and PlayStation 4, saw decent reception from critics, but found a strong community following that has made it a favourite at the festival. Another fan-favourite nominee, popular co-op game, Overcooked, has also entered the running for BIG’s best game, coming by way of British developer, Ghost Town Games Ltd. Overcooked is currently available for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with a Nintendo Switch version of the game releasing later this year.

The other three nominees include Wuppo, a sleeper hit 2D action game from Netherlands-based developer, Knuist & Perzik, which is currently available for PC, and headed to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this Summer, Death Squared, a multiplayer puzzle game from Australian-based SMG Studio, which is now available for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and will release for Nintendo Switch soon, and Figment, an upcoming action-adventure game from Danish developer, Bedtime Digital Games, which is not yet publicly available, but is in development for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Wuppo and Death Squared both have Positive to Very Positive reviews on their Steam pages, and both have received overall good reception from critics, with Wuppo being a particular critical favourite.

The complete list of BIG Festival finalists has no shortage of great, under-the-radar indie gems, both currently available and in development, to spotlight, all of which are certainly worth at least a look from indie game enthusiasts. The complete list of the finalists is below:

Best Game
Prize US$ 3.300 / R$ 10 mil

The Deadly Tower of Monsters (ACE Team), Chile
Death Squared (SMG Studio), Australia
Figment (Bedtime Digital Games), Denmark
Overcooked (Ghost Town Games), Great Britain
Wuppo (Knuist & Perzik), Netherlands

Best Brazilian Game
Prize US$ 3.300 / R$ 10 mil

Esquadrão 51 (Márcio Rosa)
Necrosphere (Cat Nigiri)
Starlit Archery Club (Rockhead Games)
NEXT JUMP: Shmup Tactics (Post Mortem Pixels)
Warlock’s Tower (Midipixel)
Distortions (Among Giants)
In Extremis (LNDFRR)
Keen (Cat Nigiri)
Sword Legacy: Omen (Fableware Narrative Design and Firecast Studio)
Legend of the Skyfish (Mgaia Studio)

Best Latin American Game
Prize US$ 3.300 / R$ 10 mil

64.0 (Rebel Rabbit), Perú
The Deadly Tower of Monsters (ACE Team), Chile
ETHEREAL (Nonsense Arts), Argentina
Sweet Meat (OneEyeAnt), Argentina
UnderHero (Paper Castle Games), Venezuela

Best Educational Game
Prize US$ 1.600 / R$ 5.000 – Sponsored by Dow Chemicals

Ishmael (Necessary Games), United States
Jump, Step, Step (Thang Phung Dinh & Dzung Phung Dinh), Vietnam
Leis para Todos (Supernova Games), Brazil
Lucro S/A (Universidade Feevale – Laboratório de Objetos de Aprendizagem), Brazil
Orwell (Osmotic Studios), Germany

Best Virtual Reality Game
Prize US$ 1.600 / R$ 5.000

SUPERHOT VR (SUPERHOT Team), Poland
A Lost Room (Cruel Byte), Brazil
Redout (34BigThings), Italy
The Price of Freedom (Construct Studio), United States

Best Art
Figment (Bedtime Digital Games), Denmark
The Deadly Tower of Monsters (ACE Team), Chie
Esquadrão 51 (Márcio Rosa), Brazil
Beat the Game (Worm Animation), United States
Four Last Things (Joe Richardson), Great Britain
Vignettes (Skeleton Business), France
Old Man’s Journey (Broken Rules), Austria

Best Narrative
Detention (Red Candle Games), Taiwan
Beholder (Alawar Entertainment), Russia
A Place for the Unwilling (AlPixel Games), Spain
An Afternoon Rippling (Mars Lizard), United States
Milkmaid of the Milky Way (Machineboy), Norway
Wuppo (Knuist & Perzik), Netherlands
Figment (Bedtime Digital Games), Denmark

Innovation
Orwell (Osmotic Studios), Germany
Old Man’s Journey (Broken Rules), Austria
Necrosphere (Cat Nigiri), Brazil
Vignettes (Skeleton Business), France
YANKAI’S PEAK (Kenny Sun), United States

Best Sound
Aaero (Mad Fellows), Great Britain
Beat the Game (Worm Animation), United States
The Deadly Tower of Monsters (ACE Team), Chile
ETHEREAL (Nonsense Arts), Argentina
Future Unfolding (Spaces of Play UG), Germany
Guns of Icarus Alliance (Muse Games), United States
She Remembered Caterpillars (Jumpsuit Entertainment), Germany

Best Gameplay
Death Squared (SMG Studio), Australia
Overcooked (Ghost Town Games), Great Britain
Celeste (Matt Makes Games Inc.), Brazil
Nidhogg 2 (Messhof), United States
Ultimate Chicken Horse (Clever Endeavor Games), Canada
Necrosphere (Cat Nigiri), Brazil
Starlit Archery Club (Rockhead Games), Brazil

 

Many of these games may be unfamiliar to even frequent indie game enthusiasts (though names like Nidhogg, Superhot and Redout certainly need no introduction to indie gaming fans!), but we did review at least one of these nominees recently, that being ‘Best Sound’ finalist, Aaero by U.K.-based studio, Mad Fellows. We scored the game an impressive 85%, citing its superb soundtrack and addictive score-chasing gameplay, even if we did note that the game is quite challenging, and demands a fair degree of patience.

Keep recognizing Eggplante for all major news and updates on indie game showcases.

About The Author

Gaming/Movies/Television Editor

Brent Botsford has reviewed video games and movies for the better part of a decade, and has recently expanded to television. His early love affair with Nintendo shaped his mind into a knowledge base of anything to do with his preferred forms of media. Brent also runs a reasonably entertaining Twitch channel as 'sixth-handsomest gamer on the internet', VenusZen, where he flexes his personality as an acceptable conversationalist, amateur comedian and above-average ladies' man.

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