GDC: Blueberry Garden wins indie awards

Top talent picked out by IGF.

The winners of the 2009 Independent Games Festival Awards have been announced.

Top honours - the Seumas McNally Grand Prize - go to Blueberry Garden by Swedish man Erik Svedäng. The exploration and adventure game appears to randomly lay the ground of a 2D environment before carpeting it with flora and fauna.

Players become a beak-faced chap in a hat who can fly around and pick up blueberries, which little creatures eat because it makes them kiss each other and reproduce. We're not sure what's going on, but the hand-drawn, LocoRoco-like-but-more-subtle visuals charm our socks off. There's a video on the Blueberry Garden website, but no release date nor demo that we can see.

The Innovation Award goes to Between by Jason Rohrer. This is a game for two players on a network and seems to revolve around their unique universes bleeding into each other in dreams. We could be wide of the mark; the romantic description on the official site uses phrases like, "Somewhere, across whatever barriers stand between, is an other."

Helpfully, though, there's are demos on offer for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Excellence in Visual Art goes to adventure game Machinarium. Due out in the second half of 2009, this presents a very pretty hand-drawn, steampunk cartoon world. It's quite bizarre and almost sketch-like in places. There's a video and some screenshots on the Machinarium website.

Excellence in Audio goes to Brainpipe, a psychedelic experience not unlike something Jeff Minter would make on his farm. We'd offer a beefier explanation, but we're quite stupid and confused. The Brainpipe website might help.

Technical Excellence and the Audience Award go to Cortex Command. It's a bit like Worms, but casts players as brains that remotely control robot-bodies from within a bunker. These robot drones mine for gold that can be used to buy more drones and weaponry, which help dominate the battlefield. Four people can play at once and there's lots of splatter.

Cortex Command is still a work in progress, but can be both bought and trialled from the official website. Even keener consumers can grab an open-sourced version and chip in with development.

Finally, Musaic Box picks up Excellence in Design. This presents static, point-and-click environments that need rummaging through in order to find granddad's musical scores. These are then played on musical boxes during a tile-matching puzzle game sequence where melody must match the audio. Pick through the Musaic Box trailer for more.

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