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The Big Indie Awards 2018 Top 20 Countdown Part 1 - 20 to 11

We check out 20 -11 Big Indie Awards countdown highlighting the very best indie games from the last 12 months
The Big Indie Awards 2018 Top 20 Countdown Part 1 - 20 to 11
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Last year we hosted the first ever Big Indie Awards, celebrating the best of the The Big Indie Pitch in 2017. This celebration saw 200 developers enter, before being whittled down to a top 10 thanks to some intense judging from our experts.

From these 10 games, three were showered with prizes at a live awards ceremony in China, including for one, the right to call themselves the first ever winner of The Big Indie Awards, and the most exciting indie game in development. That game was Mona Lisa by Italic Pig, and was certainly a very deserving winner of this prestigious award.

Now we’re ready to do it all over again, as we head to South Korea’s leading games show G-STAR to host The Big Indie Awards 2018 in association with G-STAR and Jagex Partners. However, this time we’re making it bigger and better.

Capitalising on what has been another record breaking year for The Big Indie Pitch, we saw a whopping 400 developers enter the competition. These 400 games were then reduced down to a longlist of 60 games, before we reconvened our expert judges in order to create not just a top 10, but a top 20, in order to highlight even more amazing talent.

The top 10 will be revealed at our live awards ceremony in Busan at G-STAR 2018, on Thursday November 15th from 5pm in the G-STAR Indie Game Pavilion. This event will also see the top 3 awarded a range of prizes too. We're also bringing both The Big Indie Pitch and PC Indie Pitch for indie developers looking to highlight their latest creations as well.

However, for now, we can now reveal games 11-20. So without further ado, let me introduce to you 10 of the most exciting and promising indie games.


Developed by a solo developer from South Korea known as MMZZUU, DEFENOID appears to be a rather simple game where players use one-touch controls to avoid fire and destroy enemies, all without leaving the boundaries of the small stage. But once the bullets start flying, this game is anything but simple, and is incredibly fun to play.

It also turns the normal idea of gaming on its head, by having your main focus to be on defending yourself and using the enemy's power against them, rather you going on the offensive yourself.


19 - Inops by ZRZStudio

Inops is an absolutely gorgeous 2D side scroller, one in which the aim is to stay alive whilst guiding all of the Inops through each level. Unfortunately for the Inops these stages are littered with enemies, traps and puzzles, all of which mean it’ll take a lot of skill to get them all out safely.

Inspired by the likes of quirky classics such as LocoRoco, Inops also sees players having to scour levels for lost Inops. Once awoken and collected these can then be combined in order to become one big Inop or split further into smaller pieces, all of which allows players to approach levels in unique ways. With 3 different worlds, an inviting art style and interactive gameplay, Inops is set to bring a unique and immersive experience!


18 - Nood Climbrs by FINIFUGU && friends

Our Very Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects London 18 champion FINIFUGU && friends was at it again here. As the hilarious and superbly crafted Nood Climbrs went and took the crown at The Big Indie Pitch at White Nights Prague 18.

This endless, physics-based climbing game has players controlling the arms and legs of a nude climber in which they must contort their body to get as high as they can. It may still be very much in the early stages of development as FINIFUGU && friends first finishes Too Many Cooks, but it is definitely one game to watch thanks to its mix of intelligent gameplay, zany antics, and lots of collectibles.


17 - My Child Lebensborn by Sarepta Studio

My Child Lebensborn isn’t just a game, it also has an important message at the heart of its story. A story based on true events. You see, My Child Lebensborn tells the tale of the Lebensborn children, children born of Nazi German soldiers and Norwegian mothers during World War II as part of a Nazi program to raise the birth rate of Aryan children.

Developed in cooperation with the living Lebensborn children, in this game you’ll have to carefully balance your time and money whilst also choosing which parenting style is the best one in which to help guide the child through difficult events in their life. That’s not all though, as the game also contains a story that will reveal the potentially uncomfortable past of the child.


16 - Dead End Job by Ant Workshop

Described by the developer as Ghostbusters meets The Binding of Isaac with a bit of Ren & Stimpy, Dead End Job takes retro twin-stick shooting action and presents it like a cartoon straight outta the 90s. It was also the winner of our Big Indie Pitch in Dundee, and one of the first Nintendo Switch games to take the crown.

In Dead End Job you control Hector Plasm, an expert in paranormal pest control, as he patrols town rescuing citizens and sucking up ghosts in his trusty vacuum. You’ll have to watch out though, as Hector has a ghost or two from his past that aren’t quite finished with him yet.


15 - Haiku Adventure by Small Island Games

Haiku Adventure is a love letter to Japan and Japanese culture crossed with an original and poetic adaption of the point-and-click adventure genre. Through the game’s five hour experience, players will be able to delve inside carefully created landscapes which celebrate Japanese woodblock prints, whilst also exploring what the developer describes as “the transformative tricks of perception contained within the formal constraints of haiku poetry”.

By exploring this world and discovering the poetic lines within it, players will be able to construct complete three link Japanese Haikus, and through doing so will witness the world around the transform and become reimagined based on those very Haikus. Additionally the game is also set to feature branching dialogue choices, interactive environments and a responsive soundscape.

14 - Skye by Puny Astronaut

Join Skye, the friendly dragon, and explore a colourful, living world that’s as happy to see you as you will be to see it. From dashing though countryside fields to diving for pearls underwater, and even to flying through evening fireworks, there’s an entire world to explore at your own leisure.

Created to appeal to all ages this is pitched as a cool pick-up-and-play experience, it certainly deserved the plaudits when judges awarded it the runner up at The Big Indie Pitch in Dundee, and is certainly one to watch out for in the future.


13 - Airheart - Tales of broken Wings by Blindflug Studios

Winner of our Big Indie Pitch at Gamescom 2018, Airheart - Tales of Broken Wings is a twin-stick aeroplane adventure set in a dieselpunk world that exists above the clouds.

Within the game, players can customise and configure their plane just to their liking, before setting off into a colourful and engrossing world filled with life. One in which every level is built on top of the last one. From battling sinister sky pirates to catching flying fish, Blindflug Studios is promising quite the sky-high adventure.


12 - .Projekt by Kyrylo Kuzyk

Described by the developer as a little bit like taking a geometry lesson, but in a much more fun and relaxing way, .Projekt is one of the most unique puzzle games we’ve seen, and that’s not easy in today’s crowded market.

Through an incredibly polished level of presentation .Projekt tasks players with recreating the 3D block shape that would create the shadowed images they see before them. It sounds difficult, but it’s actually highly intuitive, challenging without ever being frustrating, and quite frankly, an awful lot of fun.


11 - G30 by Ivan Kovalov

This multiple indie awards winning mobile puzzle is a narrative puzzler based around the concept of memory, both what we remember, and what has been forgotten never to be retrieved. The gameplay captures these ideas by tasking players with manipulating visual puzzles that consist of dashed lines in order to not only solve the puzzle, but reveal an important memory.

In terms of the story behind the game, developer Ivan Kovalov is actually representing a powerful and important message. This is because G30 tells the story of a person with deteriorating mental health and how that person conceives reality. Through this players will see how the world slips away from the main character and with it their memories, hopefully in turn understanding the suffering of millions of people.


The Top 10

So that’s our Big Indie Awards 2018 countdown from 20-11. All 10 of these games deserve all the praise they are receiving, and definitely are games for you to keep your eyes on.

What about the top 10 though? Well we’ll be revealing which games made it to the top 10 stage next week. However, these will be revealed in no particular order.

Why you ask? Well that’s because we’ll be revealing the exact order of the Top 10, including which three developers will be walking away with our top 3 prizes, at our live Big Indie Awards 2018 ceremony on November 15th at G-STAR in South Korea.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the awards though. As following the live ceremony we’ll have interviews with the winners and extensive coverage of the event itself right here on PocketGamer.Biz.