Yesterday, we published our first article covering Brazil’s Independent Games Festival 2021 – or BIG Festival 2021 for short – telling you a little about the event’s trajectory and its attractions in 2021.
As mentioned in yesterday’s article, this year we have 96 titles running for 16 different categories among Best Art, Best Narrative, Best Multiplayer, and the most coveted prize, Best Game. As the time to know the best games of the Festival draws close, today I want to present the games running for the Best Game of the show.
In previous editions of BIG Festival, the prize of Best Game laureated studios from different parts of the world. Some of these games are now widely known and available on most platforms. As a matter of curiosity, here are all the titles that already received the prize of Best Game:
- In 2012, Unmechanical from the Swedish studio Tawala Games. The game is available on mobile, PC, PS3, PS4, and Xbox – these last two in its Extended version. (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/unmechanical-extended/c2p43hvqx0xl?activetab=pivot:overviewtab)
- In 2014, Nom Nom Galaxy from the Japanese studio Q-Games. The game is available on Steam and PS4
- In 2015, This War of Mine from the Poland studio 11 Bit Studios. The game is available on mobile, PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox in its The Little Ones version. (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/this-war-of-mine-the-little-ones/bsz576r612b0?activetab=pivot:overviewtab)
- In 2016, Horizon Chase from the Brazilian studio Aquiris Game Studio. The game is available for mobile and in its Turbo version for PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/horizon-chase-turbo/bv3fzp8hc2t5?activetab=pivot:overviewtab)
- In 2017, Overcooked from the British studio Ghost Town Games. The game is available for PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, and Xbox (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/overcooked/bp8wdv3t37n7?activetab=pivot:overviewtab)
- In 2018, Frostpunk from the Poland studio 11 Bit Studios. The game is available for PC, PS4, and Xbox through its Console Edition. (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/frostpunk-console-edition/9np539lhjd8s?activetab=pivot:overviewtab)
- In 2019, Gris from the Spanish studio Nomada Studio. The game is available for mobile, PC, Switch, and PS4, but not on Xbox. Disappointing.
It’s worth mentioning that in BIG 2020 there wasn’t a contest to elect the best game of the Festival like in previous years. Some late changes in the Festival due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I suppose.
Now let’s know the games running for Best Game in Brazil’s Independent Games Festival 2021:
A Short Hike
A Short Hike is a game about exploration and connection with nature. Controlling a bird hiker, you will hike, climb, and soar through the mountainside landscapes of hawk peak provincial park. Follow existent traits or make your way to the summit while befriending other hikers, looking for hidden treasures, and admiring the view along the way.
This beautiful adventure was released for PCs and Switch in 2019. Unfortunately, there’s no demo available for us to try it out.
A Short Hike is also running for Best Sound and Best Art.
Curious Expedition 2
Curious Expedition 2 is a turn-based roguelike adventure set in a reimagined version of the late 19th century. In this game, players take plays as an explorer on a quest to uncover the secrets of mysterious islands that appear and disappear in the oceans. Combining hand-crafted and procedural gameplay and story elements, the game requires players to manage their resources and party members while keeping their insanity at bay.
Curious Expedition 2 is also running for Best Art.
Figment 2: Creed Valley
Following the successful formula of its predecessor (which has never been made available for Xbox, unfortunately), Figment 2: Creed Valley is an action-adventure game set in the human mind. Nightmares are spreading chaos, and it’s up to Dusty, The Mind’s courage, to travel to Creed Valley to restore peace while facing puzzles and musical boss fights.
Planned for a 2021 release on PCs (and hopefully, an Xbox version as well), you can try its prologue on Steam.
Figment 2: Creed Valley is also running for Best Sound and Best Art.
If you feel like you have already seen this name in the last few weeks – as I did – I must say that you are right. Genesis Noir is a point-and-click adventure released in March that my good friend Vicci Vulpix reviewed a few weeks ago. In this very untraditional title, you will find yourself caught in a love triangle with cosmic beings with catastrophic proportions: the love of your life is about to be murdered by nothing less than the Big Bang, and it’s up to you to prevent it or to destroy the universe to save her.
Genesis Noir is also running for Innovation, Best Sound, and Best Art.
Interrogation: You Will Be Deceived
In this beautiful noir (yes, yes… I have a crush on noir games) detective thriller, you play as the leading investigator tracking down a dangerous terrorist organization that aims to destroy and remold the social structure. Manage the special police department assigned for this task while you interrogate suspects using a complex conversation system. As you try to find the truth, you will need to take care of their reputation with politics, the public, and the press. And remember: how far are you willing to go when your suspects don’t cooperate with you?
Interrogation: You Will Be Deceived is also running for Innovation and Best Narrative.
Liberated is a cyberpunk graphic novel told through the pages of a comic book. The adventure takes place in a dark and not-so-distant future where technology turned against people and, under the pretext of ensuring order and security, authorities freely violate civil rights and use this technology to manipulate people. IN this game, you play as a group of people who decided to oppose this new social order using any means necessary.
Liberated has been released for PCs in Jul 2020 and is also available for Switch. While we wait for an Xbox Version, our PC friends can enjoy a demo available on Steam.
Liberate is also running for Best Art and Best Narrative.
Not for Broadcast
In this very peculiar game, you are an employee of a television channel, the National Nightly News broadcast center, during the rise of a radical government. Television is one of the most efficient mass manipulation tools that exist. Governments all around the world use it in their favor for propaganda and control the public. In this scenario, you are the person responsible for what the channel broadcast to the public. Using four camera feeds, you can mix their signal into live production, choose the headlines, show ads, and repress the content when necessary. With all this power in your hands, will you censor the news and be rewarded for it or expose the truth? It’s up to you to determine what goes on air – and live with its consequences.
If this little description of the game got your attention, know that you can try its prologue for free: it’s available on Steam at this link.
Not for Broadcast is also running for Innovation and Best Gameplay.
Pathologic 2 is already a classic! First released in May 2019 for PCs, we reviewed its Xbox version in early 2020. In this survival game, playing as the surgeon Artemy Burakh, you must find a cure for a disease that plagues a Russian rural city within 12 days. You are the only one who can save the city – even though you can’t save everyone in the process.
Pathologic 2 is also running for Best Sound, Best Narrative, and Best Gameplay.
Per Aspera ad Astra. In this game, you will be in control of the most advanced AI ever created (Siri? Cortana? Alexa?) in a mission to terraform Mars and prepare it for the arrival of humankind. Control a legion of drones responsible for harvesting resources and working over the surface of the red planet and unravel the twists of humanity’s first mission to Mars. But be careful: it looks like something doesn’t want you to succeed in this mission.
Available since Dez 2020, the game offers a demo for you on its Steam page.
Per Aspera is also running for Best Gameplay and Best Game: Latin America.
The Signifier: Director’s Cut
The Signifier is a first-person mystery adventure that blends investigation, psychology, and artificial intelligence. Controlling Frederick Russell, a psychologist and AI specialist, you will try to solve a murder investigation using a recently developed technology that allows you to delve into the subconscious and hopefully solve this crime.
The game is available for PC since Oct 2020 and has a free demo available. The Signifier is also expected to be released on consoles in 2021. Hopefully, soon, our Xbox Team will have the opportunity to tell you more about this game.
The Signifier: Director’s Cut is also running for Innovation, Best Art, Best Narrative, and Best Game: Latin America.
That is it for today, my friends. Tomorrow we will have another article covering more of the Festival and presenting more of the fantastic games available.
Remember that until May 9th, you can visit BIG 2021 site to play all these games first-hand.
See you then!
With a history of gaming that goes from his old man’s Atari 2600 to his Xbox One, Rafael or RAF687, our Brazilian editor, has a love for games as old as he can remember. He has already spent countless hours in many consoles (Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and Xbox 360) and is always ready for more (as long as his wife is asleep). Raf has been writing for LifeisXbox since 2017, with a passion for games of almost all genres – though we know he has a special place in his heart for RPGs, racing games and anything that includes pixel art. Writing about games has always been a childhood dream to Raf, dream that he has fulfilled reviewing games for you here. You can drop him a message at Twitter, Facebook or Xbox Live at any time.