The very unique, Māori infused Umurangi Generation has just beat out a stacked field to win the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, the biggest gong available at the Independent Games Festival.
Umurangi, which is a first-person cyberpunk photography game steeped in Māori culture, beat out Paradise Killer, Genesis Noir, Chicory: A Colourfal Tale, Teardown and Spiritfarer to win the award. The award isn’t just ceremonial: the creators of Umurangi will receive $US10,000 for their victory according to the official release, plus another $US2,000 for winning the Excellent in Narrative category.
Even the list of honourable mentions is supremely stacked: Disc Room, Bugsnax, Spelunky 2, Blaseball and There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension are some of the indie titles that just missed out on a finalist spot. Previous winners of the IGF Seumas McNally Grand Prize include A Short Hike, Return of the Obra Dinn, Her Story, Outer Wilds, Papers, Please, Cart Life, Fez and Darwinia.
Here’s the full list of the winners from IGF’s 2021 awards:
- Best Student Game ($US2,000) – Vessels (Local Space Survey Corps, LLC)
- Excellence in Audio ($US2,000) – Genesis Noir (Feral Cat Den)
- Excellence in Narrative ($US2,000) – Umurangi Generation (Origame Digital)
- Audience Award ($US2,000) – Arrog (Hermanos Magia and Leap Game Studios)
- Excellence in Design ($US2,000) – Teardown (Tuxedo Labs)
- Excellence in Visual Art ($US2,000) – Genesis Noir (Feral Cat Den)
- Nuovo Award ($US2,000) – Blaseball (The Game Band)
- Seumas McNally Grand Prize ($US10,000) – Umurangi Generation (Origame Digital)
If you haven’t played Umurangi Generation yet, please do so. Fergus Halliday, who guest-wrote a GOTY list for Kotaku Australia last year, neatly described it as Pokemon Snap meets Neon Genesis Evangelion. It was one of my favourites too, and its port on the Switch adds some excellent gyro controls. The full game plus DLC is $32.40 at the moment on PC, if you’d rather play there.