Inscryption has made history by becoming the first game to claim the Game of the Year award at both the Game Developers Choice Awards and the IGF Awards. The two ceremonies are considered sister shows, but no single game has ever won both prizes before.
How did Inscryption claim both Game of the Year awards?
The Game Developers Choice Awards and the IGF Awards were both held last night as part of GDC (Game Developers Conference), with the GOTY prize going to Inscryption in both ceremonies. According to a press release by GDC, Inscryption's unique blend of deck-building, roguelite gameplay, and horror storytelling that "consistently surprises the player" was what won it the dual prizes. The winners at GDCA are selected by an invite-only committee of gaming industry creators, so this is very much creatives recognizing creatives. Finalists at the IGF Awards are also chosen by specially-selected juries consisting of "industry peers" (developers and media) rather than audience members. Still, given that Inscryption has sold more than a million copies, it looks like the gaming public agrees with GDC and IGF's assessment.
Other winners at the GDCA ceremony included Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, which took home both Best Visual Art and Best Technology. The rather lovely little zen puzzler Unpacking took home a couple of prizes, while survival crafting game Valheim was also recognized. Psychonauts 2's compassionate storytelling won it a much-deserved Best Narrative prize, too, and there were career achievement awards for Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii and accessibility advocate Steven Spohn. You can check out a full list of all of the winners at the GDCA ceremony below.
- Game of the Year: Inscryption
- Best Technology: Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
- Best Debut: Valheim
- Best Visual Art: Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
- Best Audio: Unpacking
- Best Narrative: Psychonauts 2
- Social Impact Award: Boyfriend Dungeon
- Innovation Award: Unpacking
- Best Design: It Takes Two
- Audience Award: Valheim
- Ambassador Award: Steven Spohn
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Yuji Horii
Over at the IGF Awards, Inscryption took home more than just the top prize, also winning awards for design, narrative, and audio. As you might expect given that IGF stands for Independent Games Festival, these awards skew more towards the indie side of things. The winners of the IGF Awards also win cash prizes, so there's more at stake than simply industry recognition. Here's a full list of all of the winners at IGF, as well as how much cash their respective developers and publishers managed to win.
- Best Student Game: Live Adventure ($2,000)
- Excellence in Design: Inscryption ($2,000)
- Excellence in Visual Art: Papetura ($2,000)
- Excellence in Audio: Inscryption ($2,000)
- Nuovo Award: Memory Card ($2,000)
- Excellence in Narrative: Inscryption ($2,000)
- Audience Award: Mini Motorways ($2,000)
- Seumas McNally Grand Prize (GOTY): Inscryption ($10,000)
What is Inscryption?
Inscryption is a deck-building roguelite with escape-room horror elements created by Pony Island developer Daniel Mullins. Initially, the game is about attempting to navigate the lethal game of a mysterious figure shrouded in shadow. While Inscryption is a card game at heart, it's not really about that; as you play through the game, you'll learn more about the world in which it takes place. Even still, players love the roguelite gameplay so much that a free mini-expansion, "Kaycee's Mod", was released last week, turning the game into an endless roguelike.
If you want to see what all the GDCA and IGF fuss is about, then you can check out Inscryption right now on Steam. Playing the game can be pretty daunting at first; although it's not really about the core card-battling elements, you will still be expected to master them to a certain degree, so be sure to check out our Inscryption beginner's guide for a masterclass in how to get started. Even if you don't initially love the central card game, we'd urge you to stick with Inscryption, as it goes to some very weird and wonderful places indeed.