Amsterdam, the Netherlands | 03 Mar 2021
Games have evolved a lot since Pong first captivated our collective imaginations back in 1972. These days, games are visionary and bold with intricate storylines and incredible graphics.
Games might not be the first thing that you think of when you envision an excellent design, but these six previous Indigo Design Award recipients may just change your mind.
Picture Armageddon swathed in ethereal green and post-industrial grit, and you’ll have a general idea of what you can expect from sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick’s masterpiece. The Great C is an innovative and thrilling story told entirely in VR, a half-hour immersive experience that will change the way that you think about gaming. The story is a new twist on the familiar hero’s journey, where one unfortunate selected soul has to go on a bleak pilgrimage to appease a sadistic supercomputer, also known as the Great C. Riveting storytelling and superb graphics and use of color set this game in a league of its own.
This adorable epic follows the story of Pimm, the butt-kicking, martial arts master hamster who is on a quest to save Hamsterdam from Marlo and the Vermin Gang. Its graphics might be cutesy, but they are far from basic and are more evocative of early Pixar than standard video game fare. The SVA School of Visual Arts masterfully uses light and shading to hint at grittier elements of the game, and the graphics are both sophisticated and straightforward.
Headed South is a brilliant fusion of UX, emerging technology, and game design, and the end result is glorious. Players explore Motion Sense; a touchless technology rolled out by Google, through a fun and interactive game led by a bird named Soli. As Soli players learn how to interact with different types of flocks and landscapes, moving from North to South as the game progresses. The app-based game combines learning with fun in a fresh way.
Medulla is a surreal journey told in a series of puzzles. Part nightmare, part artistic journey, it follows the journey of Takito as she navigates strange landscapes and imaginative villains like the silver rabbit, baby-faced kid centaur, and kangaroo monkey. It’s two-dimensional and evocative of old-school games with a new twist. The game leans heavily on its intricate storyline, unique challenges, and a heavy-handed dose of magical realism. It’s captivating, and it totally works.
This intense adventure game follows our heroine, Mary, as she explores the grim details of her past and unravels the story behind mysterious curses that have haunted her for her whole life. It is centered partially in the past and partially in the present, where Mary has to save her daughter Sophie from a similar fate. It is a sweeping story, weaving in steampunk graphics with ancient mysticism and an ambitious storyline that will remind more nostalgic players of the early days of Zelda. There are plenty of hidden objects and tangential storylines that will lock players in, and the graphics are absolutely divine.
Check out our past winners for more fantastic examples of unique and visionary game design!