December 11, 2006 - The fifth annual Independent Game of the Year awards are now underway at Independent Game review website Game Tunnel. Following their now traditional schedule, the awards are released category by category beginning with the Sports game of the year on December 9th and topped off by the Top 10 Independent Games of the Year, including the Independent Game of the Year, on December 30th.
During the next 3 weeks 15 awards will be given out to the best Independent Games in genres and categories such as sports, RPG, action, strategy, graphics, innovation and multiplayer. The awards are a time for the entire gaming industry to step back from their normal mainstream affair and try something different.
While the staff at Game Tunnel has been carefully watching the hundreds of Independent Games this year to find the best ones, they are always excited to see everyone else's opinions and are happy to announce that voting for the 2006 Player's Choice award is already underway. Fans of Independent Games everywhere can immediately go www.gametunnel.com and vote for their favorite Independent Game. The Player's Choice award will be awarded on December 29th as part of the Special Awards section of the 2006 Independent Game of the Year awards.
A full calendar of the awards follows.
Dec 9 - Sports Game of the Year
Dec 11- RPG Game of the Year
Dec 13 - Casual Game of the Year
Dec 15 - Strategy Game of the Year
Dec 16 - Sim Game of the Year
Dec 18 - Action Game of the Year
Dec 20 - Quest/Adventure/Platform Game of the Year
Dec 22 - Game of the Year: Graphics
Dec 23 - Game of the Year: Sound
Dec 25 - Game of the Year: Innovation
Dec 27 - Game of the Year: Multiplayer
Dec 29 - Game of the Year: Special Awards
Dec 30 - Top 10 Games of the Year
About Game Tunnel
Game Tunnel was created in 2002 to provide news and reviews on the Independent Gaming scene. Since its launch Game Tunnel has published nearly 700 reviews of Independent (or Indie as it is commonly known as) Game titles. It's most popular articles include the monthly round-up, which features a panel of well-known industry veterans who review the majority of independent games released each month, and the end of the year awards, which are the de facto awards for the best Independent Games each year. In addition Game Tunnel has a regular schedule of independent game-related features including previews, developer Q&As, multiple column offerings and news stories to along with a large download section to give the public just a little taste of the many Independent games available in the Independent Underground.
About Independent Games
Many independent games have found their way into the everyday lifestyle of gamers around the world without them even realizing what they are playing. While the moniker of a developer creating games out of their parent's garage still has validity, new computer tools have made the costs associated with creating games much lower and have made it possible for independent game developers to bring their own game ideas to the public like never before through both online channels and through new distribution channels such as the Xbox 360's Live Arcade.
These developers have created many of the most innovative games available over the last few years, doing so on very limited budgets and releasing the titles on their own without the help of major publishers.
Though most Independent developers pride themselves on creating new and innovative titles Independent games are not limited to the 'mainstream' market, but also cross-over into the rapidly growing 'casual' marketplace. Nearly all of the games available through sites such as Reflexive ( http://www.reflexive.com), Real Arcade ( http://www.realarcade.com/), and MSN Games ( http://zone.msn.com) are Independent Games. However the casual games created by independent developers only highlight a portion of the independent gaming world.