GameCity, the world’s friendliest videogame festival, last night announced the shortlist for the third annual GameCity Prize, an award that celebrates videogames as a cultural art form.
Forming one of the centrepieces of the GameCity festival, the GameCity Prize aims to start new conversations about videogames.
From football, real time strategy, survival horror, puzzle-based platforming to music games, this year’s diverse shortlist of seven games has been selected by an anonymous academy of industry experts from a longlist of 18 titles released in the past year.
The winning game will be selected by an esteemed panel of judges, all leading figures in their own creative fields, covering acting, art, broadcasting, education and journalism. They are journalist Samira Ahmed; teacher, journalist and author Phil Beadle; journalist and actress Louise Brealey; artist Dinos Chapman; Channel 4’s head of arts commissioning Tabitha Jackson; and Professor Uta Frith, the Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development at University College London.
The games shortlisted for GameCityPrize 2013 are:
· FIFA 13 (EA)
C apturing the unpredictability of real-world football, with no two matches ever the same, FIFA 13 features breakthrough gameplay innovations such as First Touch Control and the Player Impact Engine that create a true battle for possession across the entire pitch, and features like Complete Dribbling and Attacking Intelligence that deliver freedom and creativity in attack.
· FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)
A spaceship simulation with the aim to recreate the atmosphere of running a spaceship exploring the galaxy, as depicted in the likes of Firefly, Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica. Subset has created a game where you manage the crew, fix the engines, reroute power to shields, target the enemy life support, and then figure out how to repel the boarders that just transported over!
· The Last of Us (Naughty Dog)
The Last of Us tells the story of Joel, a survivor of the savage cordyceps virus infection that has plunged the USA into a chillingly-authentic post-apocalyptic hell. He embarks on a cross-America trip with a precious cargo, Ellie, leaving the relative safety of the quarantine zone where they will encounter fierce mutated husks and crazed survivors.
· Sound Shapes (SCEE)
Equal parts musical instrument and game, users can play through a single-player campaign mode or compose original music and levels, all of which utilise the PS Vita’s front touchscreen and rear touch panel. During play, users can explore a musical world in the form of a classic 2D side scroller, where every action creates a unique game sound track.
· Spaceteam (Sleeping Beast Games)
Spaceteam is a co-operative party game for two to four players who shout technobabble at each other until their ship explodes. Each player needs a mobile device and you’re assigned a random control panel with buttons, switches, sliders, and dials. You need to follow time-sensitive instructions. However, the instructions are being sent to your teammates, so you have to co-ordinate before the time runs out.
· Thomas Was Alone (Mike Bithell)
A study in simplicity, Thomas Was Alone is a 2D platform-puzzle game that quickly engages and engrosses the player with its charming storyline and art style. Created by Mike Bithell, voiced by Danny Wallace and with a rousing score by David Housden, Thomas Was Alone was originaly launched for PC and Mac in the summer of 2012, with PS3 and PS Vita versions arriving during 2013.
· XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2K)
In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, players oversee combat strategies and individual unit tactics as well as base management and resource allocation while playing as the commander of a secret global military organisation. With equal emphasis on deep strategy and intense tactical combat , XCOM: Enemy Unknown allows gamers to control the fate of the human race by defending against a terrifying global alien invasion.
The winner of the GameCityPrize 2013 will be announced at a special event to take place during the end of November 2013.
Gamecity festival director Iain Simons said: “I think this is one of the most exciting shortlists we’ve had so far, and a very tough jury. This year we’ve been thinking a lot about how to create some real value from the GameCity Prize, and these exciting announcements are just the start of that process. We’re really looking forward to learning the identity of the winning title, and being able to share our latest plans for the Prize at the end of November.”