The judges certainly did not have an easy task, as this year 206 independent games from around the world were submitted for the Intel Pixel Awards Europe 2023 competition. The judges selected 13 titles to compete for prizes during Pixel Heaven 2023. The awards ceremony will take place at a special gala on Saturday, May 27. It is worth noting that guests of the festival will have the chance to see the nominated games for themselves.
This is already the 11th edition of Pixel Heaven Games and Pop Culture Festival. The event will take place from May 26 to 28 at the Creative Industries Development Centre building at 65 Mińska Street in Warsaw. There will be many attractions for festival guests – from the opportunity to play retro games on old consoles and slot machines to participation in interesting lectures. Of course, Pixel Heaven 2023 will be attended by great guests, including:
- Jim Bagley – co-creator of ZX Spectrum NEXT
- Simon Butler – creator of the famous Pedro’s Garden
- Anthony and Nicola Caulfield – the founders of Gracious Films
- Mike Dailly – designer of Lemmings and the prototype of the first Grand Theft Auto game
- Jon “Jops” Hare – co-founder of the famous Sensible Software and a regular guest and friend of the festival
Below is the list of 13 games nominated for Intel Pixel Awards Europe 2023. On the infographics you can also see which titles are competing in the main categories. Here are brief descriptions of each game.
Blacktail developed by The Parasight
Become the guardian of the forest or the fear that nightmares are made of. Forge the legend of Baba Yaga and experience its origins in BLACKTAIL, a unique blend of intense archery combat, magic and dark stories in a vivid fairy tale world. You play as Yaga, a 16-year-old girl accused of witchcraft and expelled from a medieval Slavic settlement. When living memories of your past return as nasty, walking ghosts, you have no choice but to track them down in hopes of unraveling your own mystery.
Evil West developed by Flying Wild Hog
A dark menace is consuming the Old West. Fight with style in visceral, explosive battles against bloodthirsty monstrosities. Eradicate the vampiric hordes with your lightning-fast gauntlet and become a Wild West Superhero.
Figment 2: Creed Valley developed by Bedtime Digital Games
Figment 2: Creed Valley is an action-adventure game set in the human mind. Take on bosses in musical confrontations, work your way through puzzles and explore unique environments.
First Dwarf developed by Star Drifters
First Dwarf is an immersive action-RPG with basic building elements that will put your survival and exploration skills to the test in an open fantasy world sprawled across islands floating in the sky. Planet Driftland no longer exists – a mage war between the planet’s four races disintegrated the globe into floating islands and turned its inhabitants into barbaric tribes. Among the desolation, only the dwarves ruled, but not for long. Resources are running out and the once great civilization is breathing its last. In a desperate attempt to secure the future, mighty airships are sent to the celestial islands in search of materials to save the once mighty dwarven kingdom.
Forever Skies developed by Far From Home
Forever Skies is a first-person post-apocalyptic survival game. Return to Earth, ravaged by an ecological disaster. Fly, upgrade and customize your mobile high-tech airship base. Gather resources to survive, confront surface dangers and hunt viral pathogens to cure a mysterious disease.
Fort Solis developed by Fallen Leaf studio
Fort Solis is a single player, third person thriller experience set on Mars. Jack responds to an alarm call from a neighboring base and arrives at a dark and abandoned Fort Solis. With impending storm warnings, he heads inside to make contact. As the night grows longer, events escalate, spiral out of control and the mystery of what happened to the crew begins to reveal itself. The storms arrive and limit Jack’s escape as he holds out until morning.
Layers of Fear developed by Bloober Team
The series, which has made a mark in narrative first-person psychological horror games, returns to tell its latest chilling story in Layers of Fear. The series’ crowning achievement is the definitive way to experience the critically acclaimed franchise, as it includes Layers of Fear and Layers of Fear 2, as well as all the DLCs (including the new “The Final Note” DLC that gives you a new perspective on the Layers of Fear storyline) and the never-before-told story of The Writer, which ties it all together. Layers of Fear is built on Unreal Engine 5 and supports Ray Tracing, HDR and 4K resolution to make the stunning visuals and your nightmarish experience as immersive and realistic as possible.
Railbound developed by Afterburn
Railbound is a comfortable, track-bending puzzle game about a pair of dogs on a train journey around the world. Connect and separate railroads in different landscapes and help everyone reach their homes. Solve over 200 clever puzzles ranging from rolling hills to winding passages.
Roadwarden developed by Moral Anxiety Studio
Roadwarden is an illustrated, text-based RPG that uses isometric pixel art and combines mechanics borrowed from RPGs, visual novels, adventure games and interactive fiction, such as inventory puzzles, dialogue choices, character skills and progression, hit points, simple survival mechanics or quests limited by in-game time.
Shardpunk: Verminfall developed by Clockwork Pile
The war is lost, the capital is in ruins and you are on the run! Shardpunk: Verminfall combines turn-based tactical strategy with RPG, survival and resource management as you gather your team, search for resources, fight enemy hordes and seek shelter to live another day.
Super Dungeon Maker developed by Firechick
Super Dungeon Maker is a creative pixel art dungeon editor inspired by the best 2D adventure games. Choose as many levels, enemies, secret rooms, traps and items as you want. Challenge your friends and the community to master your dungeon or play the numerous community dungeons.
The Invincible developed by Starward Industries
The Invincible is a first-person adventure thriller set in an atompunk world, based on an iconic novel by world-renowned hard science fiction author and Polish futurologist Stanisław Lem. You play as Yasna, a scientist exploring a mysterious planet Regis III in search of her missing crew. While trying to stay alive on the mysterious planet, she discovers an unfathomable scientific phenomenon and is confronted with the limitations and weaknesses of the human species.
Unknown Number: A First Person Talker developed by Godolphin Games
Unknown Number tells the story of a high-stakes heist and is experienced entirely through a series of interactive “phone calls. In this adventure, you crack passwords, trick guards, pretend to be oil executives – and just save the whole damn world – all with your voice. Talk, sing, whisper and shout your way through this immersive puzzle adventure that uses voice commands for almost everything.