Media-comments from the Awards Selection Committee on the winners of the INDIE Live Expo Awards

■Local Cultural Representation Award

Chinese Parents
As a Chinese player『Chinese Parents』gave me a strange unknown but new felling with a sense of nostalgia. What it reminded me was deciding what my hobbies and studies should be in a limited amount of time under an academic meritocracy based cram education. What felt new was, although I was the little child in the game then, I played as a parent worried about my own child’s future.

China is the most populated country in the world and education is one of the most concerning issues for the people. Most won’t think deeply about the people’s livelihood, but education is close to each individual. 『Chinese Parents』can demonstrate a part of the traditional education in China, and also may give you a good preparation for the question: “Can I be a good parent?” (VGtime)

■Best “Game Feel” Award

『Hades』was one of the least indie-like game this year for me. Viduals, music, settings… I could not see any flaws on any sides. Even the story, where it should have difficulties in merging with Rogue-lite games was top tier.

But I have to say the core of the game is in its satisfying action. The feel of perfection promised us that we will experience『Hades』at its fullest. Nothing more is needed. 『Hades’』game feel is truly Supergiants 「(H)aidos kuneēn」(GAMESCORES)

Lonely Mountains: Downhill
An action game where you go downhill on a bicycle. It is quite nerve wrecking plunging down through the vast mountain range.
Using shortcuts will drastically reduce your time, but one wrong turn or speed will instantly make you crash. The balance there is just right.
With the camera being fixed you cannot see ahead sometimes which makes it feel like an actual downhill requiring the player for both boldness and subtlety. (4Gamer)

■Theme of the Year Award

Not For Broadcast
It looks vintage and nostalgic at first glance but it definitely captures the theme of the year. It represents the contradictory reality that lies between objectivity and propaganda in the media. (UCG)

■Best Characters Award

From the little absurd but cute protagonist swaying his body to the music in-game, to the beautiful but charming stand collar suited illustration, 『Helltaker』showed us an unforgettable epic of the Devil-chans.
What’s more, expressing eloquently the eccentric characters in just a few dialogs with the cute and captivating appearance, it gave the players an unexpected sweet experience. Let us be honest here, how can we say no red eyes with silver hair? (VGtime)

■Most Stream-friendly Game Award

Small team and a lot of assets, a huge sandbox game made in the recent “modern style” development. Not only is there coop online, but Vtubers’ Let’s plays, easily moddable character models for content creators gets a vote for being stream-friendly. Especially in Japan where users and devs being close is kind of foreign, the devs of Craftopia has created a fascinating relationship for the players to experience. (Gamespark)

■Rules of Play Award

5D Chess With Multiverse Time Travel
The rule is so abstruse I had nightmares of the deadline for the vote chasing me. You do feel the roughness of “I had a great idea so I made it,” it shows a glimpse of the possibility for a new genre. We could see a masterpiece, being inspired by the game, rising among their followers. (Nlab)

Hats off to the courage and perseverance in making an impossible idea work as a game. (IGN JAPAN)