Bleak survival title This War of Mine, mobile hit 80 Days, and a puzzle game from the creator of the Serious Sam series are among the finalists for the Independent Game Festival’s highest honour.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Invisible Inc., and Shovel Knight are also up for prizes, while Goat Simulator, Hotline Miami 2, and Nuclear Throne all garnered honourable mentions.

The Independent Game Festival (IGF) – now in its seventeenth year - is an annual event that looks to honour the influential and outstanding independently-produced games.

Past winners include Minecraft, Fez, Cart Life, Papers, Please, and Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine.

Today the IGF anounced its finalists across all categories, which were selected by juries from a pool of 650 games.

Voting for the IGF Audience Award winner, choosable from all Main Competition finalists, will begin in February.

All winners will be announced on Thursday March 5 at the IGF Awards in San Francisco, which directly preceeds the the Game Developers Choice Awards.

The full list of finalists:

Excellence In Visual Art

Donut County (Ben Esposito)
Lumino City (State of Play Games)
Else Heart.Break() (Niklas Akerblad, Erik Svedang, et al.)
Memory of a Broken Dimension (XRA)
Metamorphabet (Patrick Smith)
Oquonie (XXIIVV and Kokorobot)

Honorable mentions: Crawl (Powerhoof); Future Unfolding (Spaces of Play); Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine); Mini Metro (Dinosaur Polo Club); The Sailor's Dream (Simogo); The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts).

Excellence In Narrative
80 Days (Inkle Studios)
Coming Out Simulator 2014 (Nicky Case)
Ice-Bound: A Novel of Reconfiguration (Down to the Wire)
Pry (Tender Claws)
This War of Mine (11 Bit Studios)
Three Fourths Home ([Bracket]Games)

Honorable mentions: Curtain (Llaura, Dreamfeeel); Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) (Upper One Games/E-Line Media); Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wilds); The Fall (Over The Moon); The Sailor's Dream (Simogo); The Talos Principle (Croteam).

Excellence In Design

80 Days (Inkle Studios)
Framed (Loveshack)
Invisible Inc. (Klei Entertainment)
Killer Queen (Joshua DeBonis & Nikita Mikros)
Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wilds)
The Talos Principle (Croteam)

Honorable mentions: Desert Golfing (Captain Games); Dungeon of the Endless (Amplitude Studios); Endless Legend (Amplitude Studios); Helix (Michael Brough); Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Steel Crate Games); Mini Metro (Dinosaur Polo Club),

Excellence In Audio

Ephemerid: A Musical Adventure (SuperChop Games)
Phonopath (Kevin Regamey)
Shovel Knight (Yacht Club Games)
The Sailor's Dream (Simogo)
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts)
Thumper (Drool)

Honorable mentions: Deep Under the Sky (Rich Edwards and Colin Northway); Fotonica (Santa Ragione); Goat Simulator (Coffee Stain Studios); Hotline Miami 2 (Dennaton); Nuclear Throne (Vlambeer); Smash Hit (Mediocre).

Nuovo Award
(Designed 'to honor abstract... and unconventional game development')

Become A Great Artist In Just 10 Seconds (Michael Brough and Andi McClure)
Bounden (Game Oven)
Desert Golfing (Captain Games)
Elegy For A Dead World (Dejobaan Games & Popcannibal)
How Do You Do It? (Nina Freeman, Emmett Butler, Jonathan Kittaka and Deckman Coss)
Plug & Play (Mario von Rickenbach and Michael Frei / Etter Studio)
Rooftop Cop (Stephen Lawrence Clark)
Tetrageddon Games (Nathalie Lawhead)

Honorable mentions: Curtain (Llaura, Dreamfeeel); Ice-Bound: A Novel of Reconfiguration (Down to the Wire); International Jetpack Conference (Rob Dubbin and Allison Parrish); Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wiilds); Phonopath (Kevin Regamery); Push Me Pull You (House House).

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

80 Days (Inkle Studios)
Invisible Inc. (Klei Entertainment)
Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wilds)
The Talos Principle (Croteam)
Metamorphabet (Patrick Smith)
This War of Mine (11 Bit Studios)

Honorable mentions: Donut County (Ben Esposito); Endless Legend (Amplitude Studios); Killer Queen (Joshua DeBonis & Nikita Mikros); Shovel Knight (Yacht Club Games); The Sailor's Dream (Simogo); The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts).