For the first time in the famous film festival’s history, Tribeca will bestow a videogame with the inaugural Tribeca Games Award as part of the event’s 20th anniversary.
Eight games will feature at the 2021 Tribeca Festival and compete for the new award, where they were chosen to celebrate unreleased games with ‘the potential to elevate art and storytelling’ in the medium of videogames.
While the upcoming event is the first official Tribeca award for videogames, it’s not the first time the medium has received recognition at the festival. That honour goes to LA Noire, made by the now-defunct Australian studio Team Bondi, which featured as an Official Selection at the 2011 Tribeca Festival.
Those included as Official Selections and eligible for the Tribeca Games Award include:
• Harold Halibut - developed and published by Slow Bros.
• Kena: Bridge of Spirits - developed and published by Ember Lab
• Lost in Random - developed by Zoink Games, published by EA Originals
• NORCO - developed by Geography of Robots, published by Raw Fury
• Sable - developed by Shedworks, published by Raw Fury
• Signalis - Developed by rose-engine, published by Humble Games
• The Big Con - developed by Mighty Yell
• Twelve Minutes - developed by Luis Antonio, published by Annapurna Interactive
Many of the selected games will house playable demos in-person at the New York festival, with virtual demos also available for free online. Casey Baltes, Vice President of Tribeca Games, believes the range of games represented show what storytelling is possible with the medium.
‘This year’s selections showcase the potential for phenomenal storytelling in interactive experiences, with characters and worlds that explore the deep connection we have to ourselves and the world around us,’ Baltes said. ‘From action/adventure to interactive thriller to intimate point and click narratives, these selections demonstrate a range of story and gameplay as well as visual style. We fell in love with the characters and the worlds that each game presented to us.’