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Finns reign supreme at Nordic Game Awards

Control stopped its Nordic contenders in their tracks to claim the top prize.Remedy

Remedy’s blockbuster Control swept the prize table at the Nordic Game Awards, with fellow Finnish studio Hempuli also receiving a gong at the online awards.

The annual awards being held online didn’t do much to hinder Finnish game studios and especially Remedy from reaching the podium – virtual of not. The jury at Nordic Game Awards praised Control’s “unique atmosphere that draws players into a mystic and surreal world that David Lynch would be proud to call his own“. Control also racked up the Best Technology award and was runner-up in Best Audio, Best Art and Best Design.

Remedy has an explosive future ahead. Image: Remedy

“It is awesome to win the Nordic Game of the Year and Best Technology awards and get some bragging rights in the Nordics,” commented Thomas Puha, communications director at Remedy. “It has been an amazing run for Control in many ways since it launched.”

Remedy’s blockbusting track record hasn’t gone unnoticed in the industry. In early 2020, Remedy announced an agreement with Epic Games, which described one of the Finnish studio’s new projects as its most ambitious to date.

“We have a long history and relationship with Remedy, going on more than two decades”, commentedTim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games. “They’re such an incredibly talented studio with a unique and strong creative vision, and we’re excited to support them with our publishing efforts.”

Do-it-yourself gaming

The other Finnish winner at the awards was indie studio Hempuli, which won the Best Design prize and was recognised as runner-up in the Best Fun for Everyone and Game of the Year categories. The innovative design of its Baba is You game allows players to change the rules of the game themselves.

“What makes the game special is that all its rules are visible as movable ‘blocks’,” explained developer Arvi Teikari in 2018. “This makes it possible for a player to change the rules in the midst of playing the game: for example, make solid walls passable or turn water into a goal line.”

This possibility to figure out different of interactions and ways to complete the puzzles impressed the award judges.

Baba is You really pushes the boundaries of the game’s world, it asks us a philosophical question: ‘who rules?'”

“But does it provide an answer?” they added, cryptically.

In addition a pair of Finnish games took home runner-up prizes at this year’s awards: FakeFish and Undertow GamesBarotrauma and Ctrl Alt Ninja’s Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest.

By: Samuli Ojala