2021 Nordic Game Awards Winners

Nordic Game announced the winners of the annual Nordic Game Awards during NG21 May, the spring edition of its biannual games industry conference. The night’s big winner was the Mørkredd from Norwegian developer Hyper Games, which won three of its five nominations, including Nordic Game of the Year.

The 2021 ceremony also introduced the Best European Game award category, showcasing the very best European games from beyond the Nordic region. This new award saw Ori and the Will of the Wisps from Moon Studios take gold, beating CD Project Red’s Cyberpunk 2077.

Now in its nineteenth year, Nordic Game is the only global event with a dedicated focus on the Nordic games industry. Sponsored by Epic Games and the Unreal Engine, the awards are the highlight of the Nordic Game conference. As in previous years, a jury of industry peers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden selected the finalists and winners.

The 2021 Awards also saw the introduction of a new voting format for the Nordic Game of the Year and Game of the Year – Small Screen categories. Votes for both awards were cast live by the jury, with each allowed a first, second and third choice worth five, three and one votes, respectively.

The winners were as follows:

Nordic Game of the Year winner:

Mørkredd from Hyper Games (NO) [19 votes]

Nordic Game of the Year runners-up:

Deep Rock Galactic from Ghost Ship Games (DK) [11 votes]

Noita from Nolla Games (FI) [8 votes]

Teardown from Tuxedo Labs (SE) [6 votes]

Crusader Kings III from Paradox Development Studio (SE) [1 vote]

Nordic Game of the Year – Small Screen winner:

Moving Out from DevM Games (SE) [18 votes]

Nordic Game of the Year – Small Screen runners-up

Terror Squid from Apt Games (NO) [9 votes]

Fancade from Martin Magni (SE) [9 votes]

#AkiRobots from FlatPonies (DK) [7 votes]

Huntdown from Easy Trigger Games (SE) [2 votes]

The other awards maintained the traditional voting format, with the winners selected by a jury of peers who also provided a statement for why the winner was selected.

Best Art winner: 

Mørkredd from Hyper Games (NO)

Motivation: With its cohesive, yet dark and sombre world, this game shows us a vision that

mixes game design with the art of the game itself. The deep, dark shadows are life-threatening, and light is the only safe path, and we, the players, have to navigate this as

best they can – alone or with a trusted co-op partner.

Best Art runners-up:

Huntdown from Easy Trigger Games (SE)

Deep Rock Galactic from Ghost Ship Games (DK)

Lightmatter from Tunnel Vision Games (DK)

Stilstand from Niila Games (DK)

Best Game Design sponsored by TinyBuild winner:

Mørkredd from Hyper Games (NO)

Judge’s motivation: The game design of this elegant puzzler is as beautifully coherent as a yin and yang symbol: The push and the pull, the light and the shadow, the necessity AND the dangers of cooperation.

Best Game Design sponsored by TinyBuild nominees:

Terror Squid from Apt Games (NO)

Noita from Nolla Games (FI)

Crusader Kings III from Paradox Development Studio (SE)

Teardown from Tuxedo Labs (SE)

Best Technology winner:

Teardown from Tuxedo Labs (SE)

Motivation: Technological progress in gaming should focus on creating more engaging games for players. When mixing technological innovation and creative vision, amazing things can happen. This game is the perfect mix of creativity and innovation, where technological advances enable a dynamic game world and emergent gameplay.

Best Technology runners-up:

Deep Rock Galactic from Ghost Ship Games (DK)

Noita from Nolla Games (FI)

Main Assembly from Bad Yolk Games (SE)

Mørkredd from Hyper Games (NO)

Best Audio winner: Amnesia: Rebirth from Frictional Games (SE)

Motivation: Some games are designed around audio, and while that might be a risky endeavour, our pick for Best Audio eludes all of the potential traps. The impressive attention to detail, and the immersive and integral way this game uses sound to set the right kind of mood, show that sometimes every game element is deeply intertwined.

Best Audio runners-up:

Apple Slash from Agelvik (NO)

Deep Rock Galactic from Ghost Ship Games (DK)

Stilstand from Niila Games (DK)

Teardown from Tuxedo Labs (SE)

Best Fun for Everyone winner: Moving Out from DevM Games (SE)

Motivation: A wacky game experience doesn’t need an outlandish concept to entertain. Sometimes all you need is a pair of hands and a couple of friends. Whoever said hard work couldn’t be fun clearly hasn’t played this game.

Best Fun for Everyone  runners-up:

Fancade from Martin Magni (SE)

#AkiRobots from FlatPonies (DK)

Mørkredd from Hyper Games (NO)

Tanknarok from Polyblock Studio (NO)

Best Debut winner: Deep Rock Galactic from Ghost Ship Games (DK)

Motivation: Sometimes, years of hard teamwork turn into a true gem celebrated by millions of players. This game is not just a debut but a breakthrough of epic proportions.

Best Debut  nominees:

Huntdown from Easy Trigger Games (SE)

Main Assembly from Bad Yolk Games (SE)

Lightmatter from Tunnel Vision Games (DK)

Company of Crime from Resistance Games (FI)

Best European Game winner: Ori and the Will of the Wisps from Moon Studios (Austria)

Motivation: Every now and then, a game appears, which appeals to us with all of its elements. Our eyes and ears are delighted with the sights and sounds. Our nerves are caressed with a feel of unity with the game. Our soul is soothed with a beautiful story.

Best European Game nominees:

Dreams from Media Molecule (UK)

Factorio from Wube Software (Czech Republic)

Knights and Bikes from Foam Sword (UK)

Cyberpunk 2077 from CD Projekt Red (Poland)

Nordic Game Awards Special Mention: Noita from Nolla Games (FI)

Motivation: Take some local mythology, some state-of-the-art programming, some retro concepts, and something out of the blue. You may end up with a game with such emergent dimensions that are rarely seen. In this game, exploration expands from the spatial dimensions to endless gameplay possibilities.