Kena: Bridge of Spirits Wins Indie Game of the Year at The Game Awards

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By Chris Penwell on December 10th, 2021


Stunning 3D platformer Kena: Bridge of Spirits from Ember Labs won the Indie Game of the Year award at The Game Awards 2022.

“It took a lot of hard work from an awesome team,” said Josh Grier, the Chief Operating Officer of the studio, while accepting the award. “I can’t say enough about the amazing people we worked with to make this game and to make the vision come true.” He also thanked their partners at Sony and Epic Games for helping them along the way. Unsurprisingly Kena: Bridge of Spirits also won Best Debut Indie Game.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits beat some tough competition this year as indies yet again shined with their creativity and fun gameplay hooks. The other nominees were Inscryption, Loop Hero, Death’s Door, 12 Minutes, which all deserved to be a part of the race.

Ember Labs has gone through a long journey since it first showed its gorgeous fan film based on The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. We were first introduced to the world of Kena during the first PS5 reveal event, stunning us with its wonderful Pixar-like graphics. The charm and majesty of its visuals instantly hooked those who wanted to get the next generation system. It also made its way to PS4 and PC. The game was delayed by a year from its initial 2020 date until Kena: Bridge of Spirits re-appeared for a September 21, 2021 release. This Indie Game of the Year award win does prove that delaying projects can sometimes be the best option rather than rushing it out to market.

As Kena will likely draw new fans from this win, they may be waiting for a sequel for some time. Currently, there are no plans as of yet to continue her adventures. They’ll likely be working on a new project entirely. “It may be another IP, in the same style—in terms of gameplay and the story-driven experience,” said Grier to SoulVision Magazine. Instead, Grier suggested that a TV show or movie has some potential. This would follow in the same foot steps as another popular indie title, Cuphead, which has a Netflix series releasing in 2022.

The future looks bright for the newly formed indie studio, and Ember Labs’ fans will be waiting in bated breath for their next big project.

The British “Canadian” Chris Penwell has been a video game journalist since 2013 and has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from MacEwan University. He loves to play JRPGs and games with a narrative.


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