The best looking games from this year's shortlisted projects

Game Connection Awards 2015 finalists: Excellence in Art

When developing games with limited means or on a tight budget, a striking visual style can be crucial to success – as will be recognised by the third category in this year’s Game Connection Development Awards.

Popular business and networking event Game Connection America will once again run alongside GDC in San Francisco next week, and will be highlighting some of the most promising upcoming titles with its own awards ceremony.

Previously known as Selected Projects, the Game Connection Development Awards are designed to reward some of the most innovative titles from studios big and small, across various platforms and in various states of development.

All this week, Develop will be rounding up the finalists in all ten categories. You can find out more about the awards at

The five finalists for Excellence in Art are:


Studio: Madfinger Games

Country: Czech Republic

Platforms: Tablets and smartphones

Stage: Released

Monzo is an app that allows users to build, paint, texture and play with digital recreations of models made by famous German manufacturer Revell. The game carefully recreates the real-life Revell models to a high-level of detail, enabling players to customise them and photograph them, before sharing their creations with friends via social media.

Epic of Kings

Studio: Dead Mage

Country: United States

Platforms: Tablets and smartphones

Stage: Playable Demo

Dead Mage’s action RPG aims to bring console-quality graphics to mobile games, and succeeds with a lush fantasy world, intimidating monsters and impressive visual style. The art style works well with the cinematic gameplay that will pitch players against a variety of giant beasts that would not look out of place in a larger title for home consoles. 

Hitman Go

Studio: Square Enix Montreal

Country: Canada

Platforms: Tablets and smartphones

Stage: Released

Steering away from the series’ realistic look and feel, this mobile spin-off instead bases its visual style on its inspiration: tabletop games. Characters are rendered as almost tangible models and pieces, while each level is depicted as a well-crafted diorama. Familiar aspects from the console and PC games, such as Agent 47 himself and his trademark Silverballer pistols, are instantly recognisable while keeping with this new art style.


Studio: Active Gaming Media

Country: Japan

Platforms: PC, PSN

Stage: Released

This Japanese side-scrolling shooter blends 2D gameplay with 3D visuals, with vast environments appearing in the background as the player’s battles with waves of enemies fill the screen with explosions and other particle effects. The game is also promoted and complemented with anime-style artwork of the various characters and vehicles.

Raids of Glory

Studio: Nitro Games

Country: Finland

Platforms: Tablets and smartphones

Stage: Released

Much like many of the base-building strategy games available on mobile, Raids of Glory offers a cartoony world filled with exaggerated characters, quirky building designs and brightly-coloured environments. The game supports Apple’s new Metal API to achieve the best possible graphics on tablets and smartphones, and unlike many strategy games, the environments can be viewed from 360 degrees.

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