We continue our round-up of this year's contenders with a look at the narrative category

Game Connection Awards 2015 finalists: Excellence in Story & Storytelling

Storytelling is one of the many tools in a studio’s arsenal that can help set its project apart from other games on the market – something demonstrated by our second batch of finalists for the 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 www.game-connection.com.

Below are the five finalists for Excellence in Story & Storytelling:

The Perils of Man

Studio: IF Games

Country: Switzerland

Platforms: Tablets and smartphones

Stage: Released

A collaboration between ex-LucasArts devs Bill Tiller and Gene Mocsy with the help of a Swiss animation studio, this seeks to inject further life into the classic adventure game genre. A mysterious gift from Ana’s missing father takes her on a journey through time that explores whether a perfectly predictable world would be a triumph or a curse for mankind.

Blues & Bullets

Studio: A Crowd of Monsters

Country: Spain

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4 and PC

Stage: Playable Demo

This episodic investigation game tasks players with tracking down the perpertrator behind a series of assassinations and establishing their motives. The game is divided into five chapters, each focusing on a specific case in the fictional city of Santa Esperanza. The story is not only told through crime scene investigation, but also conversations with key characters and some fast-paced shooting scenes.

Hitman Go

Studio: Square Enix Montreal

Country: Canada

Platforms: Tablets and smartphones

Stage: Released

A fresh take on the popular Hitman series, this mobile title is styled on tabletop games and tasks players with taking out their targets via turn-based strategy. There is no dialogue or cutscenes, so instead Square Enix Montreal tell the story of Agent 47’s mission through dioramas. Character poses and other subtle touches tell a non-verbal story between levels.

Epic of Kings

Studio: Dead Mage

Country: United States

Platforms: Tablets and smartphones

Stage: Playable Demo

Set in the fantasy world of Khunirath, Epic of Kings tells the tale of a mercenary warlord whose mission to defeat demons becomes something far grander. Players explore a land still recovering from a devastating war, where conflicts between humans and the Deevs often escalate into renewed attempts to conquer the realm. Epic of Kings tells its story through voice-acted cutscenes.

Shadow Puppeteer

Studio: Sarepta Studio

Country: Norway

Platforms: PC, Wii U

Stage: Release Candidate

Sarepta’s Shadow Puppeteer is the story of a boy and his shadow who have been separated. As they journey to become reunited, they must learn to manipulate light and darkness to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles. This co-op puzzle platform game puts one player in the role of the young boy and the other as his shadow, each with their own abilities. 

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