Unpacking is one of the Biggest Game Prize Snubs

The 2021 Game Awards are fast approaching and much speculation is running high as players and journalists alike try to guess the winner. Nominations for the award were announced last month, after being selected by a panel of judges that included representatives from 103 media outlets. However, Open the package, an Indie game that made waves this year, is strangely absent from the list.

With an average score in the mid-80s on Metacritic, Open the package is one of the most impactful indie video games to be released in 2021. The game has won over critics and fans alike with its combination of relaxing gameplay, meditation and slow stories. Even so, it failed to make it to the five nominations for The Best Indie Category of the 2021 Game Awards, leading many to wonder why it was snubbed.


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Nominations for Best Indie Game at The Game Awards 2021

Room is complete

Open the package may not make the list of Best Indie Games, but five titles are included Twelve Minutes, Door of Death, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Inscryption, and Loop hero. Each of these titles great review in 2021 and certainly represent some of the best indie games of the year. However, not all of them were as well received by fans and critics as Open the package to be.

Despite its unique gameplay design, horror movie title Twelve minutes was criticized for its mid-to-late game stretch and handling of domestic violence without proper content warning. Unlike Open the package, Twelve minutes failed to break the 80 mark in Metacritic scores for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. It’s especially odd that these critical comments would be ignored when choosing a nomination for Best Indie.

The same, similar, Kena: Bridge of Spirits didn’t earn the same level of critical acclaim as Open the package in terms of Metacritic score. While it was generally well-reviewed, many reviewers pointed out the lack of originality in the gameplay mechanics, which indie games often focus on. Though, Kena: Bridge of Spirits received three nominations at The Game Awards 2021, for Best Art Direction, Best Debut and Best Indie. While every game nominated for the second category is a great indie experience, the idea that Open the package Not worthy of a nomination is hard to credit.

Why Unpacking Was Snubbed at The Game Awards 2021

Room with items and boxes

There are a number of different reasons why Open the package maybe have done sneak at The Game Awards 2021. The first is simply that the game is too short to compare with its longer rivals. Open the package can be completed in less than three hours, a swift experience even compared to other indie titles. Nominee Loop Hero clock at about 25 o’clock, while Kena: Bridge of Spirits offers about 10 hours of gameplay. A short game isn’t necessarily an inferior game, but if it breaks the tie between two well-received titles, length could be the deciding factor. In fact, length may be even more appropriate if cost is taken into account. Open the package costs $20, which is more than average for a 3-hour indie game.

Another reason Open the package maybe have done overlooked at the 2021 Game Awards is its proper game loop. Although indie games often explore unusual gameplay mechanics, Open package’His simple riddles may have led jurors to consider it too suitable for nomination. Unusual games are more about atmosphere and relaxation than telling a story or challenging the player, and the perceived lack of appeal may be enough to see Open the package beyond, making it the biggest game of The Game Awards 2021.

Open the package available for PC, Switch and Xbox.

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