You've patched in to the enemy's security system: get ready to make your plan. Frozen Synapse is the ultimate strategy game: you have full control over your strike team, directing their every movement. At the same time, your opponent is plotting to defeat you. Plan your moves, then hit the "Execute" button: both you and your enemy's turns are executed simultaneously. Bite-size, hardcore strategy with a striking sci-fi aesthetic.

Post feature Report article RSS Feed Editors Choice - Best Upcoming Indie

Mod of the Year 2009 Editors Choice - Best Upcoming Indie

Posted by Henley on Jan 28th, 2010

2009 saw many new Indies to arrive on the ModDB turf and many updates for those who are getting close to release, to be nominated for an award in Best Upcoming Indie projects need to have been updated significantly during 2009 and have not released (obviously). Here are the Editors of ModDB's top selection of 2009.

takes place in the savage world of Lugaru where rabbits, wolves and other animals are forced to use paws, claws and medieval weaponry to engage each other in battle. Combining 3rd person adventure platforming with intricate melee combat, Overgrowth achieves a unique feel.

Natural Selection 2
Whether you play as one of the elite marine Frontiersmen or the vicious alien Kharaa, you must use unique strategies and your abilities to win. Marines buy weaponry and form persistent squads to find and destroy alien hives. Aliens can choose a wall-running Skulk, pudgy Gorge, flying Lerk, murderous Fade or gigantic Onos that can devour enemies whole.

21st Century side scrolling. Musicians are warriors here! San Francisco is on the verge of being invaded by mysterious creatures. The city has become darker, quieter, and gloomier. The story is told through a group of musicians who have learned the ways of super natural powers from the use of music.

Frozen Synapse
You've patched in to the enemy's security system: get ready to make your plan. Frozen Synapse is the ultimate strategy game: you have full control over your strike team, directing their every movement. At the same time, your opponent is plotting to defeat you. Plan your moves, then hit the "Execute" button.

A dark and mysterious universe (inspired by Blade Runner, Ghost in the shell and Warhammer 40K) for hours of original gameplay thanks to 10 physical and psychic skills, 14 cybernetic and upgradable implants, along with an integrated R&D system, all serving a delicate scenario where conspiracy, horror and treason rule. Based on the RPG "AVA".

Post comment Comments  (0 - 50 of 102)
Robok Jan 28 2010, 7:02am says:

I'd say either E.Y.E or Natural Selection 2, both sound original and interesting to me.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Craka_J Jan 28 2010, 8:44am replied:

Agreed. Overgrowth would be a great nominee but I haven't seen any in-game videos or any gameplay mechanics demonstrated in videos - just terrain and physics. Natural Selection 2 looks totally awesome and am getting it whether it wins or not, but EYE looks like a potential winner as well.

+2 votes     reply to comment
moci Jan 28 2010, 12:13pm replied:

Agreed here, without any actual gameplay or real information about the actual game. How can it win?

It is one of my favorites, but I still don't think they should have won.

"Without any gameplay available Wolfire makes it so easy to award them the best up coming indie game of 2009".

So it, again, comes down to hype? Yes Wolfire sure puts a lot of effort on getting noticed and liked. But does that make *overgrowth* the best indie GAME? No it makes *wolfire* the best indie DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER.

Have these awards ever made sense?

+8 votes     reply to comment
InStars Jan 28 2010, 12:24pm replied:

Well they showed some gameplay, where he created a race to whale and then actually played the race!

+3 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Jan 28 2010, 1:20pm replied:

Yep, disappointed too. There are nominees with actual ingame footage and good content and then PR-Drama wins. I should have known. Let's cheer for the true shining projects like Frozen Synapse which have actual content to show... and doing something different and fresh. Only good thing is that OG might now eventually stop their PR-Drama as they can no more be nominated. Give the spot-light back to projects deserving it.

+4 votes     reply to comment
MatthewD Jan 28 2010, 1:42pm replied:

I have to agree with Dragon Lord here, totally on the money.

-1 votes     reply to comment
DELTΔ Jan 29 2010, 4:34am replied:

**** off **** bag, there doing this because they love it, not to win some contest. They work hard and personally I love the constant updates and the fact that there always online to hear me, and answer my questions. They also do have heaps of game play with the old game lugaru which OG will be based on so we know what it will play like, the fact is that this game is going to be ******* awesome so shut up and let them finish before you make dumb *** comments like that.

-1 votes     reply to comment
rebel28 Jan 28 2010, 1:30pm replied:

Have you seen how awesome Lugaru was (The prequel to Overgrowth)
And they say Overgrowth is gonna be better, I've pre-ordered OG and I think it will be awesome.
I also think that Frozen Synapse and Natural Selection 2 will be awesome.

+7 votes     reply to comment
theM3nace Jan 29 2010, 7:58am replied:

well then again moddb is based on modding games, and no other game is more easily moddable than Overgrowth (not even natural selection).

+5 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jan 28 2010, 12:25pm replied:

Where are the in-game video's of Natural Selection 2? I haven't seen any yet.

And I've seen plenty for Overgrowth, there's no gameplay in them, but there's definitely in-game video's.

+9 votes     reply to comment
moci Jan 28 2010, 1:13pm replied:

I don't think they have any in-game video's beside that trial racing video.
And don't know about NS2. I was thinking about EYE.

-3 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jan 28 2010, 1:33pm replied:

They've got more, just not showing any "gameplay" that still doesn't mean it's not ingame.

+5 votes     reply to comment
SolidFake Jan 28 2010, 2:21pm replied:

I agree, overgrowth might have an own engine and stuff, but I still have no clue what that game is about? (For sure I know it's a beat em up, but I haven't seen any of those yet)
For me, EYE and Frozen Synapse will be the best indie games for this year, EYE is already a sure-buy for me.

-2 votes     reply to comment
Lucífer Jan 30 2010, 5:48pm replied:

Editors choice seem to be mostly awarding mods that have decent content that deal good amounts of PR and this is just the 'Best Upcoming' so Overgrowth has a rightful place just like any of the others.

0 votes     reply to comment
klichka Feb 11 2010, 1:31pm replied:

If you want Overgrowth's gameplay mechanics it's in Lugaru pretty much. Imagine that but sharpened up, that's what the aim is.

+2 votes     reply to comment
AshtonAndersen Jan 28 2010, 7:10am buried:


Nice, Primal Carnage was not even a nominee. Congrats to everyone but I don't even recall seeing E.Y.E or Encore! in the top 100?

-8 votes     reply to comment
Henley Author
Henley Jan 28 2010, 7:27am replied:

That is the players choice, it has nothing to do with the Editors Choice awards.

+7 votes   reply to comment
AshtonAndersen Jan 28 2010, 7:30am buried:


Well again, E.Y.E is a mod on the source engine it's not a indie title. In any case, I was not expecting to even make the top 100 since we joined moddb the last 2 weeks of the contest ending. But within those two weeks, we put out more content then most here. Seems strange to me, I'm not complaining as everyone listed as a nominee has fantastic work I'm just a bit confused and have a good idea on where this contest is going.

-9 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jan 28 2010, 8:04am replied:

Actually E.Y.E is a game on the Source engine, just like Zeno Clash and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic were, the line is thin, but the main difference is that it's stand-alone and costs money as opposed to mods being free and required the game they are modding.

+3 votes     reply to comment
AshtonAndersen Jan 28 2010, 8:16am replied:

Fair enough, thanks for letting me know. E.Y.E does indeed looks good!

+4 votes     reply to comment
MatthewD Jan 28 2010, 1:46pm replied:

EYE looks freaking brilliant.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Twitwi Jan 28 2010, 7:13am says:

I love when i see news from "E.Y.E" but i think "Natural selection 2" wins since its somehow a classic.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Radu_IceMan Jan 28 2010, 7:27am says:

Natural Selection 2!

+1 vote     reply to comment
jack_wade Jan 28 2010, 7:48am says:


Just 3 words: Ninja Rabit Combat. Need more?

+3 votes     reply to comment
Acolyte5 Jan 28 2010, 10:55am replied:


+7 votes     reply to comment
Orac| Jan 29 2010, 3:16am replied:

Yeah, I'd rather like to see some actual gameplay. Web comics, tools and articles are good, but this is meant to being a *game* being developed...

-2 votes     reply to comment
jack_wade Jan 29 2010, 6:01am replied:

Yep, I know, but that depends on the developement stage.

Writing a blog post everyday, having always time to talk, releasing an alpha every week (for preorders)... that's why I think they deserve this prize.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord Jan 29 2010, 11:04am replied:

No it's not. If you are early in development you develop the game not non-sense around it. Because if you develop non-sense around it the game itself does not progress much at all. Time wasted on the wrong frontier.

+1 vote     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi Jan 28 2010, 7:52am says:

Congrats to all the mods nominated!

0 votes     reply to comment
JohnnyMaverik Jan 28 2010, 8:06am says:

They all look great but Encore looks potentially fantastic.

+3 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jan 28 2010, 8:13am says:

Interesting, know all those 5 titles!
Overgrowth: Who browsing ModDB doesn't know about this? The developers do amazing things, the way it's looking I expect great things from this one.

Natural Selection 2: Never played the original, so all the hype for me is less clear, they seem to do as much amazing work as Overgrowth does, but the game itself doesn't have my interest, overall it's a strong competitor for all the indies on there.

Encore: At first seemed interesting an idea but I didn't like the execution shown in all the media, so I never bothered to try that demo or whatever they released a few months ago. It has an original idea though which is great.

Frozen Synapse: Unexpected to see here, but it definitely seemed like an interesting game, it has a great "look" going for it which is what got me interested in following their development a little.

E.Y.E: When I first saw a/the trailer of it I was amazed, it looked quite good and interesting, it's still surprising to see it here considering it didn't seem to get updated alot(although I happened to not be tracking this game for some reason.)

I'd say all of these deserve to be here, so congratulations to all the developers and enjoy being in the spotlight, all of these could win this award, but I'm hoping for Overgrowth since that's the game that's interesting me the most, unique and high quality with hopefully a lot of care being put into the gameplay as well, at the very least they seem to heavily support modding which is also another reason to root for them.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Dnst Jan 28 2010, 8:20am says:

Natural Selection is the best upcoming title, even though Overgrwoth made most of the progress this year.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Jonu Jan 28 2010, 8:25am says:

Natural Selection 2 cause it looks and feels The Best I also love overgrowths team updates.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Catalyst440 Jan 28 2010, 8:32am says:

Overgrowth wins this for me, But its not what I say, Up to the editors, good luck to the developers of the titles, and good luck for the editors.. Hard choice.

+2 votes     reply to comment
MrMattWebb Jan 28 2010, 9:00am says:

Although for a game Id actually want to play, Id pick NS2. For a true indie game, Encore's concept is brilliant and quite original.

0 votes     reply to comment
pvt.Johnson Jan 28 2010, 9:11am says:

Overgrowth deserves it, Natural Selection 2 will be an outstanding title though.

+2 votes     reply to comment
█Black/Brunez█ Jan 28 2010, 9:13am says:

Overgrowth is one of my favorites, but I think that it will not win because it still don´t have any in-game video. So Encore!, Natural Section and E.Y.E. have a big chance to win.

+1 vote     reply to comment
altercuca Jan 28 2010, 9:22am says:

ill have to go with natural selection 2 on this!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
draken1991 Jan 28 2010, 9:26am says:

It should be quite tough to pick the best between games you can barely play, so these awards seems quite useless to me, even more considering that I plan to pick up all of these when they are released.

+1 vote     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jan 28 2010, 9:32am replied:

you could look at it like this, free publicity for these games! And it will serve as motivation for the developers that their games got nominated.

+3 votes     reply to comment
NullSoldier Jan 28 2010, 10:37am says:

I'd say E.Y.E. or NS2. Overgrowth, Encore, and Frozen Synapse just don't have enough media/playability to know if they'll be good nearly as good as the two I listed. You know NS2 is going to be fun because it uses the NS1 tried and true model which was TONS of fun and E.Y.E. just looks badass.

-3 votes     reply to comment
Acolyte5 Jan 28 2010, 10:54am buried:



-8 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jan 28 2010, 11:05am says:

Congratulations Overgrowth!
You guys earned it, keep it up!

+2 votes     reply to comment
REZBLUE Jan 28 2010, 11:12am says:

Sorry but I cannot believe editors choice was Overgrowth. You have all these awesome looking polished games showing actual gameplay and you pick the game that has only ever showed ragdoll on different terrains.

Where is the game in this? I know the guy said its gonna be an action game or something but after all this time all we see is him playing around with engine physics and the same 3 or 4 models. Ok so he has terrain, a rabbit and a house on a hill.

im dumbfounded.

+1 vote     reply to comment
INtense! Staff
INtense! Jan 28 2010, 11:16am replied:

Unless I am mistaken, all of these games are scheduled to release in 2010 - and OG is the editors pick. Remember also that this is best *upcoming*

+6 votes   reply to comment
AndreB Jan 28 2010, 11:25am buried:


Probably the best upcoming failure in my opinion. I have been looking at overgrowth for quite a while now and well to be frank, I havent seen much progression at all. I have seen: raggdoll, terrain, more raggdoll and a pink beard..! I liked it at first but I really have turned my cape on this one. I would be mad if I was - editor.

-6 votes     reply to comment
pvt.Johnson Jan 28 2010, 11:31am replied:

Lugaru was a popular independent title by the same team, if you want an idea of what OG will be like look at their first title and then see the progression they have made from there.

+6 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Jan 28 2010, 4:38pm replied:

Good comment since it covers also my opinion. I've seen teams which are nearly one man shows producing more progress than this team... and that's a sign of something going wrong. A team should be able to get more done than one or two man shows.

-3 votes     reply to comment
medve Jan 28 2010, 11:24am buried:



-9 votes     reply to comment
Headcrusher Jan 28 2010, 11:17am says:

Overgrowth didn't deserve it, the devs troll people, the game has barley any in-game media, the art sucks, and the only people who like it are either furfags or greenpeace freaks.
Rate me down please.

0 votes     reply to comment
pvt.Johnson Jan 28 2010, 11:28am replied:

"Rate me down please."
Your wish is my command.

You obviously have no idea what you are talking about, if you read any of the dev blogs that they post on the front page quite frequently maybe you wouldn't be such an ignorant fool.

+6 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Jan 28 2010, 4:39pm buried:


You mean the "non-news" posts? I haven't seen a larger non-news to news ratio in any other project so far.

-5 votes     reply to comment
qeloqoo Jan 28 2010, 11:42am replied:

Of course, devs should praise all the dumb people over the internet...

-4 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jan 28 2010, 12:22pm replied:

No they shouldn't, but a wise saying I've seen around on the internet goes:
"If you don't have anything good to say, then don't say anything at all"

I'm a mod developer myself and you'll rarely find me saying something is crap without any good constructive critiscm indicating why and what could be done better. Constructive critism is a whole lot better than just bluntly stating your "opinions".

I don't know what the Overgrowth devs have said to be labeled "Trolls" but that's hardly got anything to do with deserving this award regardless.

+4 votes     reply to comment
PierreOfTheFrench Jan 28 2010, 8:52pm replied:

Your opinion is that, you don't need to trash talk a game. I think Overgrowth looks fantastic, the Dev's are extremely nice from what I've seen/heard and they constantly update their engine. I also think the artwork they do also looks awesome, you don't need to act like a ****.

+3 votes     reply to comment
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Frozen Synapse
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Mode 7 Games
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Released May 2011
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