Sanctum is the world's first FPS tower defense game and is set in a beautiful science fiction world. You take the role of Skye, an elite soldier sent out to protect her hometown, Elysion One, from hordes of mysterious alien creatures. To facilitate your success you construct defensive structures and upgrade handheld weapons. Jump right into the fray and wreak havoc with your own weapons - unlike regular tower defense games, you are a key part of the defense. Sanctum has taken the best features of first person shooters and tower defense games to create something totally unique.

Report content RSS feed IOTY Players Choice - Indie of the Year

Ho ho ho Merry Christmas and merry Indie of the Year!

Posted by Henley on Dec 25th, 2011

Ho ho ho Merry Christmas and merry Indie of the Year. 61,772 votes and 3,444,800 visitors over 20 days. We shovelled the punched ballot cards into the local IndieDB super computer, ran our algorithms and watched the computer churn the raw data into our top 10 list. We lost the lives of many talented scientists and computer experts, but it was worth it because now we have something awesome to share with our community.

Your votes have decided this years Indie of the Year and the results speak for themselves.

To qualify for the top 10, the game must place higher than it has in previous years and must have had a significant update in 2011. Otherwise an honorable mention is given, which these teams have received:

Since winning last year Minecraft we spent a lot of time deciding on the placement in the awards. However the rules still apply, since it won last years event it cannot place again. Honorable mention granted!
Amnesia: The Dark Descent A year later is still spooking people! The mods have kept it alive but not enough to place higher than last year!
If you can create a game with the cast options Dwarf Fortress has you deserve to be within this top 100, however DF just missed out in placing higher then previous years.
Only just missing out seems to be the thing to do this year, Mount & Blade: Warband is no different, a few votes more would have seen another placement.

Monsters, weapons, potions, spells, quests, pets, bosses, a giant castle... and a funny story! Unepic is a combination of platforming and role playing games. There are many hilarious references throughout the game. The game takes place in Harnakon, a huge medieval castle. It is set in the hardcore NES Style, yet refined with the latest features.

9Atom Zombie Smasher
Take command of your mercenary forces in Atom Zombie Smasher. The zombie apocalypse is upon us and it's up to you to evacuate everyone before they fall prey to the undead. Conduct massive rescue operations with a helping hand from snipers, and more. Experience the tactical richness of fully-destructible environments and procedurally-generated campaigns.

8Ace of Spades
Build your battlefield and engineer your assault in this FREE multiplayer voxel team shooter. Build anything – defensive positions to fortresses, Destroy enemy structures, dropping opponents to their death, Up to 32 players battling simultaneously, CTF or Territory Control game modes.

7Dungeons of Dredmor
Step into the Dungeons of Dredmor! Embrace your destiny! Face evil of the likes the world has never known. Wield shoes decorated by the Dwarven Glittersmiths, all of whom have now committed suicide because of their shame, and embrace the joys of destroying giant moustache-wielding brick demons with a mace decorated with tawdry, delicious bacon.

is an obscenely addictive, design-based puzzle game about building machines and fighting monsters in the name of science! Take on the role of a Reactor Engineer working for SpaceChem, the leading chemical synthesizer for frontier colonies. Construct elaborate factories to transform raw materials into valuable chemical products!

is the world's first FPS tower defense game and is set in a beautiful science fiction world. You take the role of Skye, an elite soldier sent out to protect her hometown, Elysion One, from hordes of mysterious alien creatures. To facilitate your success you construct defensive structures and upgrade handheld weapons.

Your goal is to create a safe haven in the wake of the Calamity, a cataclysmic event that shattered the world. The entire play experience is dynamically narrated, gradually revealing a rich backstory as a mysterious narrator recounts your journey in real time, giving deeper meaning to your every action.

3Trine 2
Takes the first game's beloved triad - the powerful knight, the swift rogue, and the crafty wizard - and puts them into an all-new adventure filled with more action, more puzzles, and the introduction of online support for the series's popular cooperative 3-person gameplay.

2Frozen Synapse
is the ultimate tactical 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: a touch of X-Com and Laser Squad, with a striking sci-fi aesthetic.

Dig, fight, explore, build! Nothing is impossible in this action-packed adventure game. The world is your canvas and the ground itself is your paint. Grab your tools and go! You can do many things in Terraria: make weapons and fight off a variety of enemies in numerous biomes, dig deep underground to find accessories, money, and resources to create everything you need to make the world your own and defend it.

Post comment Comments
Katana_ Dec 25 2011 says:

Congrats to Re-Logic on taking first place in Indie of the Year, Player's Choice!

+12 votes     reply to comment
valex Dec 25 2011 replied:

where 's Dear Esther?!^^

+1 vote     reply to comment
technoblue Dec 25 2011 replied:

Not voted for by the public. :S

-1 votes     reply to comment
Henley Author
Henley Dec 26 2011 replied:


+6 votes   reply to comment
AirborneSn1p3r Dec 25 2011 says:

congrats to all you guys :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jean=A=Luc Dec 25 2011 says:

Sanctum *isn't* the first FPS tower defense game ffs.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Tatsur0 Dec 25 2011 replied:

I could be wrong but after reading the description I thought to myself, that can't be and yet I can't find a single FPTD game that is currently "Released" Do you have another game in mind (besides FPTD which came later)

+7 votes     reply to comment
CumQuaT Dec 25 2011 replied:

Well done everyone!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Kyou. Dec 26 2011 replied:

Not sure if many people would say it 100% applies but Iron Grip:warlords technically is a FPS Tower Defense

+3 votes     reply to comment
Tatsur0 Dec 25 2011 says:

I'm happy to say I own most of these and those I don't I'm very interested in checking out. Great list and congrats to all of those in the Top10 as you bloody well deserve it!

+8 votes     reply to comment
adfjkndjklnhdfs Dec 25 2011 buried:


Horrible list, truly bad -_- So many great indie games out there, and these **** ones make the list, it's so sad...

-16 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Dec 25 2011 replied:

What would you rather see on here then? In my opinion these are some of fines pieces of work I've seen this year, you know any hidden gems that top these?

+7 votes     reply to comment
Silvermarch Dec 31 2011 replied:

lol Bastion, Terraria, and Frozen Synapse are bad?

+3 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Dec 25 2011 says:

Funny to not see Minecraft on here...
HAH FOOLED YAH, honorable mention as to be expected of a game that widely loved, sadly not by the sauce :( I rather destroy than build. Oh yeah!

Not falling for that again!
Lots of honorable mentions this year.

Anyway, congrats to all the winners, they all are titles I heard off, no surprise seeing them on the list, though I had no idea Frozen Synapse was this popular, I've heard people spreading good words about it(I also got it gifted recently, it's pretty cool) but didn't know it was this loved on the ModDB/IndieDB community.

Edit: Now that I think about it, wasn't minecraft in alpha/beta last year, therefore counting as unreleased, like Overgrowth and NS2? Doesn't that requalify it? Just curious. Released status these days is so... vague 0_o

+2 votes     reply to comment
Tatsur0 Dec 25 2011 replied:

Yeah, you can't accept "Purchase & Play" as released anymore. I took a double take when Minecraft "Released" heh.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Henley Author
Henley Dec 26 2011 replied:

We had to rethink it this year, so basically any alpha/beta/pre-order titles are unreleased.

+4 votes   reply to comment
LordIheanacho Dec 25 2011 says:

Congrats to the teams behind all of those games in this year's IOTY Awards. I wished Army Men III could at least reach an honorable mention or any reward.

+2 votes     reply to comment
figalot Dec 25 2011 says:

Disappointed that mount and blade didn't make it, to me it does seem superior to every other game there. But still amazing list and after playing all of these games they are truly amazing.

+2 votes     reply to comment
BurningPet Dec 25 2011 says:

Congrats to all of those great games! especially terraria which sits right where it belongs.

+2 votes     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi Dec 25 2011 says:

Congrats to all these games!!

+2 votes     reply to comment
ArkaZeen Dec 25 2011 says:


+2 votes     reply to comment
ShrikeGFX Dec 25 2011 says:

Terraria deserved it.

they add 4 times the content minecraft shipped since first alpha release in 1 single patch.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Slevo Dec 25 2011 replied:

and terraria is the only one to use its own general ideas and style, were minecraft is more focused around what other games do proof of this is when terraria release minecraft was made more like terraria

+3 votes     reply to comment
Dr.Goupyl Dec 25 2011 says:

Just a logical top 10.
Gratz to Terraria which is a masterpiece of 2D platform.
All these games are must buy !
And especially Amnesia even if it's not on the top 10 !!!

+2 votes     reply to comment
acesim Dec 25 2011 says:

where's dungeon Defenders. Thought it would be here. Oh well. there is next year

+2 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Dec 26 2011 replied:

Where is it indeed, I'll tell you, it's not on ModDB nor IndieDB, therefore it cannot qualify for ModDB's/IndieDB's IOTY.

SHOCK AND SURPRISE, a game cannot qualify if it is not on the site where voting has to take place, since the vote button is on(and tied to) the game's profile page. Wait not very shocking at all is it ;)

From what I've seen, fans are free to create and manage profiles of their favorite games, if the developer won't do it. If DD has a sizeable update in 2012 it should be able to qualify for next year's IOTY, get to it :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Lethalanvas Dec 25 2011 says:

Terraria! Well deserved win!

+2 votes     reply to comment
MattyG Dec 25 2011 says:

Congratulations Terraria, well worth two weeks of fun when on a Steam sale.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jordizzle Dec 25 2011 says:

Full placing of all 100 games? I'd like to know how my game stood in the top 100 :(

+4 votes     reply to comment
tnathan475 Dec 26 2011 says:

Way to go Terraria!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Chosenlama Dec 26 2011 says:

im happy with this :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
macker8894 Dec 26 2011 says:

Bastion. What a game. 'nuff said

+2 votes     reply to comment
KamiKazeKenji Dec 26 2011 says:

This is a pretty good list, but the fact that Minecraft is only an Honorable Mention is ********.

I'd like to know the raw vote numbers - I bet Minecraft got more votes than everything else!

-1 votes     reply to comment
BenAdams Dec 26 2011 replied:

i'd assume that's because Minecraft won last year XD

+3 votes     reply to comment
Henley Author
Henley Dec 29 2011 replied:

That is not the point, if you won before you cannot win again. Regardless of total votes. You would have known this if you actually read the post.

+3 votes   reply to comment
KingPhazon Dec 26 2011 says:

STAR....TREK...........EXCALIBUR!!! Where is its my precious!?

+1 vote     reply to comment
TheGameSquid Dec 26 2011 says:

Very happy to see that Unepic and SpaceChem made it to the list. I was afraid they were going to be ignored. Atom Zombie Smasher's entry pleases me as well, but I was pretty confident it was going to be included considering it was part of the HIB. Frozen Synapse's place is obviously well deserved as well!

I'm going to sound a bit like an *** here, but I can't help but wonder why Trine 2 is featured here and why people voted on it? To me it seemed like all the game had to offer was pretty graphics. Gameplay was a bit dull IMO (and I like platformers and puzzle games).

In the end, I'm also very, very happy with Terraria's first spot. It managed to break free of the (slightly ridiculous) Minecraft comparisons by melding the best elements of that game with those of beloved console classics such as Metroid and Castlevania while removing much of the tedium and adding a whole lot more fun and "game" to it. Secondly, I think it prevailed by showing it's devotion to polishing the game and adding more content. When it was released, the game was not finished, but it was very playable, and this was all accomplished in a very short amount of time without too much alpha funding and indie exposure. Patch 1.1 is one of the most impressive patches I've ever seen in any game, and stands in stark contrast to the lousy state it's "big brother" Minecraft was "released" in.

Well done Re-Logic!

On an embarrassing side-note: I have never before heard of Ace of Spades, but that's probably due to the fact that I'm not much of an avid MP player, let alone in the shooter form.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Uridon Dec 28 2011 says:

aw surprised to see EYE didn't make it. o well congrats to winners

+2 votes     reply to comment
WeThePuppets Dec 30 2011 says:

Congrats to the top 10, all great games. Congrats to RE-LOGIC and Terraria for winning!

+2 votes     reply to comment
AlbertoF Jan 9 2012 says:

Very cool, time to start trying some of these out. :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
gmy77 Jan 11 2012 says:

Congrats to RE-LOGIC and Terraria !!

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Windows, Mac
Developer & Publisher
Coffee Stain Studios
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Release date
Released 2011
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