Last week the Independent Games Festival announced its list of finalists for 2014, and we like what we see. Most have intrigued us or at least given us pause, and those we hadn't yet seen make us wish there were more hours in the day. Highlights:

  • Device 6 (iOS) is a sweet-looking puzzle story game that may end up as influential as Myst was over 20 years ago (Like Dad said, time flies when you've wasted your life). We'll almost certainly cover this in more detail later on.

  • Dominique Pamplemousse in “It’s All Over Once The Fat Lady Sings!” (Win/Mac/iPad) uses its name to efficiently weed out those who will find its lo-fi Claymation and musical breaks an affront to their humanity. It's cute, sweet, and unique—and the world needs more games that carve out their own niches.

  • Papers, Please (Win/Mac) leverages old-school Cold War anxiety to create the right kind of stressful fun. You're a border guard in a Soviet-style country tasked with keeping out the bad guys and letting good, honest workers (etc.) past the border.

There are plenty more great-looking games among the roster of IGF finalists. Some might see it as a shopping list.

The Stranger Testing Department is Rob Lightner, Paul Hughes, and Mary Traverse.