11th edition of the largest European indie gamedev competition.

We know the finalists of Europe’s largest competition for independent video games!


This year, developers and publishers from around the world submitted 206 games. The competition jury has selected thirteen finalists from among them, who will compete for prizes and present productions in the finalists’ zone during the Pixel Heaven Games and Pop Culture Festival 2023. The event will be held on May 26 – 28 at the Creative Industries Development Center at 65 Minska Street in Warsaw, Poland and the Award Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 27 at 7 p.m. on the Festival’s main stage.

Here are the nominated studios and games in each category:

Fallen Leaf Studio / Fort Solis
Bloober Team / Layers of Fear
Starward Industries / The Invincible

Far From Home / Forever Skies
Afterburn / Railbound
Clockwork Pile / Shardpunk: Verminfall

Flying Wild Hog / Evil West
Bedtime Digital Games / Figment 2: Creed Valley
Godolphin Games / Unknown Number: A First Person Talker

The Parasight / Blacktail
Moral Anxiety Studio / Roadwarden
Starward Industries / The Invincible

Moral Anxiety Studio / Roadwarden
Clockwork Pile / Shardpunk: Verminfall
Firechick / Super Dungeon Maker

The Parasight / Blacktail
Star Drifters / First Dwarf
Godolphin Games / Unknown Number: A First Person Talker

Star Drifters / First Dwarf
Moral Anxiety Studio / Roadwarden
Clockwork Pile / Shardpunk: Verminfall

The Parasight / Blacktail
Flying Wild Hog / Evil West
Starward Industries / The Invincible


As every year, there will be held an international competition for the best games presented during the Pixel Heaven Games & Pop Culture Festival 2023. The productions selected by the Jury in the qualifying rounds will be presented in the Pixel Expo exhibition area. The award ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 27 at 20.00 on the Festival’s main stage.


1. Playable games should be submitted up to and including 28 April 2023 via FORM. You can apply with any platform games. Contest submissions are free of charge, each participant has the right to apply with 3 games from their portfolio. In the application form, it is necessary to provide a link to the build or 14 access codes to the game for all members of the Jury. When submitting a game, please do not assign it to any of the competition categories in advance. We treat VR and Mobile simply as one of many platforms, on a par with, for example, PC or PS5. Any questions? Send an e-mail to [email protected]

2. The promotional materials that can be sent together with the game are an addition and have no effect on the evaluation by the Jury.

3. There are no restrictions as to the theme, genre or subject of the game.

4. It is permissible to submit a game that has not premiered yet, in demo or prototype version.

5. If your game was in finals of the previous edition of the contest, you cannot submit the game you submitted last time.

6. Games that were available on the market before 1 June 2022 cannot be submitted for the contest, regardless of the form of distribution, model of payment, gameplay mode, and access (incl. Early Access).

7. The games will be judged by the Jury in the following categories. At the same time, the Jury stipulates that it may not award Prizes in all of the categories listed below, but only in selected ones. This will depend on the number of games submitted and their quality, which will be judged by the Jury.


Big Fish Grand Prix

Indie Grand Prix

Best Gameplay (best gameplay)

Best Art (best visuals)

Best Audio (best audio setting)

Best Story (best script)

Retro Roots (best retro reference)

Big Bang! (biggest surprise)

Best Student (best student project)

Total Blackout (best board game)

Warsaw Excellence (best game native to Warsaw)

Special Award of the Festival Audience

8. The vote will also be given by the audience of the Pixel Heaven 2023 Games & Pop Culture Festival, whose opinion will be taken into account when awarding the Festival Audience Special Award. Each participant of the event will have the opportunity to vote for a selected game from the group of finalists through the Pixel Heaven application.

9. The jury selects in each of the competition categories up to 3 games nominated for the prize. Each game can be nominated in more than one category.

10. The creators of the game that qualify (nominees) for the final will receive a 4 sqm. exhibition space. The organizer will provide each of the creators with an exhibition stand at the Pixel Expo area, which will comprise a 2×2 m area with a table, two chairs, a power socket, powerful PC and professional screen and WiFi access. The creator will also receive two free entry cards for the entire event. Should you need more free entry cards, please contact [email protected]. Furthermore, the creator can present a banner/roll-up advertising their game/studio.

11. The winners will receive the prizes funded by the Partners of Pixel Heaven 2023 Games & Pop Culture Festival. Additionally, the winner of the Big Fish Grand Prix, Indie Grand Prix and the creators of the winning games in particular categories will receive an annual subscription of the PSX Extreme monthly and a review of their games in the magazine.

12. Additional contest categories may be added in cooperation with the Partners of Pixel Heaven 2023 Games & Pop Culture Festival. We will inform about such decisions as they are made.

13. Good luck!


Marcin Borkowski
Former editor-in-chief in legendary Top Secret magazine, recently an independent game developer again.

Asia Buganik
Previously at, QLOC, Crunching Koalas, and from 2018 on board at, where she deals with global PR, marketing and consumer research. Great fan of indie games and cats.

Liz Katrin
Singer and creator of music for video games and movies. Geek, gamer. She sings in a variety of styles and languages (including fictional ones), lends her voice to game characters and hosts the PodLIZuchy podcast on YT.

Michał Król
Passionate and collector of Polish games, journalist promoting Polish productions and gamedev companies. Editor and analyst of and creator of the blog Co-host of the Giermasz broadcast on Radio Szczecin, where he also runs the ?Gramy po polsku? corner – devoted to Polish games. Member of the editorial board of the PSX Extreme monthly, reviewer and author of the permanent column “Good, because Polish”. Webmaster and specialist in new and social media.

Krzysztof Maliński
In game dev for more than 12 years. Throughout those years he has been working as a designer, producer and programmer. In his spare time – Indie developer at Insane Code.

Artur Maksara
Associated with the games industry since 2009. Member and co-founder of Indie Games Poland Foundation. He started as a QA tester and a specialist in localization and translation, later dealing with, among others, level design and production of the Shadow Warrior 1 and 2. Lately working as an advisor in the field of business development and mentor in the Industrial Development Agency?s Game acceleration programme. Currently Senior Developer Relations Manager at Intel.

Jakub Marszałkowski
Organizer of Game Industry Conference, one of the founders and a member of the Indie Games Polska Foundation Council, researcher and lecturer at the Faculty of Computer Science at the Poznań University of Technology. Honored with the Annual Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, as the organizer and promoter supporting Polish game developers.

Paweł Schreiber
Video game researcher and critic, lecturer at Kazimierz Wielki University. He has written about games for Pixel magazine, Dwutygodnik portal, blog and portal.

Ewa Maria Szczepanowska

In the AV industry since 2000, since 2015 at the Warsaw Film School as PR manager, Creative Director, currently Spokesperson and Vice Rector for Communications and New Media. Originator and organizer of the 7th edition of Warsaw Film School Game Jam and Warsaw Game Jam PRO, juror in the Grand Video Awards, among others. She manages the gamedev pillar of WSF, the educational program of the Video Game Creation major and the High School of Video Game Creation. Producer of the game “Best Month Ever,” created by the film and game production studio at WSF.

Agnieszka Szóstak
In gaming industry since forever, though at first it was a rather informal relationship. Adventure Zone website editor and CD Action magazine contributor. Working as a PR Specialist at CD Projekt RED studio for several years, being responsible for The Witcher series and Cyberpunk 2077. Now managing her own PR company called PR Outreach, helping independent developers effectively promote their amazing games.

Rafał Szrajber
Organizer of the Team Computer Game Development competition and the Game Graphics Contest competition, industry-specific initiatives dedicated to students. Lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź and the Institute of Computer Science of the Lodz University of Technology, where he teaches narrative through space and game design. Ambassador of sectoral education and inter-university cooperation. In his free time, an independent artist focused on using heritage as a soft power carrier.

Grzegorz Zajączkowski
Engineer, programmer, social animator. Expert in the digitization department of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland.


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Robert "Lapusz" Lapinski / [email protected]

I am a happy owner of ZX Spectrum+ with Kempston interface and green Neptun 156 screen. See you at International Pixel Heaven 2024 Games & Pop Culture Festival.