So, we've announced the 2008 IGF Main Competition finalists, as you might have spotted - which is awesome news. But sometimes, the information available on the Net for these awesome indie games is a bit splintered - and I've had a chance to check them all out to work out what's interesting about each of them.

Therefore, over the next few days on GameSetWatch, we're going to list each of the categories in turn with a little more information on each of the finalists - from what's unique about them to whether there's a playable demo or video and who's been talking about them. And the first category to be examined is the big one, the $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize, as follows:

- World Of Goo (2D Boy)
[Building off the concepts from Tower Of Goo, one of Kyle Gabler's projects from the Experimental Gameplay Project at CMU, the first game from Bay Area duo 2D Boy uses the hitherto unexplored structural ability of blobs to make an addictive construction-based puzzle action title. There's no release date or demo for the game yet (aside from Tower Of Goo, a kind of 'prequel'), but there's screenshots and a trailer on the official site.]

- Hammerfall (No company)
[A low-profile but enchanting steampunk Russian-developed title in which you control a 2D ship with an attached mace/sword. You swing the attached weapon around using mouse controls, and destroy other flying craft, using momentum. Fun-Motion has a video review and download links for the current free version.]

- Noitu Love 2: Devolution (Konjak)
[The indie scene already adores the original Noitu Love, a freeware 2D tour de force from Scandinavian artist Joakim Sandberg (a contributor to Contra 4 on the DS) The sequel, not yet released to the public, continues the awesome-looking Metal Slug-ish action with combos, new mouse control and massive bosses to the fore. We've done a 'Road To The IGF' interview with Joakim on already, and there's a YouTube video featuring boss gameplay. Konjak is also responsible for freeware title Chalk, another excellent title.]

- Audiosurf (Invisible Handlebar)
[This multi-nominated game has you controlling a craft that's block-collecting, matching, and avoiding on a multi-lane cyberpunk-ish highway - but with the shape of course and frequency of pickups dictated by music. A brilliant, original melange of F-Zero, Frequency/Amplitude, and Klax (believe it or not!), the game, unreleased and in private Beta testing, can use any custom MP3 soundtrack and create a completely new course for each song.]

- Crayon Physics Deluxe (Kloonigames)
[Petri Purho's extended version of his 'made in a month' prototype extends the idea of the freeware original, which allows mouse-drawn objects to interact with other onscreen hand-drawn objects to complete puzzle-style levels with heavy use of physics. His official Crayon Physics Deluxe site also includes a video of Petri playing the game on a tablet PC with a stylus, a massive hit on YouTube recently, and Purho's Kloonigames blog has lots more of his swiftly constructed, innovative titles.]

Well, there you go - there's some details on the Grand Prize finalists. Check back soon for this kind of detailed (hopefully useful!) info on the other major nominees for this year's IGF.