[This is the final set of Independent Games Festival finalists announced this year, following the IGF Main Competition and IGF Student Showcase - congratulations to all finalists, and we'll see you at GDC.]

The Independent Games Festival Mobile (IGF Mobile), an event that celebrates innovation in games for handheld devices, including mobile phones, DS, PSP, iPhone and iPod touch, has named the finalists for the second annual competition.

The number of entries more than doubled – to over 100 – compared to last year’s inaugural competition, bolstered by a strong showing from the emergent iPhone and iPod touch platform – so much so that a special ‘Best iPhone Game’ category has been designated for the titles which best use the unique possibilities of the device.

Winners of the 2009 IGF Mobile competition, who will get a share of $30,000 in prize money, will be announced at a special ceremony during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) Mobile conference on March 24, and additionally honored during the main Independent Games Festival Awards on March 25, 2009.

Some of the leading finalists for this year’s competition include stylish iPhone cube movement puzzler Edge (3 nominations), the technologically cunning Wardive on Nintendo DS, which uses local WiFi hotspots to generate enemies (3 nominations), and elegant iPhone ‘tower defense’-style title Fieldrunners (3 nominations).

Games also nominated multiple times include Secret Exit's touch-controlled iPhone rope wrapping game Zen Bound and iconic tilt-controlled iPhone puzzler Dizzy Bee, with a number of Flash Lite and Java cellphone games, including the innovative Cubic Republic, also finalists. Read on for the full list:

This year’s IGF Mobile competition is supported by Platinum and Founding Sponsor NVidia – which is awarding ‘The Next Great Mobile Game’ at this year’s awards, with finalists to be revealed soon, as well as Gold Sponsor and Best iPhone Game prize sponsor ngmoco.

The full list of IGF Mobile finalists, including screenshots and official website links, is available on the IGF Mobile website, and also listed below as follows:

IGF Mobile Best Game
Cubic Republic (IKS Mobile) – Flash Lite
Smiles (Sykhronics Entertainment) – iPhone/iPod touch
Fieldrunners (Subatomic Studios) – iPhone/iPod touch
Edge (Mobigame) – iPhone/iPod touch
Wardive (And-or) – Nintendo DS

Innovation In Mobile Game Design
Wardive (And-or) – Nintendo DS
Galcon (Hassey Enterprises) – iPhone/iPod touch
Eliss (Steph Thirion) – iPhone/iPod touch

Achievement In Art
Fieldrunners (Subatomic Studios) – iPhone/iPod touch
Dizzy Bee (Igloo Games) – iPhone/iPod touch
Ruben & Lullaby (Song New Creative) – iPhone/iPod touch

Technical Achievement
Football Tycoon (Dynamo Games) – Java
Real Racing (Firemint) – iPhone/iPod touch
Wardive (And-or) – Nintendo DS

Audio Achievement
Radio Flare (Studio Radiolaris) – iPhone/iPod touch
Zen Bound (Secret Exit) – iPhone/iPod touch
Edge (Mobigame) – iPhone/iPod touch

Best iPhone Game – Presented by ngmoco
Edge (Mobigame) – iPhone/iPod touch
Dizzy Bee (Igloo Games) – iPhone/iPod touch
Fieldrunners (Subatomic Studios) – iPhone/iPod touch
Zen Bound (Secret Exit) – iPhone/iPod touch
Frenzic (The Iconfactory) – iPhone/iPod touch

The IGF Mobile competition will have its own pavilion, adjoining the main IGF Pavilion and featuring playable versions of all of the finalists’ games, at Game Developers Conference 2009, set to take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from March 23rd to 27th.

“The mobile industry has seen incredible innovation and quality in mobile gaming, in particular with the rise of the iPhone and iPod touch platform,” said IGF Chairman Simon Carless. “The significant increase in the number of entries speaks to the unlimited possibility that exists in the mobile market, and the IGF is excited to acknowledge the importance of indie developers in the handheld game device space.”

The Independent Games Festival itself was established in 1998 to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers, much the way that the Sundance Film Festival honors the independent film community.

The creation of IGF Mobile in 2007 was the direct response to the maturing of the mobile game industry, and the desire to similarly recognize and reward those driving the advancement of the space.

For more information on the Independent Games Festival Mobile finalists, visit the official IGF Mobile website; and to register for GDC, please visit the Game Developers Conference site.