An independent computer games company set up just two years ago is in the running for two major accolades for a game which it is yet to officially release.

MagNets is a frantic collect-em-up arcade game devised by Total Monkery, based in the award-winning Formation Zone at Plymouth University, and will go on general release on November 20.

But before that, it has been shortlisted in the Best Arcade Game (Small Studio) and Best Debut Game categories of the 2014 TIGA Games Industry Awards.

The awards – being staged at OXO2 in London on Thursday 06 November – are designed to give the industry the chance to showcase its achievements, to applaud and encourage the next generation and to salute the achievements of established studios, service providers and education providers.

Richard Weeks, the founder of Total Monkery and an Associate Lecturer at Plymouth University, said:

“We are thrilled to be shortlisted for these awards. It really validates all the hard work we've put in to MagNets so far and our plans for the future of the game. We aim to bring a spotlight to the Plymouth games development scene, and this is a step in the right direction.”

MagNets is an intense arcade-style robot-recycling game and players must fight to restore order in Polarity City, one arena at a time. They can achieve this by capturing enemies in electromagnetic nets (or ‘MagNets’), and recycling them into tools to complete the level, or power-ups to survive attacks.

Suitable for ages eight and over, and with 20+ levels spread over four unique zones, it includes challenge modes and multi-player mayhem.

Demos for the game have been released since March 2014 and Total Monkery, an independent family-run business, say the University’s support had been pivotal to its success so far.

Andrea Chandler, Managing Director at Total Monkery, said:

“Being situated in the Formation Zone has given us access to the fantastic business incubation facilities provided by the University. It is a brilliant space where we can allow our ideas to flourish, and the support that has come with the package has enabled us to grow both in size and ambitions.”

Plymouth University’s highly acclaimed Formation Zone is the only independently accredited business incubation space in the city, and offers a range of services to suit the needs of start-up businesses across a range of sectors.

It provides office and meeting space alongside expert advice and peer support sessions, and links to the University’s renowned research and innovation expertise.

The facilities, along with the three Innovation Centres in Cornwall – which Plymouth University operates on behalf of Cornwall Council, won the UK Business Incubation (UKBI) Achievement in Business Incubation award for 2013.

The UKBI particularly praised the investment made by Formation Zone in nurturing entrepreneurs and pre-start business ideas, highlighting that 80 per cent of the businesses that have started with Formation Zone in the last six years have continued to thrive, creating wealth and employment.

The facilities are all part of GAIN (the Growth, Acceleration and Investment Network), which aims to create a supportive environment in the South West that enables businesses to grow at whatever stage in their journey. Formation Zone has helped start more than 75 businesses since being launched in 2007.