In the rollercoaster ride that is the year 2020, we’re hosting our first ever online awards ceremony! Over 80 submissions were made from studios and indies across New Zealand and Australia, which our judges and jury have whittled down to the below finalists.
Join us on Twitch at 7pm on Saturday 29th August to find out who the winners are!
Before We Leave

before we leave

Balancing Monkey Games

Nominated for: The ‘Slice of Heaven’ Grand Prize, The Composed Segment: Excellence in Audio, The Decorative Piece: Excellence in Visual Art

PC Game | Strategy (City Building)

Before We Leave is a non-violent city building game set in your own cozy corner of the universe. Rediscover and rebuild civilization. Create a multi-planet resource network. Overcome ancient challenges and fend off hungry space whales.

RegicideArtwork

regicide

Badgers From Mars

Nominated for: The ‘Slice of Heaven’ Grand Prize, The Tactile Taste: Excellence in Physical Games

Physical Game | Standard deck of cards dungeon-crawl co-op

Regicide is a 2 to 4 player cooperative dungeon-crawl played with a standard deck of cards. Players work together to defeat the corrupted Royals by playing cards for both their attack value and their special power. It's a skill-intensive game of tactical decisions with a rich heuristic tree. Also, it's flippin' awesome.

We have produced our own custom deck which enhances the play experience, however anyone can play it with a regular deck of cards.

Warning: Some fantasy images may be unsuitable for the very young

ThisTooShallPass2

this, too, shall pass

A Crown of Moths

Nominated for: The ‘Slice of Heaven’ Grand Prize, The Perfect Recipe: Excellence in Design, The Poetic Serving: Excellence in Narrative

PC Game | Ambient

This, Too, Shall Pass is a game/art project about the climate crisis and the ephemeral nature of everything. It consists of a Twitter bot (https://twitter.com/afleetingworld) that is connected to five different versions of the game currently in circulation on USB sticks around the world. Each one of the five versions is set in a different climate zone, resulting in different looking worlds and different species of plants. The game is also accompanied by a downloadable B-side remix game priced based on the current global average temperature, which you can find here: https://loths.itch.io/this-too-has-passed, each sale of which funds a tree.

The game, a first-person walking experience, creates a barren world based on the location of where it's being played, using real life terrain data. As it's being explored, it will slowly spring to life with both nature and the sins of mankind.

Warning: Epilepsy warning towards the end of the game

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mini motorways

Dinosaur Polo Club

Nominated for: The ‘Slice of Heaven’ Grand Prize, The Perfect Recipe: Excellence in Design

Mac, iPhone/iPad, PC Game | Simulation, Strategy

Mini Motorways is a strategy simulation game about designing the road map for a growing city. Build a traffic network, one road at a time, to create a bustling metropolis. Redesign your roads and place your motorways to get everyone where they need to go. How long can you keep the city moving?

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agent intercept

PikPok

Nominated for: The ‘Slice of Heaven’ Grand Prize, The Perfect Recipe: Excellence in Design, The Decorative Piece: Excellence in Visual Art

iPhone/iPad Game | Driving

Chase the bad guys and race against time to retrieve top-secret counterintelligence in your slick, souped-up vehicle. Drive, drift, and duel in missions across exotic locales, deploying high-tech gadgets and avoiding hazards to save the day in style.

Agent, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, do you accept this mission?

Warning: Mild cartoon violence

CatacombPrince

catacomb prince

Skeleteam

Nominated for: The Diverse Delight: Excellence in Representation, The Decorative Piece: Excellence in Visual Art

PC, Mac Game | Visual Novel

Catacomb Prince is a visual novel about a skeleton prince searching for a date, and his killer. Choose from three love interests and (nec)romance them while investigating your three murder suspects. Whether you survive this Gothic comedy or fail to bone anybody but yourself, there's plenty of flirting and fright ahead.

Warning: Story contains alcohol and drug use, discussion of addiction/overdose, gambling, violence, body horror, sexual references. Recommended for ages 16+

Huia

huia

B & B Gamesmiths

Nominated for: The Decorative Piece: Excellence in Visual Art, The Diverse Delight: Excellence in Representation

iPhone / iPad Game | Action Adventure

Swipe to survive in among the gorgeously crafted landscape of Aotearoa.
Help our hero track down his winged friend from a rival tribe. Use magic, mystics and mayhem to slice your way through stunning environments. Combat unique enemies with distinct abilities, learn and adapt to different modes of play.

Warning: Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence

ManaMonster

mana monsters: legend of the moon gems

Artrix Limited

Nominated for: The Decorative Piece: Excellence in Visual Art, The Perfect Recipe: Excellence in Design, The Composed Segment: Excellence in Audio

iPhone / iPad, Android Game | Monster Collection Puzzle RPG

Collect and upgrade dozens of powerful monsters in your quest to rid the world of a corrupt and restrictive regime in this epic monster-collecting RPG adventure! Download and play today!

Match Moon Gems in an easy-to-pick up, yet deeply strategic game. Watch as each successful match powers up your monsters, paving your way to a decisive and well-earned victory!

Tag monsters in and out of combat strategically to use their abilities and advantage.

acrylicimage

acrylic

Lucy Morris

Nominated for: The Poetic Serving: Excellence in Narrative

Browser Game | Narrative Experience

acrylic is a love letter to grief, developed as a cathartic exercise exploring and reconciling my own grief after my mother suddenly passed away in September 2018.

An avid artist, sorting through her paint pots was part of settling her estate - and every colour evoked a different memory, taking me on a journey through our lives together.

Warning: acrylic is a short interactive fiction game that deals with themes of grief, complex grief, loss and sudden death. If any of these themes are triggers for you, please proceed with caution.

LibraryOfBabble

the library of babble

Cuddlepunk

Nominated for: The Student’s Slice, The Poetic Serving: Excellence in Narrative

PC, Mac Game | Interactive Narrative

Deep within the computer, a library grows.

Wander through a gentle garden of words, a small cartographical social network — about drifting through uncharted geography and leaving small messages in your wake.

Best encountered over a warm mug of coffee — the Library Of Babble is an experimental prototype designed around smaller acts of storytelling and prose, and the wish for more intimate spaces of shared asynchronous communication.

Warning: May contain posts discussing material inappropriate for younger audiences.

SpaceBear4

space bear

Damon Smith

Nominated for: The Poetic Serving: Excellence in Narrative

PC Game | Adventure

You are SPACE BEAR, a bear in space! Alongside your trusty but annoying spacesuit, you must defeat the evil void moles, help the Prbear-sident save the planet, and really just get home in time to hibernate for winter.

A "typing" "adventure" "game"

Warning: Contains drug use, alcohol consumption, profanity, cartoon violence and cartoon nudity.

Clouds

noa noa!

Wildergames

Nominated for: The Composed Segment: Excellence in Audio

iPhone / iPad Game | Casual Mobile (Pet Sim)

Noa Noa is a free virtual pet collector where you can raise, interact with, and play with more than 30 cute and bubbly digital creatures.

Find and collect more than 15 unique eggs to hatch even more unique Noas.
Unlock and explore different environments.
Customize your own personal avatar.
Take pictures of your Noas to share with friends.

ForgetfulDictator

forgetful dictator

Please Know More

Nominated for: The Composed Segment: Excellence in Audio

PC Game | Educational

A powerful dictator has everything he needs to conquer the world...except a grasp of basic geography. Learn country names, trivia, capitals, and flags as you achieve world domination!

Forgetful Dictator is an educational game with strategy elements, appropriate for all ages.

Content is appropriate for all ages.

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void bastards

Blue Manchu

Nominated for: The Guest Plate

PC, Xbox One Game | Strategy-Shooter

Inspired by BioShock and System Shock 2, Void Bastards is a revolutionary new strategy-shooter that will test your wits as well as exercise your aim.
Can you lead the misfit prisoners of the Void Ark through the derelict spaceships and myriad dangers of the Sargasso Nebula? Will you make the right choices about what to do, where to go and when to fight? Master combat, manage ship controls, scavenge supplies, craft improvised tools and much more!

Warning: Strong Coarse Language. Strong Violence. This game may potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy.

IsleOfEwe

isle of ewe

No Ewe Productions

Nominated for: The Guest Plate

PC Game | Adventure, Free to Play

Embark on an adventure and command your flock to bring your fluffy friends back home. The mysterious disappearance of Ramsey sparks your journey as you must collect, throw and bounce from sheep to sheep to find him. Leaping over lava, feeding hungry golems and running from speeding boulders is all just another day on the job for a Shepherd.

FrogDetective

frog detective 2: the case of the invisible wizard

Worm Club

Nominated for: The Guest Plate

PC, Mac Game | Adventure

The famed Frog Detective returns in the most thrilling mystery yet! A town’s welcoming celebration for a mysterious Invisible Wizard has been ripped to shreds by an unknown culprit. The Detective must find out “whodunnit”!
The Case of the Invisible Wizard is the second game in the Frog Detective series, following The Haunted Island.

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unfamiliar

Mana Tea

Nominated for: The Guest Plate

PC Game | Collect em Up

Unfamiliar is a relaxing fantasy adventure game where you play as Yew, the witch-cat who sets out to acquire magic ingredients from storybook worlds to craft items and create enchanting costumes.

No timers, penalties or enemies
Easy yet comprehensive crafting
Plant, grow and harvest ingredients
Customisable look and outfits

Blink Blade Square Icon

blink blade

Top Hat Studio

Nominated for: The Student’s Slice

PC, Mac Game | Platformer

Blink Blade is a challenging platformer combining combat and transportation into one mechanic: throwing your sword into certain walls and enemies, and closing the distance in the blink of an eye. The ultimate aim of the game is to hunt down the magic-using villain who's locked you up in chains in a strange, decrepit world.

Warning: One instance of pixelated blood at the end of the game.

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petal to the metal

Deathless Studios

Nominated for: The Student’s Slice

PC, Mac Game | Bullet Hell Shoot ‘Em Up

Petal to the Metal is a bullet hell shoot'em up game. You play as a Flower, killing Mushrooms with your gun that upgrades the more you kill. Progress through the level to reach and destroy the final boss.

Warning: Epilepsy Warning

BunnyBusiness

bunny business

Team Putty

Nominated for: The Student’s Slice

PC Game | Bunny-driven Adventure

Take control of Iyo as you set out on an interplanetary adventure with the miraculous Mama Bunny in her ice cream truck space ship. Find Iyo's friends across the galaxy to bring them together for a big reunion bash! Catch bugs, fish and fauna to create Raboids, funny bunny creatures made by Mama Bunny that will help Iyo along her journey.

Warning: Some flashing lights

hotw nzgf

heart of the woods

Studio Élan

Nominated for: The Diverse Delight: Excellence in Representation

PC, Mac Game | Fantasy, Romance

A tale of paranormal investigation, ancient mysteries, and a love between two women that transcends life and death.

Maddie is ready to move on after years of serving as manager (and more) for her best friend Tara's paranormal vlog channel - when they're suddenly swept up in a supernatural crisis that will change their lives forever.

Warning: Full game includes implied sexual content, parental abuse, violence and blood.

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rival stars horse racing

PikPok

Nominated for: The Diverse Delight: Excellence in Representation

iPhone/iPad, Android Game | Management, Racing

Act as horse breeder, trainer, manager, and jockey in this complete horse management game. Players will experience the fantasy and strategy of horse ownership and management alongside the thrill and thunder of racing on legendary tracks from around the world through motion-captured animations, cinematic races, and intense race commentary.

Warning: The game depicts horse racing however there are no allusions to gambling

Flipology

flipology

Cheeky Parrot Games

Nominated for: The Tactile Taste: Excellence in Physical Games

Physical Game | Casual card game

Flipology is a quick and unpredictable card game for 2-8 players. It involves flipping cards face up to trigger their effects and score their points. Cards beautifully depict forest animals or weather events. Players control a row of 7 cards, selected from 9 they are dealt, and have just 3 turns to score as many points as possible...and wreak some havoc on their opponents' plans.

Warning: If playing with very young or sensitive children, the two wolf cards can be left out.

Crimology

crimopolis

Cheap Sheep Games

Nominated for: The Tactile Taste: Excellence in Physical Games

Physical Game | Strategy Board Game

Set in 1926, you are an unsuccessful gangster in a petty town. Tired of doing small jobs that only earn stress and scars, you dream of putting the hype on big time. The rumble on the street is the big guys in the big cities are pulling the big dough, and you want to be the most prestigious of them all.

Warning: Choking hazard. Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.

skipjack

skipjack

Wondertree Studio

Nominated for: The Tactile Taste: Excellence in Physical Games

Physical Game | Real-time family logic card game

The bank vault contains $10 million dollars. Can you be the first to hack the into the vault's computer to claim the prize before the alarm sounds?

In Skipjack, one player sets a secret rule to create codes. The other players must race to use their logic skills to determine the rule before the 6 minute timer is up.

Warning: Crime