A massive thank you to all who submitted their games for the Play by Play awards in 2018! This year saw the introduction of our quirky award titles, two individual awards and some of the stiffest competition yet. Here's a look at all the winners.


that game that we couldn’t put down

Dungeon, Inc. by PikPok

The game that had a solid game loop that kept us addicted and engaged from start to finish. It may also have impacted our daily productivity.

This award was supported by the New Zealand Game Developers’ Association.


that world we didn't want to leave

That Boy is a Monstr by Sav Ferguson

The game that pulled us into a world or story which captured our imaginations, and stayed with us long after we had to get back to reality.

This award was supported by Weta Workshop.


that tall glass of juice

Into the Dead 2 by PikPok

The game that exudes juicy feedback and polish on multiple levels. Clacky sounds, juicy UI feedback, camera shake, and effects, this is interaction design and player feedback at peak.

This award was supported by Unreal Engine.


that audiovisual smörgåsbord


The game that exudes vibrancy in visual or audio form. We were left in a pleasant audiovisual coma at the end of it.


that game that entranced

Flutter VR by Runaway Play

That game that had us in a meditative zen like state, or kept us engaged with an innate beat and tempo. This award is for the game that had us hypnotically held in a new state of mind.

Get it on Google Play

that game with the message

That Boy is a Monstr by Sav Ferguson

The game that makes an impact and has a message for us all, be it a game that touches on diversity, humanitarian stories, or politics.


that… what even is that

39 Days to Mars by It's Anecdotal

The award for games that display innovation, thinking outside the box or just well-thought-out weirdness. Could be peripherals, mechanics, thematic packaging – anything odd or new!


that game like clockwork

Samsara by Marker

The game that was pretty on the inside. Constructed with elegant mechanics, these feed into and build off each other to create depth in the design of the game.


that game the jury liked

39 Days to Mars by It's Anecdotal

The award for jury’s choice. This game is something that stood out to the judging panel for a number of reasons!


that game from across the ditch

Florence by Mountains

The award that goes to the standout title from Australia. This is the only award that Australian-made games are eligible for.


te maunga kai kapua (teina)

Niamh Fitzgerald

The award for a rising star in the New Zealand game industry. This person has already made a mark early in their career, and their continuing work will sprout new life and opportunities in the local scene.

This award was supported by Massey University Wellington.


te maunga kai kapua (tuakana)

Mario Wynands

This award goes to a stalwart industry pillar in the New Zealand community who has raised the profile and helped build the national industry into what it is today.