congratulations to all finalists for the Pavs 2022!

Here you’ll find the cream of the crop of New Zealand & Australian games for the year – though really, everyone who managed to keep creating in the age of Covid deserves a round of applause! This year we received around 50 submissions from studios and indies across New Zealand and Australia, which our judges and jury whittled down to the below finalists.

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11pm Onwards

Endroll Games

Nominated for:

The Student’s Slice

2.5 D psychological thriller puzzle game

There's something not quite right about Vegas Valley Diesel gas station...

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Battlecruisers

Mecha Weka

Nominated for:

The Perfect Recipe: Excellence in Design
The Decorative Piece: Excellence in Visual Art

RealTimeStrategy X TowerDefence X AutoBattler

A stylish real time strategy game for PC. Featuring futuristic naval warfare, Battlecruisers combines addictive RTS with casual gaming in short, satisfying bursts: 1. Trash-talk (humor, rather than nastiness) 2. Deck out your cruiser with weapons you've collected 3. Explode your enemy's cruiser 4. Win a new epic weapon 5. Repeat the process

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Clusterduck

PikPok

Nominated for:

The Accessible Ambrosia: Excellence in Accessibility

Idle

CLUSTERDUCK is about hatching as many ducks as possible. As more ducks hatch, the more strange things happen. The ducks begin to genetically mutate! With each generation of ducks that hatch, the chances of things going horribly wrong increase at an alarming rate. Ever seen a duck with a sword for a head, or horse hoof for a wing?

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Dread Hunger

Digital Confectioners & Slowdrive Studios

Nominated for:

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

Social Deception / Survival

A game of survival and betrayal. Eight Explorers path their ship through the unforgiving Arctic. Among the crew, two traitors call on dark powers to undermine them.

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Grimguard Tactics

Outerdawn

Nominated for:

The ‘Slice of Heaven’ Grand Prize
The Composed Segment: Excellence in Audio

Tactics RPG

Grimguard Tactics: End of Legends is an epic, dark fantasy RPG with an expansive Hero summon gacha and turn-based tactics style gameplay. The Primorva, an ancient evil, has awoken from the shadows & to save the world of Terenos, recruit and band together its most powerful, legendary, and dangerous forces to drive back the oncoming darkness!

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Her Jentle Hi-ness

Sky Bear Games

Nominated for:

The Poetic Serving: Excellence in Narrative
The Diverse Delight: Excellence in Representation

Visual novel/life simulation

In Her Jentle Hi-ness, you have to serve a jealous queen who has banned the letter G after being cheated on and abandoned by her consort King George. Playing as the lady-in-waiting Eorina (formerly Georgina), you have to try and survive the mad whims of the queen. Are you fast enough to keep up with her linguistic gymnastics?

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Hohi 1816

Ruth Lemon and Richard Durham

Nominated for:

The Accessible Ambrosia: Excellence in Accessibility
The Tactile Taste: Excellence in Physical Games

Educational, Narrative

A cooperative story-exploration boardgame Hohi 1816 is a journey back to some early Māori and Pākehā relations leading to Aotearoa New Zealand's first western-style school near Rangihoua Pā. In a boardgame reminiscent of point-and-click adventure video games, you will journey across a span of 3 chapters covering 25 years. You'll explore locations and help historical figures involved in real events. With direct input by Dr. Alison Jones, the intent of this game is to explore Māori perspective on events that often have only been told from a colonial perspective in order to show why it was so hard for Māori and Pākehā to set up equitable educational relationships. Travel back into our past and discover how it informs our present and future.

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Instruments of the Chrysanthemum Throne

Imaginary Empire Games

Nominated for:

The Poetic Serving: Excellence in Narrative
The Tactile Taste: Excellence in Physical Games

Dark Fantasy

Explore a world of myth and magic where you must balance the terrible evil of the sentient object you carry, with the enormous power it grants.

JusticeSucksKeyArt

JUSTICE SUCKS

Samurai Punk

Nominated for:

The Guest Plate

Stealth action

JUSTICE SUCKS is a stealth/action game about a killer robot vacuum cleaner on a quest for vengeance through a 90s TV universe. Stalk your prey, hack smart devices, turn them into deadly traps and consume the blood of your enemies to unleash devastating powers.

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Kaupapa

Kura Rēhia

Nominated for:

The Accessible Ambrosia: Excellence in Accessibility
The Diverse Delight: Excellence in Representation
The Tactile Taste: Excellence in Physical Games

Board Game, Bilingual Game, Language game, Word description game

With 900 words spanning rākau to rangatira, KAUPAPA is your chance to have hysterical fun, use your reo and expand your Māori vocabulary at once! It is a word description game that can be played at any level - beginners can use it to learn new words, and fluent speakers can create a fast-paced, playful Māori language immersion environment.

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Matcha

Delphinium Games

Nominated for:

The Composed Segment: Excellence in Audio

Puzzle / Education

Matcha is a simple puzzle game, built around the beautiful Korean writing system, Hangul. Combine, split and match characters to solve the puzzle, discovering a deeper understanding along the way.

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Nitro Kid

Wildboy Studios

Nominated for:

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

Roguelike deck builder

Nitro Kid is set in a dystopian future. Humanity is almost doomed. The goal? Travel back to the 80s, save the kids, and rewind humankind's biggest catastrophe.

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Realising Utopia

PlayAble

Nominated for:

The Diverse Delight: Excellence in Representation

Educational

Realising Utopia is an educational game all about the United Nations Disability Conventions, developed in collaboration with the Dunedin disability community.

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Sapiens

Majic Jungle

Nominated for:

The Perfect Recipe: Excellence in Design

City Builder/Simulation

Evolve your primitive hunter gatherers through thousands of years of technological advancement. Feed, protect and grow your tribe, build towns and industry, and advance through the primitive ages in this first person civilization builder for PC.

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Tana's S.H.A.P.E.

Tana Tanoi & Poppy de Raad

Nominated for:

The ‘Slice of Heaven’ Grand Prize
The Perfect Recipe: Excellence in Design
The Composed Segment: Excellence in Audio

Puzzle

Move shapes from A to B using a range of wacky tools, like Portals, Magnets, Springs, and more in Tana's Shape Handling and Postage Enterprise, or S.H.A.P.E.!

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The Forgotten City

Modern Storyteller

Nominated for:

The Guest Plate

Narrative-driven adventure

The Forgotten City is a narrative-driven time loop adventure in ancient Rome. Discover the ruins of an ancient underground city, travel 2000 years into the past, and unravel the mystery of who destroyed it by cleverly exploiting the power to wind back time. The fate of the city is in your hands.

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The Many Misfortunes of Kyran Pierre Cadenza the First

[SAMPLE TEXT] Studios ltd

Nominated for:

The ‘Slice of Heaven’ Grand Prize
The Student’s Slice

Strategy RPG

The Many Misfortunes of Kyran Pierre Cadenza the First (and others) is a blend of ‘choose your own adventure’ style storytelling and grid-based strategy combat set within a satirical take on the traditional fantasy setting.

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Unpacking

Witch Beam

Nominated for:

The Guest Plate

zen puzzle

Unpacking is a zen puzzle game about the familiar experience of pulling possessions out of boxes and fitting them into a new home. Part block-fitting puzzle, part home decoration, you are invited to create a satisfying living space while learning clues about the life you’re unpacking.

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Wanderer

Wanderer

Nominated for:

The ‘Slice of Heaven’ Grand Prize
The Poetic Serving: Excellence in Narrative
The Decorative Piece: Excellence in Visual Art

Adventure, Mystery, Puzzle

Built from the ground up for VR, Wanderer has a unique blend of escape room style puzzles, tactile hands on interactions and action arcade sequences to bring you the ultimate time travel adventure. Are you ready to walk in the footsteps of those who have gone before you?

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Webbed

Sbug Games

Nominated for:

The Guest Plate

Action / Adventure / Indie

Webbed is the story of a happy little spider on an adventure to save her boyfriend from a big mean bowerbird. Swing through the trees, spin sticky webs, and make friends with bugs! Be the adorable spider you’ve always wanted to be.

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What Draws Me In

Antmarch

Nominated for:

The Student’s Slice

2D Platformer

An artist wakes up to find himself trapped within his own sketchbook. Befriending one of the characters he had drawn, the two journey together to find a way to escape as they confront and question their place in the world.

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Winning Love by Daylight

Cutlass Boardgames

Nominated for:

The Poetic Serving: Excellence in Narrative
The Decorative Piece: Excellence in Visual Art
The Accessible Ambrosia: Excellence in Accessibility
The Diverse Delight: Excellence in Representation

Visual Novel

Winning Love by Daylight is a Visual Novel that puts you directly amongst the action as a High School student who slowly uncovers the secret that several of their classmates are actually magical girl super heroes!

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Zeitgeist

[SAMPLE TEXT] Studios ltd

Nominated for:

The Student’s Slice

Adventure

Equipped with your pot plant companion, travel through the roots of time delving into the past and present depths of an ancient submerged city. Exploring grand halls, navigating between walls, and taking advantage of ancient mechanisms on your mission to steal the heart of the city.