AGDA 2021 winners announced, see the best Australian games of the year

The winners of the Australian Game Developer Awards (AGDAs) have been announced, marking an incredible year for Australian games.
The AGDA nominee list has just been announced.

The winners for the 2021 Australian Game Developers Awards (AGDAs) have been announced. The AGDAs covers ten categories for games, as well as several awards for outstanding contributions to the industry. Brisbane developers Witch Beam took out the Game of the Year Award with the exceptional Unpacking, which also earned an award for accessibility. Melbourne’s Beethoven and Dinosaur also took out two awards for The Artful Escape in both art and audio.

This year, the AGDA nominees suggested an incredibly promising year for debut games. Two of the finalists for Game of the Year were debuts from local studios. Sbug Games’ debut WEBBED, a cute physics platformer where you play as a peacock spider, won the Excellence in Gameplay awards, in addition to nominations for audio and the Game of the Year nod. The Artful Escape also was up for Game of the Year.

Here is the full list of nominees and winners:

AGDA Game of the Year

  • WEBBED (Sbug Games)
  • The Artful Escape (Beethoven & Dinosaur)
  • Unpacking (Witch Beam) [WINNER]

Excellence in Art

  • The Artful Escape (Beethoven & Dinosaur) [WINNER]
  • art of rally (Funselektor)
  • Unpacking (Witch Beam)

Read: The Artful Escape is a sight and sound to behold

Excellence in Gameplay

  • Unpacking (Witch Beam)
  • Ring of Pain (Twice Different)
  • WEBBED (Sbug Games) [WINNER]

Read: Webbed Review – Finding effortless joy in movement and playfulness

Excellence in Narrative

  • TOPOGRAPHY (Cécile Richard)
  • The Forgotten City (Modern Storyteller) [WINNER]
  • Choices That Matter: And The Sun Went Out (Tin Man Games, Screwtape Studios)

Read: The Forgotten City epitomizes the storytelling power of games

Excellence in Audio

  • WEBBED (Sbug Games)
  • TRIOS (Samurai Punk) 
  • The Artful Escape (Beethoven & Dinosaur) [WINNER]

Excellence in Accessibility

  • Submerged: Hidden Depths (Uppercut Games)
  • Unpacking (Witch Beam) [WINNER]
  • Eastern Market Murder (True Crime Games)

Excellence in Mobile Games

  • The Oregon Trail (Gameloft Brisbane) [WINNER]
  • Eastern Market Murder (True Crime Games)
  • Botworld Adventure (Featherweight Games)

Excellence in Serious Games (Applied/Impactful)

  • Sharmila (World Food Programme and Chaos Theory Games) [WINNER]
  • Streets of My Town (Institute of Games)
  • TRIOS (Samurai Punk)

Excellence in Ongoing Games (Games as a Service)

  • Pico Tanks (Panda Arcade) [WINNER]
  • Crossy Road Castle (Hipster Whale)
  • The Sims FreePlay (The Firemonkeys)

Excellence in Emerging Games (Student or Early Career)

  • Pebble Witch (Fuzzy Ghost)
  • Project Wingman (Sector D2)
  • Video World (Things for Humans) [WINNER]

Jini Maxwell is a writer and curator who lives in Naarm. They are an assistant curator at ACMI, where they also host the Women & Non-binary gamers club. They write about videogames and the people who make them. You can find them on Twitter @astroblob