Dredge wins Game of the Year at SXSW Sydney Game Awards 2023

The New Zealand fishing game was the prize catch at the festival, which featured independent games from around the globe.
DREDGE key art light house movie

October 2023 saw the inaugural SXSW Sydney festival and conference take over the CBD, celebrating the technology, music, film, and video game industries across multiple venues. As part of its busy games lineup, the event saw the inaugural SXSW Sydney Game Awards run for the first time, recognising the excellence found in the 150-strong independent games showcase that also ran as part of the show.

At the end of the ceremony, it was the New Zealand horror fishing game Dredge that took out the ultimate Game of the Year Award. It’s sure to be one of potentially several cherries on top for the studio, which recently announced that its debut game had sold over 1 million copies, with a new paid expansion, The Pale Reach due for release in November 2023.

Elsewhere, Nine Sols, the macabre 2D action game from Red Candle Games (Devotion, Detention) took out the competitive Discovery Award, which recognises innovative design. Paper Trail from Newfangled Games took out the International (Non-Australian) Award, while Solium Infernum from Australia’s League of Geeks took out the People’s Choice Award.

Rounding out the group of winners, Aethermon: Collect took out the Tabletop Award, and Echo Rush earned the Student Award.

Congratulations to all the finalists. A full list of nominees and winners can be found below:

Student Award

  • EchoRush (University of Technology Sydney, Samuel Coa, Natasha Kelly, Lauren Szmandiuk) [WINNER]
  • AntiCitizen Red (Academy of Interactive Technology)
  • Math is Horror (JMC Academy)

Tabletop Award

  • Saltfish and Almanacs (Storybrewers Roleplaying)
  • Aethermon: Collect (Aethermon Studios) [WINNER]
  • GHOUL: Battledeck (GHOUL)

International Award

  • Cryptmaster (Paul Hart & Lee Williams)
  • Goodbye Volcano High (KO_OP)
  • Another Crab’s Treasure (AGGRO CRAB)
  • Paper Trail (Newfangled Games) [WINNER]
  • Mediterranea Inferno (Santa Ragione)

People’s Choice Award

  • Solium Infernum (League of Geeks) [WINNER]

Discovery Award

  • darkwebSTREAMER (We Have Always Lived In The Forest)
  • Nine Sols (Red Candle Games) [WINNER]
  • Henry Halfhead (Lululu Entertainment)
  • Enter The Chronosphere (Effort Star)
  • The Dungeon Experience (Bone Assembly)

Game of the Year

  • DREDGE (Black Salt Games) [WINNER]
  • Copycat (Spoonful of Wonder)
  • Let’s! Revolution! (BUCK, Antfood)
  • Tchia (Awaceb)
  • Tiny Bookshop (Neoludic Games)

Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran