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The Initiative Creative Gaming bestowed the international Creative Gaming Awards in three categories as part of the PLAY - Creative Gaming Festival (October 31 - November 6, 2022). Artists and developers could submit games and playful media works that allow players to interact with the game in a creative way.

Indie game developers from around the world had the chance to submit their games and playful media works. Hardware games and installations were very welcome. In addition, all projects in the PLAY22 exhibition could win the Audience Award.

Creativity can mean overturning existing structures, finding new perspectives or simply questioning previous game ideas and finding originality. We do not want to restrict you in any way and we welcome all forms of video games, playful media and performances - whether they are games with a narrative focus; projects that play with the game controls as we know them; video games as media art; or whether you have developed a game that you find entertaining and that you would like others to play as well.




The Most Creative Game award honors games and playful media works from around the world that give players the opportunity to interact creatively within the game. The creative freedom can arise in the interaction with the game, out of the game or in the mind of the player.
For example, works in this category may have multiple story paths, non-linear gameplay, role-play opportunities, unexpected interactions with other gamers, or be open to interpretation. The creativity of the players can also be stimulated by built-in editors or the possibility of enriching the game world with your own creations, designs and your own social rules.

The winners will receive prize money of € 1,000 and the PLAY AWARD trophy.

That's what the jury said:

„Uncurtainty“ by Malenu is a thought-provoking game with unusual interactions between two players. We loved how the game design and mechanics leave the two players with very different experiences. We were met with a whole range of emotions within a simple but immersive scenery, solely created by touch and sound.

„Puppet Play by Unechte Sachen is the exciting sandbox of our dreams in an open-world VR theater and movie studio with unlimited creative choices waiting to be made. We loved how the player can be in control of every detail, even animating, voicing, and playing the puppet yourself, with no strings attached, of course. Here, the VR sky is the limit!

„Artholomew Video's Stream Challenge“ by Alistair Aitcheson. Take a breath before you enter this game it’s going to be one crazy ride! We really loved how accessible this game is for everyone, and how the players can interact with the performer and other participants within a framework of creative games and choices. Your mind becomes a canvas with the performer as a painter, storyteller, sales-person, or actor, and every stream can be a whole different experience, based on the choices everyone makes.

And the winner is...

Artholomew Video's Stream Challenge

Our first reaction was: „What the hell???“ But this game taps into your creative brains most positively. We enjoyed participating and challenging other players as well as the performer, getting braver and more creative with our ideas as time went by. We definitely can see how this game can be used to play online or to perform for your friends or family."


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The Most Innovative Newcomer Award honors artists worldwide who have produced a new creative game or playful media work. The winners, be they school-aged teenagers, students, indie developers or artist collectives, prove their creativity with a really innovative debut work. This can be characterized by special gameplay, transmediality, unprecedented or unexpected interaction possibilities in the game, essential graphic innovations, new interfaces, unusual atmospheres, visual breakthroughs or new topics that are dealt with.

The winners will be supported for one year by a mentorship from the gaming industry (Johanna Janiszewski) and will receive the PLAY AWARD trophy.

That's what the jury said:

„It’s a wrap“ by Chanko Studios is a fiendishly clever, funny, and challenging game that takes off its hat to old 80s movies. We liked peeking behind the scenes and were rolling on the floor laughing at our mistakes. We especially loved the two interactive phases for the players: playing as the director and as the actor at the same time. What a blast!

„Postal Secret“ by Ymar Games got us hooked with its cute illustrations and nautical scenery. Despite the visual innocent appeal, we really loved how the game made us become a secret „postal“ agent, open letters, and go hook, line, and sinker with everyone to solve the case. The game is easy to understand but hard to crack.

Sky Caravan by Studio Bravarda pulled us into a well-written space travel tale with a diverse cast, inclusive character choices, and beautiful music. We liked how your choices mattered, how they affected the storyline and your relationships with all crew members. The game mechanic is easy to work out but choose wisely or you will face some inconvenient consequences.

And the winner is...

It's a Wrap!

„It’s a wrap“ by Chanko Studios is a winner because of the creative and playful mechanics implemented. It has never been so much fun to fail and to try again and again and again until you succeed. We take off our hats to Chanko Studios!"


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During the festival, visitors of the festival could choose their favorite from all the works in the exhibition, which will also be honored with the PLAY trophy at the Awards Show.



Sadly, we can only nominate 6 entries, but still want to draw some attention to other works!
The Honorable Mentions were featured in the online and onsite exhibition and had the chance to win the Audience Award.


This year, we received 100 entries from 31 countries and opened our review process again to the PLAYtest Community. And what can we say, it was a great to get a more diverse perspective on all works. The 25 international PLAYtesters took a lot of time to play every entry and wrote very thoughtful reviews.

Our international judges will now choose the winning works.

The Jury

Awards Show

November 5th, 2022 onsite and online at the PLAY – Creative Gaming Festival

We will start off with a one hour live Let's Play by our Hosts Manu and OddNina, followed by the appearance of many guests and the announcements of the award winners.

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