Games Innovation Challenge 2024 Sponsored by UNiDAYS: Winners Announced



University and college students from across the country have been competing to be crowned the winner of the Games Innovation Challenge of 2024 sponsored by UNiDAYS!

The challenge asked students in the UK to create the most innovative game in eight weeks with the submitted entries being shortlisted and then judged against the following categories:

  • First Place: Best overall game
  • Innovator Award: Best unique features
  • Gameplay Guru: Best gameplay
  • Design Muse Award: Best visual and audio design
  • Technical Genius Award: Best programming and tech optimisation
  • Games with purpose: Best game that made a positive social impact
  • Commercial Gem: Best marketing plan

The judges had a great time playing the variety of different games which students created for the challenge. In case you missed it, check out the full judging panel of industry experts below:

  • Cassie Hughes - Director, Nox Lumina / Community Manager, The Noir Network / Co-Founder Black Twitch UK
  • Cristian Leon - Senior Lead Environment Artist - Sledgehammer Games
  • Helena Watson - EMEA Player Communications Lead - Dreamhaven
  • Julien Houeix - Sr. Sales Partnerships Manager - Twitch
  • Vivian Naydenova - Brand Manager MOBA & Strategy, Northern Europe Publishing - Riot Games
  • William Avery - Account Manager, Gaming, Tech & Entertainment - UNiDAYS

During the session, to help them make their decision, judges scored each game on the following criteria:

  • Technical Quality
  • Look and Feel
  • Entertainment
  • Innovation
  • Social Impact
  • Marketability

See the winners that were chosen for each category below!

Innovator Award
Winner: Moseley School and Sixth Form with ‘Gravitwist’

In Gravitwist gravity bends beneath your feet! Move blocks and twist gravity to solve puzzles. Collect all 50 gems and explore 8 vibrant worlds. The judges really enjoyed the concept of the the game and how it played, especially as it was created by a singular student. 

Click here to visit the game page and play it yourself.


Gameplay Guru
Winner: University of West London with ‘Soundcaster’

Soundcaster was an incredible rhythm-based game with arcade elements which the judges had a great time playing. It featured some amazing art throughout as well as a voiceover and an interesting story to accompany it. The judges felt compelled to come back to the game and play it again with one judge completing the game multiple times as they were having such a great time.

Click here to visit the game page and play it yourself.


Design Muse Award
Winner: Swansea University with ‘Defiled West’

In Defiled West, you play as Dynamite Deadlington, a fierce half-gunslinger, half-ghost. Your job is to clear these towns of rotting mass and restore it to a (somewhat) liveable state. It's a classic zombie shooter with an attractive aesthetic but it was the music that made it stand apart from the other entries as it transported straight into an old-timey west environment, giving that extra immersion.

Click here to visit the game page and play it yourself.


Technical Genius Award
Winner: University of West London with ‘Soundcaster’

Soundcaster has also won the Technical Genius Award. The game ran incredibly smoothly, especially as the game featured dual controls where the player needed to control both halves of the screen separately.

Click here to visit the game page and play it yourself.


Games With Purpose
Winner: University of Bath with ‘Guilt For Dreaming’

Guilt for Dreaming is a game where you embark on an inner journey through the dreams and nightmares of the past, reclaim lost passions and save your future. The judges really appreciated the journey that you went on during the game 

Click here to visit the game page and play it yourself.


Commerical Gem
Winner: University of Sussex with ‘Party Jam’

Party Jam is an in-browser game creation and sharing platform. Users can create multiplayer levels and games, without needing to program or even download an application. These can then be played as party games with other players in an online vs mode. The default game is a platformer similar to Mario Maker, however down the line ideally users will be able to make any kind of game. 

The game's multiplayer aspect made it extra fun for the judges, and the room was buzzing with laughs and smiles during this part of the session.

Click here to visit the game page and play it yourself.



First Place
Winner: University of West London with ‘Soundcaster’

Already winning two other awards, Soundcaster is the overall winner of the challenge. The judges were astounded by how good the game looked and how it played so well, it also featured some great voice acting and the attention to detail was amazing.

Click here to visit the game page and play it yourself.


Honourable mentions
A few games really stood out but didn't quite get an award, these are the submissions we think deserve some recognition:

Thank you to everyone who submitted. We really enjoyed reviewing your games and the effort that was put into your creations. Each game that was shortlisted will be getting feedback from the judging session next week.

Twitter/X | Instagram

Twitter/X | Instagram