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Winners are recognized in the following categories in each Challenge city (Atlanta, Detroit, LA and NYC) and for students competing in the National competition. To compete in these award categories, students must submit playable games about one of this year’s three Challenge themes (see: Competition Rules and Guidelines).

Game Award Categories

Best Game – ‘Resilience Through Games’ – Middle School

Best Game – ‘Resilience Through Games’ – High School

Best Game – ‘Advocating for Animals’ – Middle School

Best Game – ‘Advocating for Animals’ – High School

Best Game – ‘Build a Better World’ – Middle School

Best Game – ‘Build a Better World’ – High School

Grand Prize Winner – Best Overall Game



Games are reviewed and scored by panels of expert jurors through three rounds of evaluation (including professionals from the games industry and theme topics). All games are evaluated using the following four categories of judging criteria:


 Is the game playable?

 Is it smooth and bug-free?

 Is gameplay well-balanced (not too easy / not too hard)?

 Do players have meaningful choices in the process of achieving the game's goals?

Use of Theme

 Does the game address its theme in a meaningful way?

 Is the theme at the forefront of the game?

 Is the theme information presented clearly and accurately?


 Is the game new, fresh and innovative?

 How unique is the design and game concept?

 Does it bear little resemblance to other student games (particularly in the case of Scratch remixes)?

Wow Factor

 How fun is the game?

 Would you recommend it to someone else to play?



Visit the Challenge theme pages to explore curated content related to each of the topics. Students may also learn more about the topics during game jam events scheduled throughout the Spring (see upcoming opportunities on the Events Page).

 Advocating for Animals

 Build a Better World

 Resilience Through Games