Balancing Monkey Games is a boutique independent game developer based in Dunedin (Ōtepoti), Aotearoa New Zealand. We create non-violent games that aim to relax and entertain our players, while building a positive and uplifting community that reflects our ideals. It is our mission to make peaceful, accessible and culturally relevant games that enable us to support our local communities. We’re also ambitious for our games and brand to be globally recognised.


Balancing Monkey Games was formed in 2017 by New Zealander Sam Barham. He began working on his first game Before We Leave as a hobby project, while balancing the other demands of full-time work and fatherhood. As the project grew and gained recognition, the team expanded to include contracted artists, audio experts, a writer, an additional programmer and a community manager. In May 2020, Before We Leave was released exclusively on the Epic Game Store during the first Covid pandemic lockdown in Aotearoa NZ. The launch was a success, and enabled the studio to hire two of the contractors as permanent staffand to open an office in South Dunedin. In August 2020, Before We Leave won the New Zealand Games Festival Award for Excellence in Audio, aka The Pav for The Composed Segment.


  • Before We Leave
  • Videos




    Awards & Recognition

    • "The Pavs (New Zealand Games Festival Awards) 2020:" Winner: The Composed Segment: Excellence in Audio, Finalist: The Decorative Piece: Excellence in Visual Art, Finalist: The ‘Slice of Heaven’ Grand Prize
    • "Kiwi Game Starter (New Zealand Game Developers Association)" First Place 2019, Finalist 2018 (under the working title “Before”)

    Selected Articles

    Team & Collaborators

    Sam Barham
    Creative Director
    Anna Barham
    Managing Director
    Isaac Bennett
    Technical Artisit, Programmer
    Emily Latta
    Community, Media Manager
    Edd Coates
    UI Art
    Rafał Urbański
    Benedict Nichols
    James Dean
    Sound design
    Saf Davidson
    KeyWords Studios