Apple announced winners of best apps and games for 2019 at a closed media event in New York City. These are the apps that Apple’s App Store editors think are unique, different, and have a story to tell. The idea is not to measure the app’s success by a number of downloads or revenue generated. Instead, these apps and games aren’t popular, yet Apple acknowledges them because of their new and innovative way to narrating a character.
Here are this year’s winners.
iPhone game of the year
Sky: Children of the Light
Sky: Children of the Light is a free-to-play title that was announced on the App Store this July. The multiplayer game is described as a “social adventure” that’s set in the world of Sky. Players will control the Children of the Light as the community attempts to “return fallen Stars to their constellations,” according to the site’s blog.
It’s a game about flying, exploring, and communicating a mysterious, aerial world. Thatgamecompany, the developer behind the award-winning PlayStation 3 game Journey, is behind Sky: Children of the Light.
Price: Free with in-app purchases
iPhone App of the year
Developed by the popular app developer behind Halide, Spectre Camera is a new app that can be used to take long exposure shots. The app takes advantage of AI to process hundreds of shots over a span of a few seconds to deliver excellent shots. You can move crowds on a busy road, turn city streets into river of lights, and more. Interestingly, one can even use the long exposure photo as a live wallpaper for your iPhone.
iPad Game of the Year
Hyper Light Drifter
The Pixel-art inspired title, Hyper Light Driver, lets you explore a mysterious planet and making your way through enemies. What’s standout in this game is the artwork and combat. The title is suitable for touch-screen, with frames reaching up to 120 frames per second on the iPad Pro. Hyper Light Drifter also supports Xbox One and PS4 controllers.
iPad App of the Year
Flow by Moleskine
Known for its Journal app, Moleskine’s new app is designed for taking notes on the iPad. Called Flow, the app tries to offer the same notetaking feel one would expect from a real notebook. It’s essentially a creative app for sketching, writing, and drawing. The Flow app offers six different types of tools: pen, pencil, marker, highlighter, brush, and fountain pen. Each of these can be used in a variety of colours and sizes; the app also works with Apple Pencil. The flow was also chosen as a winner at Apple’s 2019 Design Awards at its Worldwide Developer Conference earlier this year.
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Mac Game of the Year
This indie title Gris is about a young woman who experiences a metaphorical journey through a colourless land. Through her journey, Gris discovers that she can collect lights that grant her special abilities that, in turn, can restore colour and order back to the world. The Puzzle-solving game might not be for everyone, but Gris is for those are a fan of art-filled titles with beautiful music and sound.
Mac App of the Year
Affinity Publisher is a publication app that competes with programs such as Adobe InDesign. The app supports many features that are needed by the print and online media industry including OpenType Support, master pages, linking textframes, etc.
Apple Arcade Game of the Year
Sayonara Wild Hearts
Developed by Annapurna Interactive, Sayonara Wild Hearts is a rhythm-based action game. It basically follows the life of a young woman after the end of a relationship as she falls into a dream state and becomes a biker in the sky who searches for past relationships and friends to the electronic pop soundtrack. The game looks stylish and beautiful, and it easily one of the best games available on the Apple Arace.
Price: Free but need an Apple Arcade subscription
Apple TV Game of the Year
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap
A popular platformer from the ’80s, The Dragon’s Trap has been launched as an HD remake. The animation looks real and the game itself has been given a facelift. This remake features all-new hand-drawn visuals and a re-orchestrated soundtrack. Have you played this retro remake?
Apple TV app of the Year
The Explorers is an app for those who travel and share videos for a specific cause. It could be scientists, artists, photographers, etc. The idea is to create a free planet inventory that truly showcases the best of the Earth. Users can browse videos in up to 4K.
Price: Free with in-app purchases.
Disclaimer: The author was in New York at the invite of Apple India