As 2023 comes to a close, tech giant Apple is in the preparation stages for their esteemed App Store Awards. This annual event recognises and applauds the most distinguished apps and games that have made a significant impact over the past year. Currently, the list holds approximately 40 finalists, with highlights from various gaming realms.
The finalists for the iPhone Game of the Year present a mix of retro charm and innovative gameplay. One key game is Afterplace, a retro-inspired game taking cues from beloved classics like Zelda. Developed by solo indie maestro Evan Kice, the game transports players back to the glory days of pixel-art RPGs, offering vast open worlds to explore as they navigate through dense forests and haunting dungeons. Another contender is the hugely successful Honkai: Star Rail by HoYoverse - a mesmerising space fantasy adventure set in a vibrant sci-fi universe, where all living entities abide by the mandates of deities known as Aeons. Poncle's Vampire Survivors, a roguelike bullet-hell spectacle, rounds out the finalists. The fan-favourite arcade game, which originally debuted on PC, pits players against hordes of darkness, injecting fun and adrenaline into the gameplay.
Moving to the iPad Game of the Year category, we find another eclectic selection. Eggy Party stands out as a dynamic party game designed for communal fun, with countless mini-games to engage in, along with the unique feature of creating custom courses using the Eggy Workshop. Lost in Play by Happy Juice Games also makes a compelling entry to the roster. Awarded for its creative and moving storyline, the game illustrates the enchanting journey of two siblings as they navigate a magical world derived from their vivid imagination. The final entrant is Pocket City 2, the much-anticipated sequel to the universally loved city builder. With a distinctive street view rather than a birds-eye perspective, gamers can closely observe the visually pleasing roads, structures, and life in their city.
Apple's own gaming service, Apple Arcade, hosts the Cityscapes title among the Game of the Year nominees. This game harkens back to the classic city builders while empowering players to create their dream cities using limitless creativity. A sandbox mode is included for those desiring absolute freedom in their construction. Joining Cityscapes on this distinguished list are Sunblink and Sanrio with their entrancing addition, Hello Kitty Island Adventure. This narrative-driven life sim brings to life our favourite characters from the esteemed franchise, like Cinnamoroll, Kuromi, Chococat, and Badtz-maru. Concluding the finalists is stitch., a game that blends relaxation with inclusivity and was recognised at the Apple Design Awards 2023 in the Inclusivity segment. Stitch teaches the calming art of embroidery in a convenient, digital format.
Now that Apple's disclosed their finalists for the year's top games, it's time to wait and see who takes home the prestigious accolades. Meanwhile, gaming enthusiasts can browse the App Store for similar titles and discover new favourites while they await the final results.
You must be logged in to post a comment!