As the year draws to a close, Apple is gearing up for its coveted App Store Awards, designed to celebrate the best apps and games that made an impact this year. Nearly 40 finalists were selected, and here are some of the exciting games chosen.
iPhone Game of the Year
The first finalist is Afterplace, a fun retro title inspired by Zelda. It was designed by independent indie developer Evan Kice and dates back to the days of pixel art RPGs. From exploring forests to exploring dungeons, this game has a vast open world waiting to be explored.
Next up is HoYverse’s hugely successful title, Honkai: Star Rail. This is an epic space fantasy adventure set in his thrilling sci-fi universe, where all living things and sentient beings follow the path of their respective gods called Aeons.
Finally, we have Vampire Survivor, Poncle’s roguelike bullet hell game that has taken the world by storm. This is an absolutely fun arcade game ported from the PC that tasks players with defeating the forces of darkness.
iPad Game of the Year
Eggy Party is the perfect party game to play with friends on the big screen. Players are free to participate in a variety of mini-games with different objectives, similar to Fall Guys, but they also have the ability to fully customize and create their own courses in the Eggy Workshop.
Happy Juice Games’ Lost in Play is also an iPad contender and has already received positive reviews from critics. This is the touching story of two brothers whose imaginations inspire them to embark on a magical adventure.
Last on the iPad list is Pocket City 2, the sequel to the popular city builder. Instead of the usual top-down view, the game has a more personalized street view that allows you to get a better look at the streets and various structures placed throughout the city.
Apple Arcade Game of the Year
Another city builder, Cityscapes, has been selected as a finalist for Apple’s gaming service. This is something of a classic, allowing players to use their imagination to build the city of their dreams. The game also features a sandbox mode for maximum freedom.
Sunblink and Sanrio also have their adorable title “Hello Kitty Island Adventure” on the list. This is a story-driven, life-changing sim that features all the popular characters from the series, including Cinnamoroll, Kuromi, Chococat, and Badtzmaru.
Our final contender is Stitch., a very relaxing game that has already won in the Inclusivity category at the Apple Design Awards 2023. We bring the meditative art of embroidery to everyone in a more portable format.
Which game do you like the most? You can also find similar titles in this complete list of all Apple Arcade games.