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On Monday, Apple announced the winners of its annual Design Awards, praising developers who have produced exceptional apps and games.
Apple’s annual Design Awards honor “excellence in innovation, ingenuity, and technical achievement in app and game design.” An essential part of WWDC, the awards highlight what Apple believes to be some of the best apps in various subject areas.
This year’s winners were recognized in the following areas: Inclusivity, Delight and Fun, Interaction, Social Impact, Visuals and Graphics, and Innovation.
Inclusivity features apps and games that “provide a great experience for all by supporting people from a diversity of backgrounds, abilities, and languages.”
Procreate by Savage Interactive won for their dedication to inclusivity. Procreate, a popular drawing app for the iPad has added many features to help make it easier to use for those with mobility limitations.
Studio Drydock took the win for Inclusivity in gaming with their game Wylde Flowers. It’s a cozy life and farming sim that features a diverse cast of characters.
Delight and Fun recognizes apps and games that “provide memorable, engaging, and satisfying experiences that are enhanced by Apple technologies.”
Andy Works took the win for top app in Delight and Fun with (Not Boring) Habits. This app is a science-backed habit tracker designed to help users pick up new habits or kick unwanted habits to the curb.
Overboard by ankle won this years Apple Design award for Delight and Fun in gaming. Overboard challenges the player to get away with murder in this dynamic narrative-meets-visual novel.
Apps and games in the Interaction category “deliver intuitive interfaces and effortless controls that are perfectly tailored to their platform.”
Apple recognized Breakpoint Studio for their app, Slopes. Slopes functions as a skiing and snowboarding diary of sorts, allowing users to track their distance and speed via the GPS on iPhone or Apple Watch.
A Musical Story by Glee-Cheese Studio took the win for Interaction in gaming. This game mixes song, story, and artistic creation, helping it to stand out in a sea of rhythm games.
Apps under Social Impact “improve lives in a meaningful way and shine a light on crucial issues.”
Rebel Girls, by Rebel Girls Inc, won the Apple Design Award for Social Impact. It focuses on telling the stories of the world’s most influential women, including Frida Kahlo, Simone biles, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It features rich audio and original art from female and nonbinary artists worldwide.
The Social Impact in gaming winner was Broken Rules’ Gibbon: Beyond the Trees. This Apple Arcade original encourages players to swing through beautiful hand-drawn landscapes. Apple describes it as an “ecological adventure” with an “environmentally conscious storyline.”
The Visuals and Graphics category has apps that “feature stunning imagery, skillfully drawn interfaces, and high-quality animations that lend to a distinctive and cohesive theme.”
Halide Mark II by Lux Optics took top spot for Visual and Graphics app. Halide has previously received accolades from Apple, earning an Editor’s Choice feature.
Gameloft’s LEGO: Star Wars: Castaways won the Apple Design Award for Visual and Graphics in gaming. Apple cited the game’s “cinematic feel, sizzling visual effects, and tactile gameplay” as reasons for the win.
Lastly, those recognized for Innovation “provide a state-of-the-art experience through novel use of Apple technologies that set them apart in their genre.”
Odio, from Volst, took the top spot for Innovation in apps. It allows users to customize lifelike ambient soundscapes, including waterfalls, rushing rivers, and electronic washes. The app also features Spatial Audio, making the experience all the more realistic.
The winner for Innovation in gaming is Netmarble’sMARVEL Future Revolution. This open-world action RPG is powered by Metal and has previously been honored as the 2021 iPad Game of the Year.
Winners receive a physical award from Apple and a promotion in the App Store for their achievement. Winning the award also bestows prestige onto developers, which can help their standings in the market.