Apple announced its picks for the best games released in 2019. Google named games that won User’s Choice awards across several categories.
Apple has named one best game for each of its platforms.
Game of the Year for iPhone
This award went to Sky: Children of the Light. It’s a meditative adventure from American studio thatgamecompany. This is the first game the studio has developed since the sensational 2012 Journey. In fact, Sky feels like a spiritual sequel to Journey. Same as before, the player wanders through huge calm locations to a relaxing electronic music.
Game of the Year for iPad
Developed on the GameMaker engine, isometric action game Hyper Light Drifter became the best choice for tablets this year. The game was a very late arrival on iOS. Its PC version came out in March 2016 and also generated a lot of positive buzz. It was partly due to its unique style, partly due to the history of development (its lead designer had been sick since childhood and when creating games he wanted to convey his feelings through the gameplay). And, of course, it was due to the high quality of the game.
Game of the Year for Mac
GRIS from Spain’s Nomada Studio became Mac Game of the Year. The multi-platform platformer was universally praised for its visuals. The game looks like a hand-drawn animated film and won multiple awards for its style. For example, GRIS received last year’s Best Visual Art Award from the jury of the GDC Awards .
Game of the year for Apple TV
Apple TV also got its best game, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap by Lizardcube (France). The game is a remaster of the 1986 platformer of the same name. The game look great. It also resembles a 2D animated film. However, the gameplay itself feels very outdated after 30 years. It was already noticeable when the remaster came out on PC in 2017.
Game of the year for Apple Arcade
Sayonara Wild Hearts, a musical runner from Swedish team Simogo, became the best game on Apple’s subscription service. The studio is famous for unusual Apple exclusives (including Year Walk and Device 6). Sayonara Wild Hearts doesn’t have the pretentiousness of the studio’s previous games: it’s much more accessible and very dynamic.
The main gaming trend of 2019
Finally, Apple named the gaming trend that it considers the most important one in 2019, which is the expansion of large gaming brands into the mobile market. It comes in the form of original products in the established franchises designed specifically for mobile. Apple highlighted the following releases: Mario Kart Tour (Nintendo), Minecraft Earth (Mojang), Pokémon Masters (DeNA), Assassin’s Creed Rebellion (Ubisoft), Gears POP! (Microsoft), The Elder Scrolls: Blades (Bethesda) and Call of Duty: Mobile (Activision Publishing).
Interestingly, no single Apple exclusive became Game of the year. Even Sky: Children of the Light and Sayonara Wild Hearts are multi-platform games.
While Google didn’t put together its own Best of 2019 list, it did name Call of Duty: Mobile as the overall best game of 2019. In its launch week, the title generated 100 million downloads. Its revenue for October was $57.3 million.
Call of Duty: Mobile also won the users’ choice award.
Separately, Google named top games across four categories based on popular vote.
- Brawl Stars
- Call of Duty: Mobile
- Rumble Stars
- Tennis Clash
- Stardew Valley
- Tiny Room Stories: Tiny Mystery
- Angry Birds Dream Blast
- Diner Dash Adventures
- Golf Peaks
- Mario Kart Tour
- Vineyard Valley: Match & Blast
- Assassin’s Creed Rebellion
- Dragonest Game’s Auto Chess
- The Elder Scrolls: Blades