Apple has announced the winners of its 2023 Design Awards, which highlights innovation and other achievements in app and game design. Here are the titles that were celebrated this year.
The winners in each category were listed on the Apple Design Awards official page. So let’s focus on games only.
- Innovation Award (titles that provide a “state-of-the-art experience through novel use of Apple technologies that set them apart in their genre”) — Marvel Snap, which was praised for its “snap” mechanic that allows users to double the stakes in every match they play. Finalists in this category are Resident Evil Village and stich.
- Visuals and Graphics Award (games with “stunning imagery, skillfully drawn interfaces, and high-quality animations that lend to a distinctive and cohesive theme”) — the Mac version of Resident Evil Village, which leverages the power of Apple’s ARM processors and uses the MetalFX upscaling technology. Finalists in this category include Diablo Immortal and Endling.
- Inclusivity Award (products that provide a “great experience for all by supporting people from a diversity of backgrounds, abilities, and languages”) — stich., an embroidery-themed puzzle game by Lykke Studios, was praised by Apple for fun onboarding and accessibility options for players with color blindness, motion sensivities, and low vision. Finding Hannah and Ancient Board Game Collection were listed among the finalists.
- Interaction Award (titles that have “intuitive interfaces and effortless controls that are perfectly tailored to their platform”) — Railbound, a comic-style puzzle game from indie studio Afterburn, features a simple tap-and-drag mechanic and other “clever design flourishes.” For more info about the game, read our last year’s interview with Afterburn. The list of finalists includes Automatoys and Kimono Cats.
- Delight and Fun Award (games that provide “memorable, engaging, and satisfying experiences that are enhanced by Apple technologies”) — Afterplace, a pixel open world adventure/RPG created by indie developer Evan Kice, was praised for its intuitive one-hand control system and “beautifully crafted environment.” The list of finalists includes Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! and Knotwords.
- Social Impact Award (products that “improve lives in a meaningful way and shine a light on crucial issues”) — HandyGames’ Endling, a side-scrolling survival adventure that allows players to experience an environmental disaster from the perspective of the mother fox. Finalists in this category include Hindsight and Beecarbonize.