During Apple’s annual election of the best apps of the year, Sky: Children of the Light was voted the Best iPhone game and Hyper Light Drifter the Best iPad game of the year. Sayonara Wild Hearts, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap and GRIS were voted Best Apple Arcade, Best Apple TV and Best Mac games of the year respectively.
Best Apps of 2019
Apple announced the winners of the best apps of 2019 in New York last Tuesday. The tech giant handed out prizes in a number of categories, including Best iPhone app and Best iPad app, but also the best iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Arcade game.
Sky: Children of the Light, from the developer that game company, considered Apple the best iPhone game for the Hyper Light Drifter for the iPad. The company itself selected the nominees and winners.
Jenny Kong, one of the creators of Sky: Children of Light, thinks it is an honor that the studio has won the title: “We have been working on Sky for six years, and for more than ten years on other titles such as Journey and Flowers, with the goal is to make games that are driven by positivity, “she says. The fact that Sky first appeared on iOS, and not on console, like the aforementioned predecessors, has a very simple reason, according to her: “We want to make our game available to as many people as possible, not just those with a game console. And because so many players use their mobile phones anyway to be socially engaged, we think it’s an ideal platform to release our type of game. ”
According to her, Sky also has a low threshold for entering, probably according to her the reason that the game caught the eye of Apple. “It’s a game that people quickly show to friends. It is an online multiplayer game that is not only about achieving goals but also about socializing. And it is also interesting that Journey was played by around 50/50 men and women, while Sky is played by at least 60% women. “
Return of blockbusters
Apple states that the game trend of the year is that blockbusters return on iOS, but with a modern twist. That would also explain that the classic Wonderboy (the original dates from 1986) was chosen as the best Apple TV game. The winner of the iPad game of the year, Hyper Light Drive, also resembles the action/adventure games from the 16-bit era and is seen as a tribute to games such as Zelda: A Link to the Past. “This style is quickly linked to a lot of emotion, as in the old days,” explains Eva Gaspar, CEO of Abylight Studios. Her company is a co-developer of Hyperlight. “We are extremely proud to have worked with developer Heart Machine to translate the hugely loved game into iOS.”
Hyper Light Drifter came out in 2016 for Windows, Linux and later also PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch. And according to Caspar, the release on iOS was not without a struggle: “People can get very angry if things change, but you can’t fight technology,” she wonders. “Certainly not if that technology gets better and easier. If you need a lot of devices for all kinds of games and applications, it becomes unnecessarily complicated. But now you have a phone or a tablet where you can do multiple things, including gaming. And those devices do that to perfection. So why do you need an extra device to play? As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have to convince those people. Because in the future we will do everything on that one device.
Best iPhone app partly from Groningen
The event for Apple prizes also received a Dutch touch because Specter Camera was voted the best iPhone app of 2019, co-created by Sebastiaan de With. The Groninger feels more than honored. “Most camera apps are on iPhone anyway, so it’s not like Apple had no other choices,” he laughs. Simply put, his app makes it easy to take beautiful pictures with long shutter speed, after which they can be edited just as easily. “We already have an app that was really made for camera people and photographers, Halide. but now we wanted an app that is meant for everyday people who take pictures and have no idea what aperture means.”
Although Specter Camera can now be seen as the crème de la crème of the photography apps, this is only the beginning for De With: “There are still plenty of things to add, such as new photography techniques and in that way to expand quietly. But I can tell people that it is really not true that you as an app maker have to start with a silly talk to raise 25 million in Silicone Valley and then build a prototype. In fact, we started with two and are still with two, without an office and our app is doing great. ”