Episode, Old Man’s Journey, and Empires & Puzzles were each recognized as outstanding games for Google’s Android platform this week at the 2018 Google Play Awards.
While many of the apps and games featured at the event were released during the last year, Google notes that it also considered nominees that received a significant update since 2017, meaning that some earlier releases like Pokemon Go were also in the running.
This year’s show featured three game-specific awards, though a handful of games were nominated for more general categories as well. Overall, the event aimed to highlight a standout well-being app, best accessibility experience, best app for social impact, standout indie, best community building game, best AR or VR experience, standout “build for billions” experience, standout startup, and best breakthrough hit.
Small Giant Games’ Empires & Puzzles notably won the award for best breakthrough hit, a category that sought to recognize a new app or game with excellent overall design, user experience, engagement and retention, and strong organic install growth. Other games nominated for that award included Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Cooking Craze, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, and PUBG Mobile.
The interactive story game Episode from Episode Interactive walked away with the Best Community Building Game award this year, beating out Clash Royale, Lineage 2: Revolution, PUBG Mobile, and Pokemon Go in the process.
Meanwhile, Old Man’s Journey by Broken Rules Interactive won the award for Stand Out Indie over fellow nominees Agent A, Bridge Constructor Portal, Flipping Legend, and OPUS: Rocket of Whispers. Old Man’s Journey was also notably listed as one of Apple’s top games for 2017.
A full list of the winners and nominees across all categories can be found on Google Play.