Google launched the Google Play Awards last year as a way to honor exemplary and outstanding applications and games available on the Play Store, many of which succeed in redefining the way we use mobile apps, and how it plays a role in enriching our experiences — be it in terms of fitness, immersion, accessibility, and more.
Finalists for each category was announced back in April, but Google has now revealed the respective winners. Here's the full list of Google Play Awards winners, alongside a brief description of each.
Standout Indie: 'Mushroom 11'
Hailed by IGN as an "endlessly creative and exciting puzzle," Mushroom 11 draws on a post-apocalyptic world, daring you to sprout life into a devastating landscape. You simply have to play it to understand that yes — a video game can be a piece of art, a masterpiece at that.
Mushroom 11 costs $4.99.
Standout Startup: Hooked
Hooked is quite difficult to describe. It's a modern form of storytelling, or it's a deft execution of thrilling, edge-of-your-seat stories framed around chat threads. Whatever you think it is, Hooked offers a unique experience you shouldn't miss out on.
Hooked is free.
Best Android Wear Experience: Runtastic Running & Fitness
The Play Store has a laundry list of fitness apps, so much that it's hard to settle on one that won't be a total crapshoot. That said, you can't go wrong with Runtastic Running & Fitness, which already does it all: measuring distance, time, running space, elevation, calories burned, and so forth.
Runtastic Running & Fitness is free.
Best TV Experience: Red Bull TV
Red Bull TV is a global entertainment platform which focuses on music, sports, and events. It gives users access to a number of music festivals around the globe, in additions to sports competitions, motoring and snow events, films, and even GoPro footage in remote parts of the world.
Red Bull TV is free.
Best VR Experience: Virtual Virtual Reality
Virtual Virtual Reality asks, "what is the purpose of humanity?" especially in a future when human jobs are automated? Well, Virtual Virtual Reality offers over 50 explorable worlds, along with two hours of unique gameplay for you to find out the answer.
Virtual Virtual Reality costs $8.99.
Best AR Experience: 'Woorld'
In Woorld, a sandbox game from Funomena that's heavy on the whimsical, you can turn common places into an entirely different world filled with characters and toys. Once you learn that Woorld was created by the same person who dreamed up Katamari Damacy, it suddenly makes sense why it heralds that bizarre charm, propelled further by augmented reality.
Woorld is free.
Best App for Kids: 'Animal Jam - Play Wild!'
In Animal Jam, you play as your favorite animal and join your friends in Jamaa, where there are a number of things to do. It's a kid's perfect playground since they can design their own den, invite friends to parties, explore a lush 3D world, and more.
Animal Jam - Play Wild! Is free.
Best Multiplayer Game: 'Hearthstone'
Blizzard's Hearthstone needs no introduction. What's more, because it's made by the same people who made Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and more, there's no doubt that it's crafted with the same level of compelling elements, resulting in a pretty stellar game.
Hearthstone is free.
Best App: Memrise
Learning a new language can be hard, but Memrise wants to make it easier. With the app, you can learn Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, and much more. Be the polyglot you've always dreamed of being with the help of Memrise.
Memrise is free.
Best Game: 'Transformers: Forged to Fight'
In Transformers: Forged to Fight, you can join the franchise's array of bots in the battle for supremacy where Transformers universes collide. Featuring astounding graphics and plenty of iconic bots to collect, the game vividly captures more than 30 years of Transformers history into one stellar mobile app.
Transformers: Forged to Fight is free.
Best Accessibility Experience: IFTTT
IFTTT essentially solves the greatest conundrum on modern mobile app usage. What if people want their apps to interact with one another? IFTTT does exactly this, pairing together different apps for optimum productivity. Want a Google Sheet log of every call you make or answer? Done. Want your Instagram post to automatically be posted on Twitter? Done. Want to be notified when the International Space Station flies above you? Done.
IFTTT is free.
Best Social Impact: ShareTheMeal
ShareTheMeal is a charity app that lets you feed a child in need with just one tap on your phone. To date, 12 million meals have been shared, and 800,000 people are continuing the fight to end world hunger with ShareTheMeal.
ShareTheMeal is free.
Thoughts about this year's Google Play Awards winners? Sound off in the comments section below!