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Threes & Monument Valley named GOTY by Apple

Official rewards for two premium titles

Apple has named Threes as its iPhone game of the year and Monument Valley as the best game on iPad, awards which are likely to give both games a significant boost heading into the Christmas period.

For the development team of Threes, the prize will likely be something of a salve for the unprecedented levels of cloning which the game suffered, firstly with 2048 and then with the ream of knock-offs which followed. So rife was the copy-catting that the game was actually accused of copying 2048 itself. Still, the success that Threes achieved on iOS was enough to catch the eye of Microsoft, which announced that the game was coming to Xbox One earlier this year.

For Monument Valley, there's validation of a different kind. Well received at launch, the UsTwo puzzler later came under fire from fans after releasing a round of paid-for DLC. Both games won Apple design awards earlier in the year.

Interestingly enough, both games were released at premium price points. Nonetheless, it is free-to-play games, in the shape of Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga and Game of War: Fire Age, which hold the top three positions in Apple's top grossing apps of 2014 leaderboard.

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Latest comments (6)

Anthony Gowland Consulting F2P Game Designer, Ant Workshop3 years ago
the UsTwo puzzler later came under fire from fans after releasing a round of paid-for DLC.
Please, stop. It was a tiny number of reviews. Even UsTwo say the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

There are also a number of F2P titles in the "runners up" list, so I wouldn't necessarily draw any solid conclusions from the two winners being paid.
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Andrew Clayton Assistant Designer, EA DICE3 years ago
Maybe I'm alone in thinking this, but while Threes is a great game in its simplicity, is it really GotY material? Is there nothing else released this year for the iOS that would be more deserving of this title? There are a handful of other titles I can think of off the top of my head that stand out in terms of visuals, gameplay, and long-lasting entertainment than Threes. The Room 2 would definitely be on the short list.
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Roland Austinat roland austinat media productions|consulting, IDG, Computec, Spiegel Online3 years ago
@Andrew, "Monument Valley would stand out for me in terms of visuals. Threes has indeed great gameplay and long-lasting entertainment.

This makes me think of question: could Tetris have won GotY anywhere? It doesn't look pretty, has the same elements right from the start and its music has not been recorded by an orchestra.
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Andrew Clayton Assistant Designer, EA DICE3 years ago
A fair point, but maybe my question boils down to "Does this game deserve GotY purely based on efficiency and effectiveness of design in the face of its competitors, or did it win purely because of its popularity?"
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Anthony Gowland Consulting F2P Game Designer, Ant Workshop3 years ago
Unless you're basing it on a quantifiable metric like sales or revenue, Game of the Year is so completely subjective (and so many outlets award it) that it always seems a little pointless to me quibbling.
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development3 years ago
It's pointless to try and fathom the thinking at Apple, they march to a different drum in all areas.

I do agree that it's all subjective though so not worth getting upset over. The only consistency I've seen in various GOTY's, including my own, is that I never agreed with any of them. :)
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