Apple’s Design Awards winners 2023

The company awards programs for excellence in technical achievement

Apple’s Design Awards winners 2023

As Apple wraps up WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) for 2023, the big thing on everyone’s lips is of course, the Vision Pro. But there’s a lot more than just big tech announcements at the annual conference.

One part of the conference was Apple’s Design Awards 2023. Awarded to “honour excellence in innovation, ingenuity, and technical achievement in app and game design,” these honours were given to a number of apps…including quite a few games.

Each category (Inclusivity, Delight and Fun etc.) included both a regular app and a game as their winners. So here’s how mobile gaming did in each category at Apple’s Design Awards for 2023.

Inclusivity Winners

This award is pretty self-explanatory, and recognised developers who have made an effort to develop their apps in order to support people from a diverse background of abilities and languages and promote accessibility.

Lykke Studios’ Stitch took home the award for Inclusivity this year. It was awarded in recognition of the game's "fun onboarding, support for multiple languages, and custom accessibility’s designed for as many people as possible.” Lykke are no stranger to working alongside Apple of course, as we shone the indie spotlight on them and their Apple Arcade launch title Tint back in 2020.

Delight and Fun

This award is more of a general category for apps that provide “memorable, engaging and satisfying experiences”, with the caveat that these are “enhanced by Apple technologies.”

Mobile RPG Afterplace, by one-man developer Evan Kice, took the award this time, with special praise given to its “clever onboarding [which] grounds players in the world, and its intuitive one-handed control system.”


If Accessibility covers innovation to aid in onboarding and supporting players of all ability, then Interaction covers the broader technical innovations of refining and fine-tuning the basic interfaces all mobile games rely on.

Puzzle game Railbound, by developer Afterburn, was praised for how the railway puzzler made approaching the game simple to understand and easy to use. “The tap-and-drag mechanic for laying track is so simple you could almost discover it by accident, and the game makes it incredibly easy to change direction, add switches, or undo your mistakes.”

Social Impact

The social impact award goes to games and apps that highlight critical issues in the wider world.

In this case, HandyGames’ adventure title Endling took home the prize. The game was praised for covering an eco-social message, particularly noting, “Endling isn’t always an easy story to experience, but its mix of medium and message has never felt more timely.”

Visual and Graphics winners

Again, a pretty self-explanatory category. However, we don’t see a mobile or multi-platform winner for this award, as it goes to the latest Resident Evil entry, Resident Evil: Village.

A visually stunning game no doubt, but we do see a few other mobile titles with strong visual design as runners-up, such as Diablo Immortal and Social Impact winner Endling. Maybe next year will be a chance for a multi-platform tile on mobile to take home the prize?


This category covers the ingenious use of existing technologies. For example, the non-game winner was AI Tennis App Swingvision, which uses the technology to help players improve their skills.

It shouldn’t be surprising however, that in terms of games it was Second Dinner’s Marvel Snap which took home the prize. Given the game’s marketing - and the majority of praise for it - has focused on the short, snappy (pun intended) gameplay that seeks to resolve issues more casual players have with card games, this should be expected.


The success of Marvel Snap, and the multiple awards it’s taken home including this one, are just a single example of the vibrancy and innovation in the mobile game industry at the moment. We got the chance to sit down with Rob Van Dam of Nuverse - publishers of Marvel Snap - to talk about their experience with Second Dinner and how they might look to replicate the success of this publishing coup.

Staff Writer

Iwan is a Cardiff-based freelance writer, who joined the Pocket Gamer Biz site fresh-faced from University before moving to the editorial team in November of 2023.