We're coming to the tail-end of the year, where acclaim and awards begin to hail from the sky. And while it's fun to make light of some awards, there are a few that are a huge deal - because they come attached with an enormous amount of promotion that means a great deal for the developers involved.
It's a good thing, then, that's Apple's favourite Mac game of 2018 happens to be Australian.
The game in question is The Gardens Between, a chilled puzzler that launched a couple of months ago. Stephen and I both loved the game's elegance, where players rewind time back and forth as they send Arina and Frendt atop the island dioramas.
In an interview over email, Voxel Agents developer Matthew Clark said The Gardens Between was a natural fit for Macs - rather than developing for iPad or iPhone first - because it belonged on desktops and consoles. "We develop on Macs, and so we never considered not releasing on Mac. And so far it's really exceeded our expectations," Clark explained.
"We’re out on all the major consoles, and the most successful of the bunch are the Mac App Store, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One," he added. "A lot of people who grew up playing games on the Apple II or the early Nintendo consoles ... those are the people who really love indie games now."
The nomination is one of three gongs given by Apple to Australian developers. Along with The Gardens Between, Sweat and Procreate Pocket also got a shoutout for the best Apple TV app of 2018, and the best iPhone app:
- iPhone App of the year - Procreate Pocket
- iPhone Game of the year - Donut County
- iPad App of the year - Froggipedia
- Pad Game of the year - Gorogoa
- Mac App of the year - Pixelmator Pro
- Mac Game of the year - The Gardens Between
- Apple TV App of the year - Sweat
- Apple TV Game of the year - Alto's Odyssey
Just an FYI: if you like doodling on your phone at any point, Procreate Pocket is seriously amazing.
In 2017, FRAMED 2 was the Apple TV game of the year in Australia, the USA, Canada, Japan and New Zealand. This year's haul is a substantial improvement, with The Gardens Between, Sweat and Procreate Pocket getting the global gongs. That means they'll get recognition across their respective stores on iOS devices around the world, which is a nice piece of real estate to have over the holidays.
It's also another helpful reminder: we make good stuff down under. Maybe our government could, I don't know, help out a little more.