In the Kylin Villa, a presidential resort place near Shenzhen, the Chinese arm of the IMGA (International Mobile Games Award) announced the 14 best mobile games made in China and the winner of the category Best Foreign Game.
A total of 1300 games were submitted to the 1st IMGA China and an on line panel of 200 game reviewers selected the 100 best games. On 9 and 10 January 20 Chinese jury members – representatives of Chinese publishers, developers and the 3 mobile operators. One Korean and 4 western jury members completed the jury and together they played the 100 selected games in the Marco Polo Hotel in Shenzhen and selected the winners.
“The judging of these 100 excellent games was a unique and very enriching experience “, says Maarten Noyons, Founder of the IMGA and Chairman of the Jury. “we took a deep dive into the Chinese mobile games culture and the passionate and sometimes heated discussions with the Chinese judges were truly inspiring and a great learning experience. There are lots of things western developers can learn from them and there is a lot Chinese developers can learn from the west.”
The 1st IMGA China coincided with the 1st IMGA CEO Summit, a closed-door conference about the current state of the art in the mobile games industry in China and international collaboration. Top management of all three operators, a senior government representative responsible for the new games regulations, the leading Chinese publishers were debating with the CEOs or C-level Executives of western companies such as Zeptolab, Playrix, Creative Mobile, Resolution Games, Imperia Online, Gamevil, BigPot Games, DoDreams, Halbrick and others. Charles Chiang, Founder and COO of MyGamez who organized the event said: “This was the first time that the main Chinese players discussed openly and frankly their concerns with new regulations, channel fragmentation, mobile advertising and cross-border publishing. It was refreshing, energizing and its success showed that there is a real need to meet up and exchange information and ideas. We will continue to organize this type of events. And the IMGA is the perfect independent and unbiased platform for this.”
China Mobile, the world’s largest operator was the lead sponsor of IMGA China. The IMGA, MyGamez and China Mobile announced that they have already plans for the 2nd IMGA China which is likely to take place in Shanghai, in November of this year
And the winners are…
Excellence in Innovation, Lost Maze, developed by Lemon Jam Studio
“A girl named Misty lived in the maze, but the darkness from deep inside the maze has swallowed all the happiness of memory. The girl is forced to take on an adventure that nothing is sure, only you can lead her the way home!
It’s easy to get lost in the maze. Navigate the little girl through a series of challenging puzzles and bring back her home.”
Best Quickplay Game, Roll Turtle, developed by Fu Junwei
“Roll Turtle is an easy to play but challenging, action driven puzzle platformer That embarks you on an exciting rolling journey. Help Daddy Turtle to save his baby in 5 fantastic worlds! That’s Rolling!”
Excellence in Storytelling, The Legend of Sword and Fairy, developed by SoftStar
“The Legend of Sword and Fairy> is a turn-based 3D MMORPG with its classic original story. The game plot is specially customized by Yao Zhuangxian with celebrity sponsorship, gorgeous BGM, retro 3D graphics, opening battle sceneries, etc. The game is the emersion of classic and innovation based on the story.”
Technical Achievement, Battle Copters, developed by Happyfish Games and published by Chillingo
“Compete in the most ACTION PACKED multiplayer airborne battles, with easy controls and AWESOME DOGFIGHTING action! Take control of a mighty Battle Copter and immediately plunge into 8 players ONLINE BATTLES to the death over 5 dangerous locations. Lock on your missiles and UNLEASH HELL on your opponents as you swoop through the arenas in aerial combat.”
Best Upcoming Game, Lethe, developed by Lethe Studio and published by Sohu Changyou
“Lethe is a well-designed music game, combining the traditional rhythm element with the high-quality music and the aesthetic success. Follow the beats to converge the power, then discover the missing memories. Identifying the solution of those smart-planned puzzles, you can enter the new world. The most impressive point is that the game integrates the music with a certain scene. Feeling the story when you play the music will be a special gaming experience.”
Excellence in Gameplay, Gumballs & Dungeons, developed by LeitingGame
“This is a mysterious adventure. How long can you survive the unknown journey? Enter the Gumballs & Dungeons! Start off a great adventure with worldwide players, lead your Swordsman, Demon Hunter, Mage and Death Knight to beat the Evil Dominator of the Erathia continent.”
Excellence in Art and Design, Onmyoji, developed by NetEase
“Onmyoji is an innovative RPG based on a mythological story. This is the age with the coexistence of the human and the ghost, so our hero named Master Yin Yang tries his best to balance their power. The ghosts provoke the incidents to make the turbulence in the human world. In this case, the Master Yin Yang will be the critical factor to rebuild the order. Relying on the knowledge of astrology, the divination and the fortune telling, the world gains a new peaceful time.”
Excellence in Audio, Lethe, developed by Lethe Studio and published by Sohu Changyou
Best Indie Game, SUMERU, developed by Xiangwan Zhang
“This is a 2D physical game. A traveler called “Yun” picked up a gem on his way home. But just when he appreciating the fascinating gem, he was inhaled into inner side of the gem, which is called “Sumerian World”. “Yun” has to overcome all the difficulties and ordeals, then he can go back to his world. A journey, which is full of adventures and surprises begins…”
Best Online Game, Onmyoji, developed by NetEase
Best Foreign Game, Rodeo Stampede, developed by Featherweight Games Pty Limited and published by YoudoOne
“Most of us could ride a real-life bull for a few seconds tops. So bounding from animal to animal across a raging stampede is impossible fun, bolstered by easy one-touch controls and tricky challenges. The tycoon side of the game—where you build a zoo for the cuddly creatures you’ve befriended—brings the experience full circle with some light, diverting strategy.”
People’s Choice Award, Magic Painting, developed and published by LEADJOY
” Magic painting is an App combing cartoon and painting to educate and cultivate Children at their early stage. It is designed to prevent children from painting on the wall, desk, etc. Save the paper painting to be environmentally friendly.”
Jury’s Honorable Mention, Space Cycler, developed by Manacell
“Space Cycler is a 2D tunnel shooter with 1-2 player local co-op. It combines retro arcade style gameplay, colorful 2D/3D mixing cartoon style artwork and the mixture of competitive and cooperative multiplayer fun. You will control your spaceships to move smoothly along a circular rail and fight enemies in tunnels.”
Grand Prix, Onmyoji, developed by NetEase
Created in 2004, the IMGA is the longest standing mobile games award program. With its long history and unique judging process, it has recognized some of the world’s most popular titles in their early days, such as Angry Birds, Badland and Monument Valley. It is the only competition that unites the industry by celebrating excellence and innovation in games.
In 2016 the IMGA launched local competitions in Southeast Asia, China and Middle East / North Africa, while keeping an international competition, rebranded IMGA Global. The winners of IMGA Global will be announced on March 1st 2017 in San Francisco.