Crossy Road, Vainglory take Apple Design Awards

Apple's Design Awards for 2015 showcase the company's picks for the best of the iTunes app store.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
4 min read

Crossy Road was awarded a coveted Apple Design Award. Hipster Whale

Day one of Apple's WWDC developer's conference has drawn to a close with the company announcing its coveted Design Awards -- the best apps running on Apple operating systems.

Every year since 1998, Apple has honoured what it perceives the top 12 apps released in the previous year across Mac and iOS platforms, either for design, functionality, integration with Apple's ecosystem, or a combination thereof.

This year's recipients of the minimalist light-up cube trophy include several professional apps, such as cross-platform calendar app Fantastical 2. Apple said the app features rich functionality, clean design and deep integration with OS X.

The gaming front was anything but quiet this year, with Aussie developer Hipster Whale's "endless Frogger" Crossy Road, Mediocre's (anything but) latest release, Does Not Commute, which sees you driving against yourself in a timed traffic puzzler, and Super Evil Megacorp's graphical state-of-the-art MOBA Vainglory all winning prizes.

Student developers also get a look-in, with annual awards up for grabs since 2013. This year showcases Elementary Minute, an educational quiz game created by Austria-based Klemens Strasser. It's compatible with iPhone and Apple Watch, available in German and English.

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The full list of this year's winners can be found below, with links to their app store pages.

Crossy Road (Free)
Hipster Whale
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Crossy Road mixes Frogger with isometric voxel graphics, endless-style gameplay and enough characters to constantly keep gameplay interesting and entertaining, with optional in-app purchases that only change the game cosmetically.

Shadowmatic ($2.99 | AU$3.79 | £2.29)
Triada Studio
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Shadowmatic takes two ideas and puts them together to create a stellar gaming experience: Echochrome, the game that takes place in shadows cast on walls, and Barking Mouse's Lost Toys, where you twist objects to find their shape.

Does Not Commute (Free)
Mediocre AB
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Mediocre's Does Not Commute lived up to the hype. It's a beautifully designed experience that's both thoughtful and one-of-a-kind. This strategy game sees you driving cars along tracks -- but the timeline resets each time, meaning you must be very careful not to cross paths.

Vainglory (Free)
Super Evil Megacorp
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Getting a MOBA -- a genre known for hectic online multiplayer experiences -- right on mobile is a tricky thing to do, yet that's precisely what Vainglory has done, thanks to a team that includes veteran developers from Riot (League of Legends) and Blizzard (World of Warcraft). Aside from some absolutely stunning, top-notch graphics, it offers some genuinely riveting competitive gameplay.

Metamorphabet ($3.99 | AU$4.99 | £2.99)
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Vectorpark's surreal experiences have been given perfect expression in Metamorphabet, an interactive, transforming alphabet that encourages curiosity and exploration.

Pacemaker (Free)
Pacemaker Music
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch
Aspiring DJs can get their hand in with Pacemaker, which lets you select and mix tunes on the fly. It's minimal and easy to use, and is compatible with iTunes and Spotify -- the perfect pocket mixing tool for the touchscreen age.

Robinhood (Free)
Robinhood Markets
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch
Robinhood aspires to be the best stock-market tracking tool on iOS, and it seems as though it's pretty close. It presents all information cleanly and clearly, and offers a platform where amateurs can get a feel for trading before diving in.

Affinity Designer ($39.99 | AU$49.99 | £29.99)
Serif Labs
OS X 10.7
Affinity Design is a high-performance program that offers flexibility and integration with the OS X platform, fully optimised for 64-bit processors and Apple's Retina Display, and taking full advantage of OS X's OpenGL, Grand Central Dispatch and Core Graphics.

Fantastical 2 ($39.99 | AU$49.99 | £29.99)
OS X 10.10
Calendar software Fantastical is clean and simple to use, and cross compatible with all major calendar services that offer CalDAV, iCloud, Google and Yahoo. It also works across Mac and iPhone/iPad for keeping your calendar synced and with you at all times.

Workflow ($2.99 | AU$3.79 | £2.49)
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch
Workflow is both powerful and easy to use, allowing drag-and-drop to automate your daily tasks in a simple, accessible fashion, integrated seamlessly with both iOS and third-party apps such as Dropbox, Evernote, Twitter and Facebook.

Student Awards

Elementary Minute ($0.99 | AU$1.29 | £0.69)
Klemens Strasser
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch
Fast-paced educational quiz game Elementary Minute is simple to play, offering you true-or-false statements. Its clean interface -- swipe up for true, down for false -- make it a brilliant way to learn while having fun on the go.

Jump-O (Free)
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Gabriel Mathias Rocha and Victor Lappas Giménez learned iOS programming while students at the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, Brazil. Jump-O is a hand-drawn platformer that sees you navigating a circle around a square world, avoiding spiky hazards.

See all of today's WWDC news.