GameRefinery unveils the finalists for its annual Mobile GameDev Awards, celebrating the best in mobile game design

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The 2022 Mobile GameDev Awards finalists announced in seven categories covering different aspects of mobile game innovation and feature design, in USA, Japan and China.

Today, mobile game analytics specialist GameRefinery, a Liftoff company, is excited to announce that its jury has decided on the finalists for its second annual Mobile GameDev Awards. The awards recognise and celebrate innovation in mobile game design amongst developers in the USA, China and Japan.

The seven categories are:

Innovation and Excellence in Core Gameplay, (all regions)

Most Promising Soft Launch Game, (all regions) Biggest Evolver individually in USA, Japan, China Best Newcomer individually in USA, Japan, China

Best Feature Innovation, Best Event individually in USA, Japan, China and

Best Use of IP in Collaboration Events (all regions).

GameRefinery will announce the winners on the 24th of May 2022.

The 2022 Mobile GameDev Awards finalists have been selected by a panel of GameRefinery analysts, drawing on their extensive experience and expertise in games analysis.

GameRefinery’s platform tracks over 100,000 mobile games for market research, competitor intelligence, and player insights while providing more than 2,500+ in-depth game feature deconstructions and analyses.


Mobile GameDev Awards 2022 Finalists

Innovation & Excellence in Core Gameplay

The most innovative and well-executed core gameplay seen in 2021:

无尽的拉格朗日 (Infnite Lagrange, China)
Gold and Goblins: Idle Merge
哈利波特:魔法觉醒 (Harry Potter Magic Awakened, China)
Kingdom Guard: Tower Defence
ウマ娘 プリティーダービー (Umamusume Pretty Derby, Japan)
The Ants: Underground Kingdom
League of Legends: Wild Rift


Most Promising Soft Launch Game

The 2021 soft launch game most likely to be a breakout launch success based on gameplay:

Apex Legends
Clash Mini
Star Blast
Tower of Fantasy
Diablo Immortal
Honkai: Star Rail
Star Wars: Hunters


Biggest Evolver

The game that has developed the most during 2021 in terms of gameplay:

USA Finalists:

Merge Dragons!
Clash Royale
Garena Free Fire
Lords Mobile: Tower Defense
Rise of Kingdoms
Yahtzee® with Buddies
Cookie Run: Kingdom


Japan Finalists:

ステート・オブ・サバイバル (State of Survival)
Shin Sangokushi
ドラゴンクエストタクト (Dragon Quest Tact)
パズル&ドラゴンズ (Puzzle & Dragons)
プロ野球スピリッツA (Pro Yakyuu Spirits A)


China Finalists:

植物大战僵尸2 (Plants vs. Zombies 2)
谕 (Revelation)
原神 (Genshin Impact)
跑跑卡丁车官方竞速版 (PopKart Mobile)
魂斗罗:归来-特战集结 (Contra Returns)


Best Newcomer

The best new entry into the market during 2021:


USA Finalists:

The Ants: Underground Kingdom
Royal Match
Kingdom Guard: Tower Defence
Family Farm Adventure
Zen Match – Relaxing Puzzle
The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War
No Limit Drag Racing 2
Idle Lumber Empire
League of Legends: Wild Rift


Japan Finalists:

ウマ娘 プリティーダービー (Umamusume Pretty Derby)
二ノ国:Cross Worlds (Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds)
ガーディアンテイルズ (Guardian Tales)
グランサガ(Gran Saga)
Nier Re[in]carnation


China Finalists:

哈利波特:魔法觉醒 (Harry Potter: Magic Awakened)
王牌竞速 (Ace Racer)
幻塔 (Tower of Fantasy
无尽的拉格朗日 (Infnite Lagrange)
英雄联盟手游 (League of Legends: Wild Rift)
铲铲之战 (Battle of the Golden Spatula)


Best Feature Innovation

The most innovative new feature introduced in a game during 2021

松松总动员 (Song-song Zong-dong-yuan, China) – Login calendar meets IAP offers
松松总动员 (Song-song Zong-dong-yuan, China) – Innovative limited-time gacha event
Garena Free Fire – Special PvP modes
Cooking Diary – Social hangout areas
Yahtzee® with Buddies – Kingdom feature
Rise of Kingdoms – MOBA mode
Puzzle & Dragons (Japan) – Synchronous PvP mode
PUBG MOBILE – RP Activity Packs in Battle Pass
Highrise – NFT cosmetics
XFLAG’s Kotodaman and Monster Strike (Japan) – New gacha type with a social twist
Ensemble Stars!! Music (Japan) – Music co-op newcomer tasks


Best Event


The best in-game event held during 2021:


USA Finalists:


Yahtzee® with Buddies – Derby event


POP! Slots™ Vegas Casino Games – Win Zone event


Gardenscapes – Klondike Expedition event


Genshin Impact – Midsummer Island Adventure


Call of Duty®: Mobile – Anniversary event


Garena Free Fire – Pet Mania event


Mobile Legends: Bang Bang – Aspirants Unite event


State of Survival – 2nd Anniversary Airship Building event


Japan Finalists:


プロジェクトセカイ カラフルステージ! 初音ミク (Project Sekai Colorful Stage feat. Hatsune Miku) – New Year’s event


ドラゴンボール レジェンズ (Dragon Ball Legends) – Legends Festival


妖怪ウォッチ ぷにぷに (Youkai Watch Punipuni) – Collaboration event with Neon Genesis Evangelion


二ノ国:Cross Worlds (Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds) – General events


NieR Re[in]carnation – Collaborations events with the earlier titles in the series (NieR Automata (launch), NieR Replicant and Drakengard 3)


China Finalists:


明日之后 (LifeAfter) – Romantic event July 2021


松松总动员 (Song-song Zong-dong-yuan) – June 2021 Gacha event


龙在天 (Legend of Yulong) – Fight the Landlord-card game event (doudizhu) in Jan


神武4 (Shén wǔ 4) – Event with a real-life map to beat monsters and get points


阴阳师 (Onmyoji) – recurring event with event-only customizable character


富豪麻将 (Fuhao Majiang) – collaboration event with China Mahjong Masters Tournament


Best Use of IP in a Collaboration Event




跑跑卡丁车官方竞速版 (PopKart Mobile) & Ali the Fox (China)


肠派对 (Sausage Man) & Pizza Hut (China)


Top War: Battle Game & Transformers


江南百景图 (Canal Towns) & Kentucky Fried Chicken (China)


Mobile Legends: Bang Bang & Hello Kitty (Sanrio Characters)


Roblox & 24kGoldn Concert Experience


PUBG MOBILE & Arcane (League of Legends)


獅子の如く~戦国覇王戦記~ (Shishi no Gotoku – Sengoku Haousenki) & Rurouni Kenshin (Japan)


State of Survival & The Walking Dead (US)

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