Imagine boarding a mysterious space train and joining fellow passengers on an interplanetary adventure to save the universe — while fending off a villain who can manipulate reality and create devastating attacks. If that sounds like a good time, you might enjoy the space fantasy game "Honkai: Star Rail”. Created by Asia-based developer, “HoYoverse, Honkai: Star Rail” won this year’s top game award not only in Asia Pacific, but also across the rest of the world, including Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East. Its stunning visuals and elaborate sci-fi narration have made it popular among gamers worldwide.
During this year’s Best of Play, an annual campaign by Google Play awarding the most creative and inspiring app and game developers around the world, Asia Pacific developers collectively won more than two-thirds of all awards. As a region with a thriving developer community, it’s no wonder that so many of them have left a lasting impression outside of their home countries.
The team behind meditation app Level SuperMind, which won “Best App” in India
Many of this year’s winners showcased the wide range of trending topics across Asia Pacific. Line Manga, an online comics platform, won “Best App” in Japan — proving that with its history of inventing and popularizing manga, Japan still has a soft spot for its comics. And in India, meditation and well-being app Level SuperMind picked up “Best App” and “Best for Personal Growth” awards, a nod to the practice of meditation deeply rooted in India’s cultural history. Meanwhile in Indonesia, a country that’s been focused on financial inclusion, Skorlife took the spot for “Best App for Good” by providing Indonesians with accessible financial education and personalized guidance to improve credit worthiness.
Several award winners also included AI-powered apps, like the camera app SNOW from Korea that uses generative AI to edit photos and create customized beauty effects, and AI chatbots that provide conversational AI support and help people learn English, like SwiftChat and Stimuler from India, and Speak Buddy from Japan.
Snow, an app that uses Generative AI to edit photos, won “Best with AI” in Korea
For the first time in Google Play’s Best of, we also awarded games that are optimized for play across mobile and PC. Winning titles include “Arknights” from Greater China, “FINAL FANTASY BE:WOTV” from Japan and “Cookie Run: Kingdom” from Korea. Through Google Play Games, these game developers offer a seamless, continuous game experience across devices to people who want to play their favorite games on multiple screens.
And of course, it isn’t a true Best of awards list without user-favorite, fan-endorsed winners. This year, Asia Pacific players voted fandom app Weverse from Korea, mobile payment app GoPay from Indonesia, and sleep tracking game Pokémon Sleep from Japan as some of their favorite apps and games.