The best games of 2020 according to editors at the Apple App Store were an eclectic bunch that were selected in part because of how well they showed off the gaming possibilities of iPhones and iPads. Here are the four that Apple thought most highly of.
(iOS, Android; free)
Completing the rare double sweep, Genshin Impact was named Apple’s iPhone Game of the Year and Google Play’s Android Game of the Year. The big-budget blockbuster (it cost a reported $100 million to make), with its amazing graphics and captivating gameplay, is an example of how far mobile games have progressed. It paid off big for developer miHoYo, garnering more than $400 million since the game’s Sept. 28 release.
Legends of Runeterra
(iOS, Android; free)
Named iPad Game of the Year, Legends of Runeterra (also available for iPhones and Android devices) is a strategy card game that uses the popular League of Legends universe as a setting. Like Genshin Impact, Legends of Runeterra was cited by Apple editors for the "vast fantasy worlds" that players can explore as they prepare to battle their enemies.
Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition
(iOS, $2.99; Android, $5.99)
"Metroidvania" is not a word all gamers are familiar with, but for many it is a genre they love. In short, it is a mashup of universes and gameplay that gets its name from 1980’s games Metroid and Castlevania. Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition is a metroidvania game that may look like a 1980s throwback, but its clever tricks and ingenious puzzles are pure 21st century, main reasons Apple named it Apple TV Game of the Year.
(iOS; free with Apple Arcade subscription)
Apple used its year-end awards to showcase its new Apple Arcade service, naming Sneaky Sasquatch Arcade Game of the Year. In Sneaky Sasquatch, you play as a Bigfoot-type character who gets into mischief at a campsite. Sneaky Sasquatch is one of scores of games for iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TV you play for free as part of an Apple Arcade subscription ($4.99/month).
CES 2021 online only
The Consumer Electronics Show, a January tradition at which tech companies display their newest and glitziest products, will be an online-only event this year because of COVID-19. The four-day CES 2021 begins Monday and will showcase new smartphones, cutting-edge technologies such as 5G and the latest consumer electronics, including new TVs. Last year, CES drew 170,000 people and thousands of companies to Las Vegas.
— PETER KING
App revenue sets record
Spending on mobile apps shattered records in 2020 and closed the year with a torrent of holiday downloads. Analytics firm Sensor Tower said consumers spent $407.6 million on apps on Christmas Day alone, up 35 percent from 2019. Games accounted for most of the revenue, up 27 percent. But nongame apps — many used for work-at-home purposes — spiked 59 percent. In 2020, app spending surpassed $100 billion for the first time.
— PETER KING
Hackers viewed Microsoft code
Microsoft said hackers tied to a massive intrusion of U.S. government agencies and private companies were able to view some of the code underlying Microsoft software but weren’t able to make any changes to it. The company said it found no evidence of hacker access to customer data. The hack began as early as March when malicious code was snuck into updates to SolarWinds software that monitors computer networks.