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GameRefinery unveils the finalists for its annual Mobile GameDev Awards, celebrating the best in mob

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:

  • Beatstar

  • 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)

  • 重返帝国

  • 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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