Winners – Readers’ App Awards 2015!

Check out some of the best apps released by readers in 2015! By Ryan Poolos.

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Welcome to our fourth annual Readers’ Apps Awards! We want to recognize a few of the best apps built by the community this year.

You guys submitted over 600 apps this year, so I enlisted some help to pick our winners. We had a team of judges review the top submissions including Ray Wenderlich, Michael Briscoe, Joshua Greene, Luke Parham, Jeff Rames, and myself.

I’ve tallied up our votes for the best apps in 7 familiar categories:

  • Most Addicting: The game we couldn’t put down.
  • Most Hilarious Idea: The app that had us rolling.
  • Most Surprisingly Good: The app we never expected to steal our heart.
  • Most Technically Impressive: The app that made our inner programmer jealous.
  • Most Visually Impressive: The app that dropped our jaws.

We also chose 2 grand prize winners:

  • Best Reader’s Game: The overall best game of the year from a reader like you.
  • Best Reader’s App: The overall best app (non-game) of the year from a reader like you.

And now for the apps you’ve been waiting for, I present the best readers’ apps of 2015!

Most Addicting

Lettercraft is another great game from the team that brought you GREG that makes word searches fun again.

Lettercraft has a time sensitivity that makes word searches unique. Every few seconds the board advances a level of heat. When tiles get too hot they burn up and can’t be used. Each time you use a letter to make a word, that tile drops a level of heat.

In addition to survival mode, Lettercraft has 70 levels of challenging constraints to keep things interesting. Things like only making words that contain the letter A or 5 letter words only.

“This is the kinda game you don’t want to put down. It’s so much fun to frantically come up with words while trying to avoid letters from being destroyed. A lot of polish and love was put into this game!” – Ray Wenderlich

“The best kind of addictive game – it’s fun while helping you exercise your gray matter with challengingly timed gameplay.” – Jeff Rames

“I don’t normally play word games, but when I do I play Lettercraft.” – Michael Briscoe

“I usually don’t like letter games like Words With Friends or Scrabble, but the pressure and pace of this game made it super hard to put down!” – Luke Parham

“Don’t burn, don’t burn, don’t burn! Oh noes, I needed that letter. I’d write a great review for this game, but I can’t stop playing it long enough to do so!” – Joshua Greene

Most Hilarious Idea

Barcodes are all around us. We use them to track inventory, identify things, and more. But have you ever used a barcode for music? Barcodas is here to change just that.

With Barcodas, simply scan any barcode and you’ll immediately hear it converted to a musical tune. You can tweak pitches, speed, and scales to customize your new barcode melody. Its really cool! Each barcode becomes its own rhythmic synthesizer allowing you to create unique music in just a snap of your camera.

“After downloading this app I spent the next half hour running around my house and scanning barcodes with delight – I think Vicki thought I’d gone crazy.” – Ray Wenderlich

“It’s not only an amusing concept, but it’s very well done – the generated tunes were pleasing and had me searching for barcodes.” – Jeff Rames

“Great idea! Some of the music sounded eerily appropriate to what I scanned.” – Michael Briscoe

“This app is great, but it presents a problem: you’ll want to compare products by which bar code sounds better!” – Joshua Greene

Most Surprisingly Good

Don’t CrackDontCrack
Don’t Crack is a unique, fun game centered around not breaking vases as they come off the assembly line.

As the vases roll off the assembly line one at a time, you control the packing peanut release. Vases are in a crate and you must fill it with enough packing peanuts to make sure it won’t break during shipping. But you’ll have to be sparing, there are a limited amount of packing peanuts and you only get filled up every so often.

“Who thought packing boxes could be so much fun?! 5/5 would pack vases again.” – Ray Wenderlich

“A simple and goofy premise, but it’s a fun use of the physics system that makes for an addicting (though frustratingly difficult) game.” – Jeff Rames

“Good graphics, and convincing physics kept me playing for far too long.” – Michael Briscoe

“This was another really addicting game. It was just subtle enough that I had to sit there and think of how much foam to use to keep myself going.” – Luke Parham

Most Technically Impressive

Creature is a new tool made by professional animator with experience animating hit movies such as Wall-e, Up, TS3, Brave.

Creature is designed to make complex and gorgeous animations out of static 2D images. With skeletal animations you can give your character life and generate an entire range of movement. With physics simulations those skeletons become even more real as your tails bounce and your arms swing.

Creature also overs a variety of mesh deformations allowing even static images to flex and breath. Creature even supports motion capture from your camera to allow you to record your own movements!

“A physics and procedural animation engine isn’t the kind of thing you imagine coming from a small studio. This app does not only that, but adds all the bells and whistles to make this a powerful tool for game designers.” – Jeff Rames

“I’ll have to use Creature in my next game. Graphic sorcery!” – Michael Briscoe

Ryan Poolos


Ryan Poolos


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