Here are the nominees for the upcoming 2019 Google Play Awards

Here are the nominees for the upcoming 2019 Google Play Awards
In addition to its year-end lists of the best Play Store titles across categories as diverse as general apps, games, movies, TV shows, and ebooks, Google has made a habit of promoting slightly lesser-known Android apps and games as part of a ceremony suggestively named the Google Play Awards.

The 2019 gala will take place on Monday, May 6, which just so happens to be the day before the search giant's I/O developer conference kicks off in Mountain View, California, where the next Android version and a new pair of mid-range Pixel phones are expected to be officially detailed. While waiting for "various teams across Google" to select the winners of the 2019 Play Awards in nine categories, it might not be a bad idea to download some of the nominated apps and games and decide for yourselves which are worthy of what titles.

Interestingly, Google has two sections dedicated entirely to mobile games, one of which recognizes "excellent overall design, user experience, engagement, and retention", as well as "strong growth", while the other focuses on the devs' skills to "exemplify artistry or unique visual effects through creative imagery and/or utilizing advanced graphics API features."

What's pretty awesome is that all five titles nominated for the year's best breakthrough game are free to download, including the massively popular Garena Free Fire (100 million+ installs and counting), a nostalgia-evoking MMORPG called Old School RuneScape, and a group of moderately successful franchise members (Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Marvel Strike Force, and Star Trek Fleet Command).

Three of the "most beautiful games" are also free to play (Asphalt 9: Legends, Badland Brawl, and Shadowgun Legends), while Chuchel and Gorogoa will cost you a few bucks each, counting on humor and "gorgeously hand-drawn gameplay" to attract your attention.

Other notable nominees include the likes of Kinedu and My Oasis in the "standout well-being app" category, Envision AI and TintVision among the candidates for the best accessibility experience crown, Wisdo and Think! Think! for the social impact gold medal, Pluto TV and Tubi in the "best living room experience" section, Tick Tock (no, not that one) for the "most inventive" title, and BuzzFeed's Tasty, bidding for the best breakthrough app ribbon. 

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