These are the 2017 Google Play Award winners, including a mix of favorites and underdogs

Google sure had plenty of new, exciting and significantly improved stuff to showcase, demo, detail and preview during the first two days of I/O conferences and developer-centric events, but as the Mountain View shindig draws to a close, it’s time to also look back with admiration and commendation at some “old” things.

Namely, the cream of the crop, the best of the best Google Play titles across a dozen diverse categories, chosen from lists of nominees unveiled a little while ago. These are the second annual Google Play Awards, an initiative that we hope will continue for many years to come, bringing to the spotlight once again a very eclectic group of both high and low-profile apps.

For instance, we’ve certainly all heard of and perhaps enjoyed a few weekends playing the “deceptively simple”, “insanely fun” and highly addictive Hearthstone collectible card game, selected as this year’s top multiplayer Android title. But “Standout Indie” victor Mushroom 11 only has 115 Play Store votes, believe it or not.

Woorld, hailed for providing the “Best AR Experience”, is even less popular with the masses, despite not costing a penny, and hunger-fighting charity app ShareTheMeal, which ruled the Social Impact section of the Google Play Awards, hasn’t exactly set the world on fire either… just yet.

Meanwhile, it’s a tad surprising to see fan favorites Pokemon Go and Fire Emblem Heroes defeated by Transformers: Forged to Fight for the coveted “Best Game” trophy, which is not what we can say about Runtastic’s rather predictable Android Wear win. Wait, Netflix lost to Red Bull TV in the “Best TV Experience” category? Apparently, everybody does love an underdog… or five.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).