The winners of the 7th Best App Ever awards for iOS apps were announced today by Rob Rich at Separate awards are given each year for Android apps.

And the big winner is….Monument Valley! Monument Valley has always been one of our favorite games, so we’re not surprised—although it is a little surprising that a puzzle game won the top prize in a contest that covers all apps. (Other winners in this contest included Instagram and Google Maps.) I guess Monument Valley is just that good.

The Best App Ever Awards for iPhone and iPad are sponsored by 148, a site founded to review iOS apps soon after the app store launched in 2008. The rules of the contest specify that readers can nominate their favorite app once per category. The most-nominated apps are then voted on by all readers. There are also special industry awards. The overall winner—the Best App Ever—is the winner of a competition among the apps that get the most nominations across all categories. The major categories are Best App (including everything from music to cooking to health), Best Educational App, and Best Gaming App. Each major category has several sub-categories. First, second, and third place (as well as a bunch of honorable mentions) are named in each sub-category.

best app ever awards

iOrnament lets you draw geometric shapes that are pretty and teach you about math.

Best Educational Apps

The Educational Apps category spans apps for parents, teachers, and kids. Place Value Chart took the prize for best elementary education app. Place Value Chart is 99-cent math app that teaches—you guessed it—place value and fractions. Second place went to Elementary Minute, a quiz game. Third place went to iOrnament, “an app designed for drawing ornamental designs that are both artistically and mathematically fascinating.”

Best Gaming Apps

The gaming category includes best puzzle game, best music game, best word game, best strategy game, and many more. There are 25 sub-categories in all. Hearthstone won best card game (again, we are not surprised). Best puzzle game was The Room Two. Best Family Game was Draw Something Free, with Soccer Physics coming in second.

Papers, Please was named Most Innovative Game. Described as a “dystopian document thriller,” this game puts players into the role of a border agent who decides who gets into a safe place and who doesn’t. It’s won many other awards, including a 2014 award from the Games for Change Festival.

for Best App Ever awards Papers, Please screenshot

Papers, Please has won numerous awards for its innovative design.

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Linda learned to play video games as a way to connect with her teenaged kids, and then she learned to love video games for their own sake. At Pixelkin she wrangles the business & management side of things, writes posts as often as she can, reaches out on the social media, and does the occasional panel or talk. She lives in Seattle, where she writes, studies, plays video games, spends time with her family, consumes vast quantities of science fiction, and looks after her small cockapoo. She loves to hear from people out there. You can read more about her at her website, Linda or her family foundation's website,