It is that time of year again. Countless websites, magazines and newspapers are all researching, voting, and crunching numbers to bring you their best of list for 2012. Apple is no different. This year, instead of calling it “App Store Rewind,” the iPad maker is going classic with the “App Store Best of 2012.” The iTunes staff rounded up a comprehensive list of Editor’s Choices for the App of the Year, Game of the Year, plus a variety of categories that highlight some of their favorites.
On the top of the iPad list is Paper by FiftyThree. Apple describes it as a phenomenal app that “set a new standard with its clean design and thoughtful implementation of pen on paper.”
The editor’s choice for Game of the Year is The Room. This melancholy app is a “physical puzzler, wrapped in a mystery game, inside a beautifully tactile 3D world.”
This year, Apple included runner-ups for App of the Year and Game of the Year. Action Movie FX won the runner up title for iPad apps. Incidentally, it won App of the Year for iPhone apps. The runner-up iPad Game of the Year goes to Waking Mars, a cerebral adventure game that is both immersive and stunningly beautiful.
Additional categories that Apple highlight this year included “Best of Newsstand,” which features NYTimes for iPad, Bloomberg Businessweek+, Time Magazine, Vogue, National Geographic, and Martha Stewart Living. “New Ways to Play” is a roundup of apps that “break new ground” with interactivity and gameplay mechanics. Splice: Tree of Life, Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin, and Outwitters are just a few examples.
Apple also lists editor’s choice for culinary apps like Panna and Hello Cupcake!, endless runner games like Pitfall and Agent Dash, creativity apps like Adobe Photoshop Touch, Freemium games, education apps, and hidden gems like Readability and Triple Town.
In addition to best apps of 2012, Apple takes a solid trip down memory lane with the best movies, TV shows, books, podcasts, and more. See the entire list here.