The winners of this year’s BAFTA Awards have been announced, and one winner stands out among the rest. While the ceremony generally recognizes mainstream, console-based games, this year’s portable category eschewed the PSP and DS, awarding ZeptoLab and Chillingo’s iOS puzzle game, Cut the Rope. The BAFTA awards began including games in 2003, and Cut the Rope is the first mobile game to win.
Other nominees in the handheld category included God of War: Ghost of Sparta, Lego Harry Potter: Years 1–4, Professor Layton and the Lost Future, Sonic Colors, and Super Scribblenauts—all games for more traditional handheld platforms. The win, more than anything, establishes mobile as a viable platform capable of intelligent, acclaimed games.
While the other nominees are worth their weight, I have to agree with the choice of winner. Cut the Rope is an excellent puzzle game that makes great use of the touch screen interface. And to anyone suggesting that the game doesn’t fit with the rest of the category, keep in mind that even though it’s only a dollar, Cut the Rope provides as many hours of fun as most of the other nominees.
Along with the surprise win in the handheld category, another emerging genre was recognized this year in the form of social games. The social network game category included Bejeweled Blitz, Farmerama, FIFA Superstars, My Empire, ZooMumba, and Zuma Blitz as nominees. The winner was My Empire by Playfish. While I think that particular genre needs to work out a few kinks before it’s qualified to receive prestigious awards, I’d have given the gold to Zuma Blitz, a game I’ve clocked more hours in than I’m willing to admit.