2019 Best Children’s Game

Boardgames Australia has announced the short list for its 2019 Best Children’s Game award.

The awards are open to stand-alone board games designed for children under the age of 8, which were first made available (in English) to Australian retailers between 1 June 2018 to 30 June 2019 and are currently available in at least two Australian retailers.

Concept Kids: Animals

Designer: Gaëtan Beaujannot & Alain Rivollet
Artist: Éric Azagury
Publisher: Repos Production
Time: 20 minutes
Ages: 4+

In Concept Kids; Animals, the kids try and get the parents to guess the animal shown on the card (that the parents can’t see). They’ll do this by placing squares around the attributes of the animal.

There’s attributes for where the animal lives (Jungle, farm, desert and so on), colour, size, what they have on their body (scales, feathers and so on), how many legs they have and so forth.

There’s two difficulty levels of the animal cards. Parents and kids can swap roles or take turns. The game also works fairly well with older kids taking the role of the parents.

Dragon’s Breath

Designer: Günter Burkhardt &Lena Burkhardt
Artist: Daniel Döbner
Publisher: HABA
Time: 15-20 mins
Ages: 5+

The baby dragons want to grab the crystals, but they are trapped in the ice (a stack of clear rings). So they get daddy dragon to melt the ice.

Each round players will each pick a colour. Then the start player takes daddy dragon who breaths on and melts the ice (takes the top ring off) . The crystals fall, some will go down the holes under the board. Players then take any crystals of the colour they chose and a new round starts.

The player with the most cyrstals at the end of the game wins. Viewing the crystals at the top and trying to predict which crystals will fall, but the holes and a bit of variability.

Magic Maze Kids

Designer: Kasper Lapp
Artist: Gyom
Publisher: Sit Down!
Time: 15 – 25 mins
Ages: 5+

The King has turned into a frog. It’s up to the four adventurers to navigate the maze to grab the ingredients to make the potion to turn him back.

But instead of playing as the characters you’ll play as directions. So if you have the “go up” tile you can move any character up a as many spaces as you like.

The game has different missions, the early missions teach the basic concepts of the game. This allows kids to easily learn the game and find the appropriate difficulty.

Penny Papers Adventures: The Temple of Apikhabou

Designer: Henri Kermarrec
Artist: Géraud Soulié
Publisher: Sit Down!
Time: 20 mins
Ages 7+

Penny Papers is a series of roll and write games (like Yahtzee). Try to fill in the pyramid with numbers. You’ll get points for sequential numbers and equal numbers. But watch out for the mummy!