Best International Game 2013

2013 had some great games appealing to quite different audiences. We are sure that everyone will be able to find a new game that they will enjoy playing with friends and family among our 2013 shortlist.

Guildhall was announced as the winner of the Best International Game
at the Toy & Game Expo in Sydney, June 2013. Boardgames Australia congratulates Hope Hwang and AEG on designing and publishing such a fun and accessible game! 


Designer: Hope Hwang
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
Players: 2 – 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suitable for: Families ages 12 and up, adults
Indicative price: $30 – $45

Guildhall is a card game,where simple elements can be strung together into cunning power plays. The cards show six professions (farmer, dancer, and more) and come in five colours. Each profession gives you a special power when played: dancers let you draw an extra card, farmers let you take a victory point.

After play, the cards are added to your guildhall, and will make the corresponding actions more powerful next time you take them. A guildhall is completed when it has all five colours of one profession – you lose the powers it granted, but can now buy a victory point card. This is a comboriffic little game, that will grow in your mind like a little thought garden.


Designer: Brett Gilbert
Publisher: Asmodee
Players: 2 – 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suitable for: Adults, Families ages 12 and up
Indicative price: $30 – $45

A beautiful looking game with a classic feel. Players represent mystics using their preferred form of divination to make predictions about the number of cards that will come out in each suit. The rules are very simple, but the game play is quite subtle. 

There is a mixture of bluff, hand management, tactical card play, taking a calculated risk, and of course, some divinatory ability is helpful too!  Intriguing, simple and fun, it is strangely fascinating.

Dominant Species: The Card Game

Designer: Chad Jensen
Publisher: GMT Games
Players: 2 – 6
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suitable for: Families and children ages 8 and up
Indicative price: $30 – $40

Dominant Species translates the high-stakes tension of a poker game to the struggle for evolution. In each of ten rounds, players compete to dominate a biome, by playing out cards and suppressing the cards played by others. The game is easy to learn, and can be enjoyed with up to six players. Winning needs nerves of steel, a good sense of timing, and a little bit of luck

King of Tokyo

Designer: Richard Garfield
Publisher: IELLOPlayers:2 – 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suitable for: Families ages 8 and up, adults
Indicative price: $40 – $60

King of Tokyo is monster-mashing, dice rolling madness for everyone. Each turn you roll and re-roll the five special dice which could give you health, wealth, victory points, or deadly attacks on the other players. Which option you pursue depends on what the other monsters are doing, and who is the current King of Tokyo.

This game works well with all ages, and handles large numbers of players well. King of Tokyo is easy to explain, loud, and fun, fun, fun.

Sewer Pirats

Designer: Andreas Pelikan
Publisher: IELLO
Players: 2 – 5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suitable for: Adults, Families ages 10 and up
Indicative price: $55 – $70

Sewer Pirats has toads, rats and weasels form the crew of make-shift boats that sail the sewers in search of treasure such as left over hamburgers, and teddy bears they can hold for ransom.

Game play is simple: pick up cards, or move one of your animal crew closer to the captaincy of a boat. You need to plan ahead to get the combinations you need (chilli for the chinese food, or a can opener for a can of beans) while keeping an eye on what everyone else is up to, and using the special ability of each of your crew.

The rules come with a simple, standard, and expert version, so can be tailored to different age groups. The crew pieces are cute model animals, and the game play allows for some bluff, cunning, a few dirty tricks, and lots of fun interaction.