2018 Boardgames Australia Award Winners

Boardgames Australia revealed the winners of all four of their awards at the Boardgames Australia Award Ceremony at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre as part of PAXAus.

And so here are the winners…

Best Australian Award

The shortlisted games were Bärenpark, Burger Up, Skyward, Unfair.
Find out more details about the  2018 Best Australian Award Short-List.

And the winner is….

Bärenpark

Designed by Phil Walker-Harding
Art by Klemens Franz
Published by Lookout Games and Mayfair Games
30-45 minutes

Build the best bear park in this 2-4 player tile placing game. When you place a tile in your park, the icons that you cover determine which tiles you’ll take into your hand… ready to place on your next turn. With very simple rules, Bärenpark boast quick turn, interesting decisions and an advanced mode that adds achievements to race for.

 

 

 

Best Children’s Award

The shortlisted games were MemoArrr!, Rhino Hero: Super Battle, Sparkle Kitty, Tiny Park.
Find out more details about the 2018 Best Children’s Award Short-List.

And the winner is….

Rhino Hero: Super Battle

Designed by Scott Frisco, Steven Strumpf
Art by Thies Schwarz
Publisher HABA
10-20 mins

In Rhino Hero: Super Battle, players build  skyscrapers for their hero to climb. But the evil monkeys are always hanging around. Who will reach the greatest height before the skyscraper tumbles in this dexterity based brawl for 2-4 players.

Promoting dexterity and decision making, this game is recommended for ages 5+ and retails for around $50.

 

 

Best International Award

The shortlisted games were Azul, Century: Spice Road, Downforce, Kingdomino, Word Slam.
Find out more details about the  2018 Best International Award Short-List.

And the winner is….

Azul

Designed by Michael Kiesling
Art by Philippe Guérin and Chris Quilliams
Published by Plan B Games

Win acclaim from King Manuel I of Portugal, by completing the best wall tile mosaic for the Royal Palace of Evora. Each turn players choose tiles to make sets on their player board, then move tiles from completed sets to their wall mosaic. At the end of each round the wall tiling is inspected and points are awarded – but beware, wasted tiles bring a penalty. As the game progresses, the mosaic pattern begins to take shape. Players compete to achieve special bonuses for completing rows and columns or laying 5 tiles of the same colour. With an easy to follow rulebook with clear examples, Azul offers pleasing game play, and rewards players for finding new strategies to edge out their opponents with each play. Suitable for two to four players aged 8 and up. At $60-$80, Azul includes 100 colourful tiles that make a great display on the table and feel great in the hand.

Lifetime Achievement Award

To celebrate 10 years of Boardgames Australia, the committee is looking to recognise outstanding and ongoing achievement in Australian board gaming by creating the Lifetime Achievement award.

The first Lifetime Achievement award goes to Phil Walker-Harding for his consistently outstanding board game designs.

Phil started by self-publishing under his Adventureland imprint, and has gone on to have his designs published by some of the biggest publishers in the world such as Z-MAN, KOSMOS, CMON and Lookout Games.

Phil’s designs generally hit the sweet spot of combining great fun with accessibility so that people can easily pick up and play the game. He often achieves this by a refined focus on a single core mechanism or concept. By distilling his games in this way, he provides fun for the whole family while still retaining surprising depth and replayability.

Boardgames Australia has recognised Phil’s designs multiple times. Archaeology: The Card Game was the first game to win Boardgames Australia’s Best Australian Game award in 2008. Zev from Z-Man game was at the award presentation, and subsequently picked up and republished the game.

Phil is the only designer to win Boardgames Australia’s awards multiple times, having won the award 4 times in 9 years with Dungeon Raiders (2013), Sushi Go (2015) and  Imhotep (2017).

His designs have also been nominated many times with Cannonball Colony (2009), Pirates of the Spanish Main: Shuffling the Deck (2014),  Pack of Heroes (2015), and Cacao (2016).

Phil has also been recognised further afield,with nominations for the Spiel de Jahres for Imhotep and Recommendation for Cacao, the UKGE Awards Best General Card Game Award for Sushi Go!

In giving this award, Boardgames Australia is recommending any game with that bears the name Phil Walker-Harding as a gateway to fun for Australian families.

 

2018 Best Australian Game Short List

Here are the short listed games for the 2018 Best Australian Game award in alphabetical order.

Bärenpark

Designed by Phil Walker-Harding
Art by Klemens Franz
Published by Lookout Games and Mayfair Games
30-45 minutes
Retails for around $60

Build the best bear park in this 2-4 player tile placing game. When you place a tile in your park, the icons that you cover determine which tiles you’ll take into your hand… ready to place on your next turn. With very simple rules, Bärenpark boast quick turn, interesting decisions and an advanced mode that adds achievements to race for.

 

Burger Up

Designed by Matthew Parkes
Art by Stephen Gibson
Published by Rule & Make
30 minutes
Retails for around $50

Satisfy customers orders in this burger building game. Each order requires a burger with certain ingredients and/or size. To add an ingredient to a burger the icon on the bottom of the card being added must match the icon on the top of the card previously played. At the end of the day, whoever has managed to earn the most money in this 2-4 player game.

Be sure to have some food handy, as Burger Up will have you drooling as you create some delicious and sometimes bizarre gastronomical creations.

Skyward

Designed by Brendan Evans
Art by Ellie Jang, Dmitriy Logunkov, Neil Martin and Steven Preston
Published by Rule & Make
30-45 minutes
Retails for around $40

2-4 players compete to build the flying city of Skyward. Each round the player who is the Warden will draw cards and seperate them into piles, one for each player. Everyone picks the pile they want, but the Warden picks last. Thus to ensure they get what they want, the Warden needs to ensure that each pile except the one they want attracts the other players.

Keeping an eye on what other buildings players are looking for and what resources they need is important and a key skill to mastering this game.

Unfair

Designed by Joel Finch
Art by Nicole Castles, Lina Cossette, David Forest and Philippe Poirier
Published by Good Games Publishing
25 minutes per player
Retails for around $60

Build the best theme park you can. Attract guests to earn money, improve your attractions and if necessary attack your opponent’s parks. All is fair in the theme park business in this 2-5 player game. The game also includes differently themed decks which have a different style of play. During setup one deck per player will be added to the mix of cards which will be used, increasing the replay value of the game.

With delightful artwork, Unfair is a heavily thematic game which gives players to choose to play aggressively or focus on building their own parks.

 

2017 Best Australian Game Winner

The Judging Panel has announced the winner of the 2017 Best Australian Game Winner

Imhotep: Builder of Egypt

Designed by Phil Walker-Harding, Artwork by Miguel Coimbra and Michaela Kienle,  published by Kosmos

Imhotep box cover, from publisher Kosmos.

This game combines simplicity, an intriguing theme, beautiful components, with just a smidgin of nastiness to make a package of great gaming fun.

You are a master builder working for Imhotep. You have a number of things to manage: cutting stone at the quarry, getting it loaded onto barges for delivery down the Nile, and then determining which monuments to deliver the stone blocks to. You should also keep an eye on the market to see whether any useful tools become available.

This sounds complicated, but is easily managed in each case by moving one or more of your large blocks: from the quarry to your sled, from your sled to a barge, or by moving a barge to a monument and then unloading the blocks.

The challenge is choosing when to do each of these things: getting your block onto a barge early lets you determine whether it will be unloaded first or last, but wait too long and another player may choose to dock the barge at a different monument from the one you were planning on and so mess up your plans!

The monuments: pyramid, obelisks, temple and burial chamber are all constructed from many blocks. As the game goes on, they grow bigger and bigger and become more impressive. The way you earn points is completely different at each monument site: each player builds their own obelisk with the tallest reaping the greatest reward; the temple is built in layers, and only the stones visible from above score points, and so on.

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