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 Children’s Game Short List

Here are the short listed games for the 2018 Best Children’s Game award in alphabetical order.

  MemoArrr!

Designed by Carlo Bortolini
Art by Pablo Fontagnier
Published by Stronghold Games
10-20 minutes

Players take turns to flip cards in this memory game. If the background or foreground of the flipped card matches the previous card flipped, then the player is still in, otherwise they’re out of the round. Once only one player is still in, they get the treasure. After 7 rounds, the player with the most valuable treasure wins in this 2-4 player game.

Promoting memory, the publisher recommends that it is for ages 8+, however it is very playable for ages 6+ and retails for around $25.

 

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.

Sparkle Kitty

Designed by Manny Vega
Art by Leah Artwick
Published by Breaking Games

You are princesses that have been trapped in cursed towers. To save yourself you’ll need to play (and read aloud) cards from your hand to the spell book, matching the symbol or colour of a card on the spell book. Once a player has played all the cards in their hand, they’ll take a card from their tower and draw back up. Once a player has taken all of their tower cards, they have escaped and won in this 3-8 player game.

Sparkle Kitty promotes reading in a fun way, is recommended for ages 6+ and retails for around $30.

Tiny Park

Designed by  Marco Teubner
Art by Esther Diana
Published by HABA
10 mins

In this 2-4 player game, players will roll dice to attempt to match the icons on one of the tiles on offer. If they succeed, they’ll add the tile to their park. The first player to completely fill their park is declared the winner.

Tiny Park promotes pattern matching and probability, is recommended for ages 5+ and retails for around $20.

2017 Best Children’s Game Winner

The Judging Panel has announced the winner of the 2017 Best Children’s Game Winner

Box Art from the publisher, Days of Wonder

Ticket To Ride: First Journey

Designed by Alan R. Moon, Artwork by Cyrille Daujean and Jean-Baptiste Reynaud, published by Days of Wonder

Ticket To Ride: First Journey takes the classic game of Ticket to Ride and makes it playable for young children and their parents.

Players will receive two tickets, each showing two cities which they need to connect by train tracks. To lay a track, they’ll need to pay cards showing the track colour. When they complete a ticket, they grab a new ticket to complete. The first player to complete 6 tickets wins.

The judging panel found the game to be fun for the whole family. Ticket To Ride: First Journey finds the balance between simplicity (no reading required to play) and strategy, it’s simple enough for the youngest children to be able to enjoy, but enough strategy to entertain parents.

Also read about the judging criteria and the 2017 Best Children’s Game Shortlist.

Best Children’s Game 2011 Winner

There was again a wonderful variety of games short-listed for the award Beep! Beep! needs speed and fast-thinking, Vampires of the Night is played in the dark with glowing pieces, Lego Hogwarts combines the popular toy with the record-breaking books to make a fun game, and Water Lily involves bluff, memory and some chance. However this year’s winner is the beautiful game Nelly

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Best Children’s Game 2010

There was tremendous variety among the games short-listed for the Boardgames Australia’s Best Children’s Game 2010.  There was dice rolling, flipping of rings, mazes in lego and of magic; but the overall winner allowed the whole family from ages 4 to 100 to enjoy building a town together while competing to be the first to get all of their children onto the board. Kids of Carcassonne is a beautiful game: it’s design is simple, friendly and engaging, in both the game play and in the look of the components.

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