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.

 

International Games Week 2018

International Games Week 2018

International Games Week is on again. Held over the week of Novemeber 4th-10th 2018, International Games Week celebrates gaming in all it’s forms in libraries across the world.

Held over the week of November 4th – 10th in 2018, International Games Week is run by the American Library Association in partnership with the Australian Library and Information AssociationNordic Game Week, and Associazione Italiana Biblioteche. In Australia it is sponsored by Good Games.

Is your Library celebrating International Games Week ? Check the below map to find out.

If they aren’t registered, why not go in and suggest they do?
They can fill out the IGW 2018 registration form  to get registered and get some great games provided by Good Games.

And if you’re a library who needs help with board gaming, contact us with your details and we’ll try to help!

And don’t forget to share your IGW photos on the IGW Australia facebook group

Boardgames Australia 2018 Award Ceremony

Boardgames Australia 2018 Award Ceremony

We will be hosting the Boardgames Australia 2018 Award Ceremony on Friday October 26th from 8pm from the Ibis Theatre at PAXAUS.

So join us as we celebrate the 10th annual awards for:

Plus a very special achievement award.

We’ll also discuss the purpose of awards in the modern Tabletop Game-sphere, consider some of our past winners and the promotion of board games in Australia.

For more information on PAX Aus 2018 visit the PAX Aus site.

2018 Best International Game Short List

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

   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.

Century: Spice Road

Designed by Emerson Matsuuchi
Art by David Richards and Fernanda Suárez
Published by Plan B Games

Century: Spice Road explores the history of spice trading in a strategic game for 2-5 players. Players take on the role of a caravan leader in the spice trade, travelling the silk road to acquire and deliver spices, represented by richly coloured wooden cubes. With beautiful artwork and simple rules – there are only four possible actions on any player’s turn – that lead to wide open possibilities, Century: Spice Road offers a great mix of fun and challenge with interesting options right from the start of the game. Although the box says it will take up to 45 minutes, after a couple of plays this is unlikely to take much more than half an hour. Suitable for ages 8 and up, the game costs around $60-$70.

Downforce

Designed by Rob Daviau, Justin D. Jacobson and Wolfgang Kramer
Art by Tavis Coburn and Michael Crampton
Published by Restoration Games

A reissue of the classic car-racing game Top Race (Niki Lauda’s Formula 1, Daytona 500), Downforce has been brought well and truly up to date. Players bid on cars and special powers, then race around the track. Will you zoom ahead, or will you block other players’ cars from progressing? Players use the cards in their hand to determine the course of the game. Interestingly, these allow them to move other players’ cars as well as their own. At three different points on the track, they can nominate which car they think will win. But winning the race isn’t everything: money (victory points) is awarded for picking a winner and for finishing the race, and is deducted to pay for the car’s auction price. For 2-6 players, the game is complicated enough to please adults but has simple rules for playing with younger children or for those who don’t want to ‘bet’ on the race’s outcome. You’ll love the toy cars but you’ll love the game even more. Around $55 – $65, with an expansion board on the way already.

Kingdomino

Designed by Bruno Cathala
Art by Cyril Bouquet
Published by Blue Orange

As ruler of your domain, select and place domino tiles to extend the lands surrounding your castle. Each domino tile shows two colourfully illustrated landscapes, and your goal is to create areas of landscape that gain bonuses from the crowns shown on each tile. With clever play, you may claim just the right dominoes to fill all of the five-by-five grid allotted to your kingdom. While each turn presents simple decisions, you must choose carefully in order to achieve your best score while keeping an eye on what your neighbouring kingdoms require. Suitable for two to four players aged 8 and up, Kingdomino presented in a compact box, and finishes in 15-20 minutes – so quickly that you will want to play again straight away. The Kings, castles and domino pieces are beautifully presented, yet its $30-$40 price makes Kingdomino a family game essential or great gift

Word Slam

Designed by Inka and Markus Brand
Published by KOSMOS

Word Slam is a hilarious, team-based party game for three or more players. Playing simultaneously, one player on each team sorts through over 100 cards to find clues to a secret word – the rest of the players must guess the word. The restriction – you can only use the words on the cards. No talking, no speaking – just select and play cards from the deck. Meanwhile, your team members must guess what they think it is – and listen to the other team’s guesses in case there’s a clue. Will your team pick “Astronaut” as a “SPACE JOB” before the other team guesses it? What’s your pick for “SCIENCE FICTITIOUS MOVIE TECHNOLOGY LONG OBJECT BLUE”? In the $40 – $50 bracket, Word Slam is sold for ages 12+. We think it works as well for adults-only groups as it does for families from about 10+ – just try to make your teams fairly even. And the movie tech was a light saber, but you guessed that already right?

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.

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.

 

Recommended Party Games

We’ve added a list of our favourite party games to our Game Recommendations. Party games are great for larger groups, taking anywhere from four to twenty or more players. Our picks are sure to be a hit, so give one of these a try for your next get-together or even for a work retreat.

Find out what our game experts think about these great games and pick one to suit your group:

  • Word Slam
  • Spyfall
  • Codenames
  • Mysterium
  • Two Rooms and a Boom
  • Time’s Up!
  • Monikers

Submissions for Boardgames Australia Awards 2018 now open

Submissions for consideration are now open for the Board Games Australia Awards. Submissions must be made by the designer, artist or publisher of the board game and must be received by mail by 31 May, 2018.

Submission guidelines, judging process and criteria as well as the submission form are included within each award’s submission pack below:

We look forward to receiving your submissions.

 

2017 Best International Game Winner

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

Oceanos

Designed by Antoine Bauza, Artwork by Jérémie Fleury, published by iello

Oceanos was a clear winner this year.  It is a superbly illustrated, engaging family game that puts each player in control of their own unique submarine and underwater tableau.

Using some simple card drafting, you’ll choose whether to upgrade your sub, explore the ocean depths, collect specimens, or hunt for treasure – but keep an eye on your fuel and beware the Kraken!

This impressive game is easy to understand and quick to play, but there are enough subtleties and potential for a strategy to make it loads of fun for a range of ages. Better still, it is reasonably priced. So, it is highly recommended as a gift as well as the perfect addition to any family games shelf.

Ages 8+. 2-5 players. Approx 40 mins play time.

Also read about the judging criteria and the 2017 Best International Game Shortlist.

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.