The Judging Panel has announced the winner of the 2017 Best Children’s Game Winner
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.
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
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.
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.
Cargo Noir by Serge Laget has been judged the Best International Game in 2011 by the Boardgames Australia panel. Stare down your rivals to win bids for cargo, in a game with an enormously broad range of appeal: the plastic boats and Tintin-like graphics will attract youngsters, the intrigue and clever play make it engaging for adults, and the simple rules means that even nan and pops can play!
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.
While we would like to think that the Boardgames Australia awards are the greatest thing since someone decided to take a slicer to a loaf of bread, we of course acknowledge the many other game awards out there, all catering for different needs and different target markets. The Spiel des Jahres award from Germany was announced recently, and the winner Keltis should make for a great family game when the English-language version reaches Australia. The Spiel des Jahres (the German Game of the Year award) is an award that specifically picks games best suited to German families, and the games selected are widely regarded as of the highest quality in the light/middle-weight Designer style of game (also known in the hobby as German or Euro games).