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….


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….


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.


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