2008 Best Australian Game

The Judging Panel for the Best Australian Game congratulates the designers of the following games, which have been shortlisted for the Best Australian Game Award.

The award was won by Archaeology: The Card Game

Archaeology: The Card Game

Designer: Phil Harding
Publisher: Adventureland Games
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suitable for: Families (Ages 8 and up), Adults

Archaeology: the Card Game immerses you in the role of a collector of ancient artefacts. You dig up pieces of objects and trade them at the marketplace in order to assemble a complete artifact to sell to the museum.

Players must balance the risk of sandstorms and thieves against the bonus payoff for finding all the pieces to a particular artifact. Piecing together the bits of a broken cup, or scraps of parchment, increases their value when you sell the object to a museum.

The game is played entirely with cards, and has a mix of luck and tactics that will entertain the whole family: you will almost be able to smell the musty mummies!


Designer: Zeniia – Colin Stott & Darren McMurtry
Publisher: Divisible by Zero
Players: 3-5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suitable for: Parties, Older families (ages 12 and up)

Acronymia, as you may have guessed, is the game of forming acronyms. Each turn you take a word card and have 20 seconds to come up with a sentence based on the letters on the card. JUMP might become Jerky Upward Movement Pulse, STAR could become Shiny Tiny Astral Resource. The other players then hold up cards to score the creativity of your acronym and its connection with the meaning of the word. With the right crowd, this is hilarious and creative fun.

Kingdom Quest

Designer: Frank Dyksterhuis
Publisher: Dr Wood Challenge Centre
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suitable for: Families (Ages 10 and up), Adults

Kingdom Quest is a lavishly produced game that features an ingenious idea. Six different royal characters are illustrated on the faces of a cube. You get six of these cubes as your game pieces, and your task is to form matches between one of your cubes and an opponent’s adjacent cube. The King will marry the Queen, the Prince marries the Princess and so on.

The cubes are moved by tipping them over, so every turn there is a new cast of characters on the board. Who says love doesn’t conquer all?! A clever chess-like game with exciting swings of fortune.


Designer: Frank Dyksterhuis
Publisher: Dr Wood Challenge Centre
Players: 2
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suitable for: Families (Ages 10 and up), Adults

Kogworks is a stylish-looking game of pure strategy. Playing pieces are cogs that slip over pegs on the board to build up a whirling rotating machine. You are trying to build a chain and turn the cogwheel, or else to lock-up your opponent’s master cogwheel. Each turn is simple: just add a cog or move a cog to a new place; but trying to foresee the consequence of your move and set a trap for your opponent raises this game to the level of serious brain-workout fun.


Designer: Craig Browne
Publisher: Crown and Andrews
Players: 2-6
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suitable for: Parties, Families (Ages 12 and up)

Sorts is a trivia game where you don’t need to know exact answers: near enough is good enough! Everyone plays at once using a clever gadget that lets you sort the five ic items into size order: be it individual wealth, fastest land speed, or most eggs laid. Score is kept on a board which introduces some tactics as certain spaces encourage you to guess whereas others punish you severely for wrong answers. The questions are a great mix of zany and serious, reasonably difficult and completely impossible, and all are chosen for an Australian audience.

SuDoKu: Battle Lines

Designer: Nick Hatzipantelis
Publisher: Ratkins Games Downunder
Players: 2-8
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suitable for: Families (Ages 10 and up), Adults

Sudoku is turned into a game of battling blocking manoeuvres! The basic rules of Sudoku are in play: the numbers 1-9 will appear once each in every row, column, and box. The challenge is to play your number tiles to the board so as to set yourself up to play more of your tiles while blocking your opponents from being able to play their last tiles. Playing the game is pleasant and tense puzzling fun without the brain ache of solving a hard Sudoku.

Word Wrangles

Designer: Matthew Shallvey
Publisher: Word Wrangles
Players: 1-4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suitable for: Families (Ages 8 and up), Adults

Word Wrangles reworks the essence of Scrabble to produce a different and exciting game. You play letter tiles on your own personal board to form words to complete a mini-crossword puzzle layout, as well as playing on the common board to claim bonuses.

Word Wrangles is a race to be the first person to complete your personal board and win the game. There are a variety of different personal board layouts rated for difficulty, so children can compete on a level playing field with adults. The different layouts force you to plan ahead as you are setting a puzzle that only you can solve!