2014 Best Australian Game


Designer: Matthew Dunstan
Publisher: Days of Wonder
Players: 2-5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suitable for: Families (ages 10 and up), Adults
We shortlisted it because: A beautiful game with good bits and great idols as the relics you have to recover. The game is a little bit complex to set up because it is different every time, but this gives the game lots of variety when you replay it. The main challenge is to explore the jungle to set up routes to connect temple sites where you can excavate relics. You have to manage your food which is used up by excavating, and keep a close eye on your rivals who will be scheming to steal a relic from right under your nose!

Other Shortlisted Games:



Designer: Ross Flemons
Publisher: ACIOUSgames
Players: 4-9
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suitable for: Families (ages 8 and up), Adults
We shortlisted it because: This is a fun new party game of deduction. Players don a neck or head band that shows their “inner animal” – perhaps a lion, kangaroo, or slug! Turns involve reading aloud a question card and then voting on it. Questions range from serious to silly, and everything in between: “Which player is most likely to end up in a can?” or “Which player would best be able to catch a tennis ball?”. Every player votes on whose inner animal is the best answer to the question – if you vote with the majority you score a point. Points won’t win you the game: to do that you need to correctly deduce the animal on your head; but the points can help because at certain scores you may ask the other players to cross out some of the 120 animals listed on your ‘tick sheet’. This game combines the fun of trivia and deduction, with trying to get into other players heads to predict “Which player would you most like to eat?”.(Best ordered direct from the publisher, click on the Publisher link above)


Designer: Bryan Kinsella & Phil Walker-Harding
Publisher: WizKids
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suitable for: Families (Ages 8 and up)
We shortlisted it because: You are the secret power behind some pirate ships and their scurvy crews. The nine pirate ships sail in a convoy towards adventure. Most turns you will use one of the movement cards to reorder the ships in the convoy, and then determine the effect of the current adventure card. The adventure might give booty to the first three undamaged ships, or force the English ships to attack the ship in front of them, or a ghost ship may come and steal booty from the laggards. The goal is to accumulate booty on the ships that you control as you will score these points at the end of the game, but you must be a little bit sneaky, because if another player correctly accuses you of being the master of a ship, you must give them half the loot!

Question Time


Designer: Tess Shannon & Libby Blainey
Publisher: QuestionTimeGame
Players: 2-6
Playing time: 2 hours
Suitable for: Adults (Ages 14 and up)
We shortlisted it because: A challenging trivia game, mainly about Australian political history. It has a quite amazing number of cards with questions and actions.  The questions are good, and some of multiple choice questions throw in some very humorous possible answers. Not really a game for kids, but pretty much anyone else and you can play it in teams too. Three cheers for the fun/embarrassment of having to make a 60’s  filibuster.


Designer: Phil Harding
Publisher: GameWright
Players: 2-5
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suitable for: Families (Ages 8 and up), Adults
We shortlisted it because: Really enjoyable, simple, fast fun game. Grab the food you think will make the best combination as it comes around on the Sushi train (well, as the set of cards is passed to you by the player sitting to your right). The cards show different sorts of food you would find ona sushi train, and the value of the cards depends on what you’ve already played in the round. There is a bit of memory and strategy and children love the theme and illustrations. It has a pleasing rhythm of pick up, chose, pass, flip.