Award Winning Board Games!!
Board games have their Oscars and Golden Globes, too! Each year brings fresh new board and card games waiting to be reviewed and, hopefully, awarded some prestigious titles. Every part of the world has their own awards, some more influential than others, and in the end, each adds to the game’s appeal on the market. Let us have a quick look at some of the more important events and impressive awards in the board game world.
Know Your Award
The true board game Olympics are, perhaps, Deutscher Spiele Preis – the German Game Prize. It all started in 1990, with the German magazine "Die Pöppel-Revue" collecting board game reviews from industry professionals, game clubs, and hobby stores. In time, this award rose to incredible prominence. Even being nominated is kind of a big deal! Today, the results are announced annually in October, at the much talked about Spiel convention in Essen, Germany, together with other awards like Essen Feather and Spiel des Yahres (Game of the Year).
Now, here’s how these are different. Typically, Essen Feather focuses on Eurogames – a particular style of strategy board games, while Game of the Year is focused on family-oriented games that can be enjoyed by anyone, and a more inclusive experience if you will. In contrast, the German Game Prize is aimed at innovative board games that are truly remarkable, the kind that the picky connoisseurs of the hobby would fall in love with - the gamers’ games so to say.
There are plenty of other awards happening around Europe, and across the pond we’ve got our American Tabletop Awards, Dice Tower Annual Awards, and Board Game Quest Awards, with different categories available for all types of board games. The popular hobby website BoardGameGeek has its own award, and so does the Mensa society! And, of course, there are specific awards for kid’s games as well.
Now, let us have a look at the most recent winners, shall we?
Bronze, Silver and Gold Award Winning Board Games
2017 Deutscher Spiele Preis Best Family/Adult Game Winner, 2017 Kennerspiel des Jahres Nominee, As d'Or Grand Prix 2018 winner, 2016 Swiss Gamers Award Nominee, Dice Tower Best Strategy Game 2016 winner, among others.
A stellar example of a Eurogame done right, Terraforming Mars takes you to the 2400’s, with a mission to, well, terraform Mars! You are a giant corporation sponsored by the World Government on earth to make Mars habitable – raise the temperature, balance humidity, and oxygen levels, keep an eye on your income, and be the first to complete the task and bring Humanity a step closer to Space Colonisation!
1-5 players, 120+min playing time. Complexity 3.5/5.
American Tabletop Awards in Early Gamers 2020 winner, 2020 As d'Or – Game of the Year Nominee, 2019 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee, among others.
In Draftosaurus, you’re running your very own dinosaur park! Draft dinos, place them in pens and make your park attract the most visitors. However, it’s not as simple as it seems – each turn, a dice roll will determine what new constrains the players must face when placing their dinos into pens. Draftosaurus is a light, fast-paced drafting game for the whole family to enjoy!
2-5 players, 15min playing time. Complexity 1/5.
2018 Spiel des Jahres Nominee, 2019 Origins Awards Best Card Game Nominee, 2018 Golden Geek Board Game of the Year Nominee, 2018 Golden Geek Best Card Game Winner, among others.
A highly experimental card game, The Mind challenges your understanding of card game experience and brings teamwork to a whole new level. Now, hear me out. The whole premise of the game is collectively arranging the cards from your hands into the centre of the table in ascending order, but you cannot communicate with one another in any way. You simply read the other players as best you can, and when you feel the time is right, you play your card. “They’ve played a 5. I have a 12 and a 26. Do I play my 12 now, do I wait for someone else? Ok, here it goes...”
2-4 players, 15min playing time. Complexity 1/5.
2018 Kennerspiel des Jahres Winner, 2018 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Winner, 2019 Nederlandse Spellenprijs Best Family Game Nominee, 2019 UK Games Expo Best Board Game (European Style) People's Choice Winner, among others.
Have you ever sold Snake Oil? In this game, you are a charlatan – or Quack-Doctor - ready to make some sweet gold out of hapless passers-by. Create your secret brews by adding ingredients one at a time. Be careful though, you don’t want to spoil your mixture and have your pot explode!
2-4 players, 45min playing time. Complexity 2/5.
2019 International Gamers Award - General Strategy: Multi-player Nominee, 2019 Mensa Select Winner, 2018 Golden Geek Board Game of the Year Nominee, 2019 UK Games Expo Best Board Game (European Style) Judges Award Winner, among others.
Carolingian Empire, circa 850 AD. You are a royal architect, competing against your peers to impress the King. Maintain your prestigious title by constructing new landmarks within the domain. Collect materials, hire and control the workforce, and keep a close eye on your rivals, who will undoubtedly attempt at slowing you down and sabotage your projects.
1-5 players, 60min+ playing time. Complexity 3/5.
- Gumnut Team