Game of the Year. The main award, given to games that are suitable for all ages. 2019’s Nominees:
Just One is a co-operative party game where players take turns trying to guess a word from a clue the other players give them. For example, if the word is glass, the players might give the clues: fragile, transparent, plate, cup – but if any players write the same clue, those clues are discarded, and the guesser has to make do with fewer clues! But beware – while correct answers give a point, wrong answers lose TWO points!
Werewords is a party board game where players guess a secret word by asking “yes” or “no” questions. Figure out the magic word before time is up, and you win! However, one of the players is secretly a werewolf who is not only working against you, but also knows the word. If you don’t guess the word in time, you can still win by identifying the werewolf!
To help you out, one player is the Seer, who knows the word but must not to be too obvious when helping you figure it out; if the word is guessed, the werewolf can pull out a win by identifying the Seer! A free app provides thousands of words in hundreds of categories at various difficulty levels.
LAMA is a card game for 2-6 players where you want to empty your hand of cards. You must play a card with a value one higher than the last card. Lama cards can help, but will count against you if you are still holding them at the end.
Sherlock: Death on the 4th of July, Last Call, Tomb of the Archaeologist
Kennerspiel des Jahres
Connoisseur’s Game of the Year. The award given to heavier titles not suitable for Game of the Year. 2019’s nominees:
From master designer Stefan Feld, Carpe Diem lets players slip into the role of rich patricians in ancient Rome, each building a lucrative district to score as many prestige points as possible.
Move around the central tile market to collect buildings for your personal district, select which criteria will score, and build up your own district making sure to complete features and manage your resources, trying of course to score as many points as you can.
From designer Ignacy Trzewiczek (Robinson Crusoe, Imperial Settlers) comes a new game of true crime and true detective work.
Detective breaks the fourth wall by incorporating real-world knowledge into the game. Players must use Google Maps, web searches, Wikipedia, or any other source of knowledge in order to solve the cases – as well as a game-specific database accessible online filled with clues and info. Play through five story-connected cases and co-operate with your fellow agents to crack the case.
Critically acclaimed and utterly gorgeous, Wingspan is a card-driven game of collecting, feeding, housing, and otherwise caring for birds of all kinds.
In Wingspan, players are bird enthusiasts—researchers, bird watchers, ornithologists, and collectors—seeking to discover and attract the best birds to your aviary. Each bird that you house will give you access to more and more powerful combinations of actions, as your engine of food, eggs, and birds takes flight.
Children’s Game of the Year, the award for children’s games. 2019’s nominees:
A spell that went wrong has dispersed the inhabitants of Fabulantica throughout the entire land. Confused as to what has happened, the inhabitants take cover in the towers where they wait for help, since nobody knows where the others have got to. At all times 3 open mission cards are pending, each requiring players to find a specific resident first and then look for their friend.
To do so, players play travel cards that correspond with the four kinds of paths, to move across the board, or they use the Magic Carpet and travel to a location of their choice. The resident in each tower is revealed to all players, when their current location is visited – but if that resident was part of the active players’ mission, the resident including the tower changes their position. The player who cleverly plans their travels, remembers the residents’ locations and fulfills three mission first, wins.
Go Gecko Go
Go Gecko Go! is the roll and move game that’s all about piling smaller animals on top of larger animals while keeping an eye on the height of the next bridge that needs to be cleared.
Every swimming team is comprised of a crocodile, a turtle, a frog, and a gecko. In order to advance their animals, one player rolls three dice and then selects a combination of icons from the result. The player has to keep in mind that bigger animals can give smaller ones piggyback rides. Also, animals that are piled too high will run into the bridges that span the river and be knocked off. The first player whose full animal team reaches the goal is the winner.
The annual barrel bowling contest is taking place. Now courage, skill and risk-taking are required so that the players use the ball to knock down the right barrels, and cleverly position their Vikings on the dock. But the player who ventures too far and is first to fall in the water goes away empty-handed. The player who captures the most gold coins wins.