The Vienna Games Academy has made the complex board game “Airship City” a “Games Hit for Experts 2020”
chosen. The category stands for a higher entry threshold, complexity and fun for experienced players. A great honor for the even smaller Spielefaible publishing house.


As the name suggests, it goes with Airship City about building a city with the help of airships. Providing the city with everything it needs is tough, which is why the residents have to trust the airship engineers. Slip into the role of provider of a new city between the clouds.

Players have to collect resources, build airships in shipyards and use them to support the city to erect new buildings. You can make yourself popular with donations and charities or increase your own capital by selling the ships for a profit. Orders from the city also have to be fulfilled, but you always have to keep an eye on your workers.

Airship City: worker placement over many rounds

Fame and honor bring victory in the end if the good of the city is assured. The game works with a worker placement mechanism and freely movable action tiles. This is also where the first tricky hurdle lies, because all players can influence the tiles and change their positions. The placement of workers must therefore be planned well, because, as with many expert games, resources are scarce.

The principle itself is well known: gathering resources, gathering workers and building / using airships. But the usual management of expenses at Airship City extends over a total of 20 rounds in five stages. And by moving the action fields you often have to think from the beginning. Long planning seldom lasts long.

The design is probably a matter of taste. Image rights: Spielfaible

The design is probably a matter of taste. Image rights: Spielfaible

Regarding the key data, it remains to be said that three to four players can participate and the recommended age is 12 years. A game evening can be filled well with a playing time of 75 to 120 minutes. Whether Airship City is also convincing in terms of design is probably a matter of taste.

The authors from Japan have the game to match their publisher "Analog lunch box" designed. Pastel colors and simplified graphics are contrary to the more complex game mechanisms and the small-scale game materials can easily slip. In addition, they give the steampunk direction, in my opinion, a rather boring touch. But the focus remains and is on the fun of the game, which does not seem to be missing here.

Analog lunch box

I think it is worth mentioning the original Airship City publisher, which has published ten games so far. The two game developers and designers are based in Japan, more precisely Tokyo. All of their games are similar in design, but Abyssal Line, their newest game, has a much more convincing design than Airship City's.

Abyssa Line from Japan

It remains to be seen whether this game will also make it onto the German game market. Image rights: Sagasuki, BGG

The design is in the hands of Saori Shibata, a trained graphic designer from Hokkaido, and Masaki Suga is responsible for executing and considering the game mechanisms. In January 2016 they started the board game label "Analog Lunchbox" together. The most successful game so far was “Passtally”

The Vienna Games Academy

In Germany, the game is published by the North German publisher Spielefaible, whose chairman Henning Voss explains:

“We were in our class from the start Game convinced. At the latest when it was on the Nomination list for the Portuguese Game of the Year 'Jogo de Ano' stood, we knew that the special mix of unusual Processes, material and topic not only with the players, but also with Is extremely well received by critics. But the surprising success with the The 'Games Hit for Connoisseurs' award is simply overwhelming. In order to we didn't expect. "

The award ceremony took place on July 6th, and the Spielefaible publishing house is enthusiastic because it is not easy to win the coveted award. The Vienna Games Academy is the Austrian equivalent of the German Games Prize. Prizes are selected in five different categories by a six-person committee. The game of games is the highest award this year went to the Austrian quiz game “Smart 10”. There are other awards for the HIT in family and children's games, games with friends and the expert game presented here. You have been selecting games for the award since 2001.


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