The Crew by Thomas Sing is the connoisseur's game of the year 2020. The modern version of the trick-taking game literally outdid the competition and was awarded the blue pawn by the Spiel des Jahr eV jury. The card game from home Kosmos take a stand against The Cartographer Pegasus Spiele and The King's Dilemma by HeidelBär Games.
It was the tenth award of the Kennerspiel des Jahres and in 2020 a quite unusual idea was particularly convincing. Thomas Sing's The Crew has wowed critics. With his modern interpretation of a trick-taking game, which also runs cooperatively, the author was able to inspire "a few friends" in the first test rounds, and ultimately many players and critics as well.
Expert game of the year 2020 with a space theme: The Crew
The jury of the Spiel des Jahres eV singled out the combination of a cooperative game and a trick mechanism as “something special”. The Crew shows the intricacies of the genre and challenges players in original ways. Author Thomas Sing had the courage to go for a classic when he repackaged the basic idea. It was an idea that first caught fire with his friends, Sing says. And then the excitement for the space game, which wasn't one to begin with, took hold.
The jury confirmed that the cooperative trick-taking game had a pull effect. Thomas Sing made "a lot out of very little". The theme of The Crew is based on a "real space flight", explains the author at the award ceremony. It was Alexander Gerst and his journey to the ISS that Thomas Sing took as the reason for the space setting.
Now it is board and card players who have to complete space missions: together, in an environment with limited means of communication. Information about your own cards may only be disclosed in fragments. In the end, what counts is teamwork, planning and creativity to land the stick.
The jury's decision to make The Crew the Kennerspiel des Jahres 2020 is hardly surprising, understandable and consistent. The Crew was able to prevail against The Cartographer by Jordy Adan and The King's Dilemma by Lorenzo Silva, Hjalmar Hach and Carlo Burelli - and rightly so, as a closer look shows. The decision seems to lie dormant that it can be the timeless concepts in particular that - interpreted in a modern way - can breathe new life into an entire genre. The Crew does not exclude any type of player, proves to be interactive at the table not only due to the set of rules and relies on elements that could probably also be perceived as attractive in other space-time continuities.
The list of recommendations included:
- Paladins of Western France by Shem Phillips and SJ Macdonald (Gravity)
- Res Arcana by Tom Lehmann (Sand Castle Games)
- Underwater Cities by Vladimír Suchý (Delicious Games)
Even more complex board games, such as the direct competitor The King's Dilemma, rely on a simple basic premise. Lorenzo Silva and Carlo Burelli reported, for example, that the starting point for their idea was the central question of a yes or no. Only then did the narrative elements emerge, in which hard decisions are essential. Burn witch: yes or no? Sending soldiers to war: yes or no? There is a lot to discuss in this board game, but it celebrates its climax when the group of players always comes together in the same constellation. In the end, The Crew won a concept with the blue pawn for the Kennerspiel des Jahres 2020, in which simplicity became innovation.
By the way: The award Game of the Year 2020 went to Pictures.
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