Friedhelm-Merz-Verlag has announced that the nominated games for the board game innovation award "innoSPIEL 2022" have been announced. The winner will be announced during the SPIEL'22 press conference in Essen.

The "innoSPIEL" award focuses on quality and innovation features of parlor games. The award is a jury prize. Three titles rated as innovative were nominated again this year by the jury made up of game critics. The games should show that "with good ideas and a fresh approach, it is possible to stand out from the large number of good and very good games".

Three games, one price

Real innovations are now rare in the board game scene. They exist, even if most of them are not new inventions in the classic sense. A clever mix of mechanics can be seen as innovative, as can a new material structure. It is not uncommon for the board game theme and the concept behind it to merge into an innovation. And sometimes technology also plays a role.

Three titles have now been nominated for the "innoSPIEL 2022" and the jury's justifications are given for each. The winner will be decided by SPIEL'22 in Essen. The winner will then be announced there.

Echoes by Matthew Dunstan and Dave Neale

A ghostly apparition, a gang boss, the end of the world: these are the ingredients for the games in the ECHOES audio mystery series. We are given the unique ability to hear fragments of sound from the past in objects. From these snippets we put together a story step by step.
The handy boxes come with large format cards. We can scan these using a specially developed app to elicit sounds from the images. We need to put these audio fragments in the right order to decipher the case. The first Echoes series nominated here includes three cases: The Dancer, The Cocktail and The Microchip. An addition has already been added.

Statement of the jury:
Echoes successfully combines the beautifully designed maps with the excellently produced app. What is innovative, however, is how the game becomes a radio play that can be assembled and that creates a very special cinema in your head. Echoes is an acoustic puzzle that tells its story through audio fragments in outstanding studio quality. It brings all the players to silence and to talk - when the sometimes shorter, sometimes longer audio snippets are listened to together and there is a discussion about where in the story they might belong.

Echoes by Matthew Dunstan and Dave Neale, Ravensburger, 1-6 players, ages 14 and up, 60 minutes, approx. 10 euros

Hey Yo by Takashi Saito

As members of a rap band, we naturally want one thing: Fame! We get it when our rhymes and beats harmonize with the rhythm of the rhythm machine. Will our crew reach the next round or even break the high score? We can't talk much, otherwise we'll lose our rhythm.
As soon as the rhythm machine included in HEY YO is running, we have to lay out our cards and line them up to the rhythm of the beat. What is required? Yo! Yo! What can I serve? Hey!, matching the beat, up to the punch line, because only that scores points. And then refill the hand and play it again until the beat dies down. Then the crews count their points - who will be the biggest rap star?

Statement of the jury:
For years it's been a wondrous thing to see what fits into Oink Games' boxes. The games inside are as precisely measured as the contents of the box. Two lines, four different symbols on the cards and a small rhythm machine - that's all it takes for Hey Yo . The supplied mini boom box sets the rhythm in which the cards are to be laid down.

This creates a flow and the members of the competing teams adapt to the music from the small box. Hey Yo lets even unmusical people suddenly bob to the beat and adjust their card rack to this beat. In addition to the loudspeaker, the equipment of the game also includes a cleverly made scoring block, which guides us well in the distribution of points and relieves us of a lot of work. A very coherent package.

Hey Yo by Takashi Saito, Oink Games, 2-10 players, ages 8+, 15 minutes, approx. 16 euros

Wonder Book by Martino Chiacchiera and Michele Piccolini

We are in Oniria, the land of dragons. This used to be a paradise, but now the land is under threat. To stop an ancient force from destroying Oniria, we must go back in time and save the dragons. The portal to this world is the Wonder Book.

In the cooperative game Wonder Book, players agree on the order of their actions. And they play on and in the book, from which a striking pop-up tree protrudes. More pop-up elements are gradually coming into play and allow interaction in a variety of ways. The opponents in the game react, activated via cards. The card sets advance the six-part story that we experience in Wonder Book. Getting started with the rules is very easy.

Statement of the jury:
The tree is the eye-catcher in Wonder Book. The mighty pop-up crown towers over the eponymous book and the gaming table and is not an optical end in itself. The tree offers many functions, is very well integrated into the game and offers a high level of interaction with the game board.
In addition, the six chapters offer a varied gameplay that lives from a large variety of decisions of the players. Your choices will have a significant impact on the course of the game and story. The way in which the order of actions can be discussed in the playgroup allows for a variety of alternatives in the course of the game.

Wonder Book by Martino Chiacchiera and Michele Piccolini, dV Giochi and Abacusspiele, 1-4 players, ages 10 and up, 60-90 minutes, approx. 65 euros

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