The traditional German toy manufacturer HABA has reason to be happy. The collecting game Sparkle Treasure is the children's game of 2018 and should therefore increasingly be seen on the gaming tables of families who are enthusiastic about games in the next few months. Of the three nominated titles, Funkelschatz convinced the jury of the Spiel des Jahres eV with the successful mixture of classic game mechanics, appealing material and a beautiful background story. The authors Lena and Günter Burkhardt, together with the illustrator Daniel Döbner, have created a captivating, and now award-winning, children's game. In the following article we take a look at the details of Funkelschatz, the children's game of the year 2018.


Sparkling treasure from HABA: Dragon children on a treasure hunt

There are many reasons for children to like board games. And the combination of dragons, treasures and visually impressive 3D structures is particularly suitable as a motivator. Children for a game Sparkle Treasure Parents shouldn't find it difficult to inspire them. After all, the adventure begins with unpacking and assembling the game material. It is clever to pack classic game mechanisms in such a modern guise that children jump for joy at the sight of the pretty 3D structures. The duo of authors Lena and Günter Burkhardt bring together various entertaining elements in order to develop a fantastic gaming experience for children from 5 years of age: appealing material, an entertaining story, quick experiences of success, awakening a passion for collecting and the opportunity to play the board game together with adults .

The idea of Sparkle Treasure is comparatively simple and not very revolutionary, fulfills the expectations, but completely what children expect from an entertaining board game. Dragon children have discovered a treasure that piques their interest: an ice pillar with frozen sparkling stones. With the help of Mr Papa, dragons do what they do best: spit fire - and melt ice with it. Little by little, the treasure-hungry dragons uncover a total of nine ice rings and thus 90 sparkling gemstones. So enough happens on the gaming table to keep children involved in the action for around 15 minutes. The basic rules are very simple. Almost a matter of course for the kite life: it is not the youngest player who begins, but the bravest one. In a clockwise direction, each player chooses one of the sparkling tiles. At best, the token that grants the greatest yield of gemstones is selected. Observing the levels of the ice tower is therefore essential for a successful sparkling treasure hunt.

When all players have come up with their "tactics", the active player lifts the top ice ring and reveals the gems underneath. But be careful: removing the ice ring can become part of the tactic, because only sparkling stones that fall on the board can then be picked up by the owners of the matching sparkling tiles. All stones that fall into the holes on the game board remain in the Dragon Papa Cave. It can make perfect sense to remove the respective ice ring with a swing or just carefully - depending on the strategy you have devised. Children improve their motor skills and their ability to be good observers. What can sometimes lead to frustrations are situations in which no suitable sparkling stones fall on the board. If this happens often during a game, children sometimes tend to openly show their displeasure. Fortunately, such game situations are rare - and in some cases can be adjusted by an adult present while the game is being set up. Whether this makes sense depends on the participating children, sometimes their learned tolerance for frustration and also possible educational goals. The game continues until the last ice ring has melted. Simply counting the sparkling stones you have won decides on the placement.

That way Sparkle Treasure can be used age-appropriately, game variants are available. For example, younger players choose a sparkling tile at the beginning of the game that does not change for the duration of the game. The process turns out to be more mysterious if the sparkling tiles are initially laid out concealed and only turned over when the ice ring is removed. Each variant changes the strategic requirements for the children playing along, so that there are gradations in terms of difficulty. Up to 4 children spend with Sparkle Treasure shared moments by HABA - and adults are cordially invited to watch what is happening or to play along themselves. In this way, the children's board game makes a wonderful contribution to everyday family life full of interaction.

Children's game of the year 2018: the jury's reasoning

Sparkle Treasure proves that board games are the entertaining - and far more social - alternative to digital media such as smartphones or TVs.

Instead of using the remote control, parents should use a good children's game. The jury of the Spiel des Jahres eV justifies its decision, Sparkle Treasure to be named Child's Play of the Year 2018, with the "Combination of a child-friendly story, a classic mechanism and fascinating material to a captivating adventure that captivates children again and again".

As every year, selected Hamburg elementary school children were allowed to test the games in this year's decision-making. Class 2e of the Trenknerweg primary school in Hamburg-Altona announced the decision - traditionally gathered around the red buzzer. "This dragon dad not only melts ice cream, but also children's hearts," judged the members of the critical jury.

Funkelschatz is children's game of the year 2018
The grandiose look is one reason for the success of Funkelschatz. The children's game of the year 2018 requires skill and a sure instinct. Photo: HABA

In fact, the idea of ​​the father-daughter team Lena and Günter Burkhardt is so heartwarming that children completely forget the television set for many minutes when they see the game board that has been set up. This is not only thanks to the game idea, but also to the wonderful illustrations by Daniel Döbner, who make the treasure hunt a visual highlight for children. With every round played, the chances that children will play increase Sparkle Treasure You can bring it to the gaming table yourself and leave the media cabinet closed. The title from HABA shows that children's games are far from obsolete and more than ever before have their right to exist as a social gaming experience.

Since 2001, the Spiel des Jahres eV has placed emphasis on games that can be experienced emotionally and help promote children's social skills when awarding the Children's Game of the Year critics' prize. From over 150 board games, the members of the jury each year select those children's games that provide a lot of fun thanks to a mixture of unusual game ideas, child-friendly material and easy-to-understand rules. Breaking the large number of children's games down to just three nominations is not always easy - and not always fair either. But authors and publishers should be motivated enough to show the courage to innovate.

In order to do justice to the number of outstanding children's games, there is also the recommendation list of the jury of the Spiel des Jahres eV:

The two great competitors from should not be forgotten either Sparkle Treasurewho are also responsible for the Children's game of the year 2018 nominated were. Emojito! by Urtis Šulinskas, published by HUCH !, plays with emotions. Panic mansion kidnaps daring players, on the other hand, into a dancing haunted house, which is pretty chaotic. The box of the board game is actually the star of this title.

Successful gaming year for HABA

The current gaming year is positive for the toy manufacturer HABA. The award of Sparkle Treasure As children's game of the year 2018 and two additional titles on the jury's recommendation list, this should ensure significant increases in sales in the coming months.

Funkelschatz is children's game of the year 2018

Positive effects from the awarding of the Critics' Prize are also to be expected for the other products of the traditional German company based in Bad Rodach. With over 400 cross-category new releases per year, HABA has an impressive portfolio in the toy sector, which generates annual sales of around 360 million euros. In addition to children's games - known from the yellow box - HABA offers toys, home accessories, books and gifts for children. 

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