In less than a week the time has come: on May 23, 2016, the nominees for the Game of the Year 2016, the Kennerspiel of the Year 2016 and the Children's Game of the Year 2016 will be announced. For many board players, voting for Game of the Year means something like the start of the new board game season. The award of the title of the Spiel des Jahres eV is eagerly awaited every year. Occasional board players receive valuable recommendations, publishers are happy about the prizes, which drive up the sales figures significantly - mostly rightly, because the jury often shows a good hand when awarding the prizes and selects convincing titles in a playful way. In the following article, I'll share some of my favorites for this year's 2016 Game of the Year nomination list.
Let's start with an introduction to Egyptian history. The namesake of my first favorite for the nomination list for the board game from Kosmos is none other than the ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 8th dynasty. The strategic board game for 2 to 4 players has a shallow learning curve and is therefore perfect as a family game. With every new batch Imhotep you work on optimizing your personal game strategy and get a feeling for when it is time to pay more attention to the actions of your opponents. The goal of the game is to get the top spot on the scoreboard, which players can only achieve by planning ahead. Each game round consists of four game actions: picking up stones, loading stones into boats, driving boats, playing the blue market card. In the course of the game you reach five different locations, each of which undergoes minor changes through a two-sided 'game board mechanism'. Imhotep is one of my favorites due to its low barrier to entry, because this board game manages effortlessly to bring its complex, strategic game mechanism to even board game beginners. The cultural asset "board game" is at Imhotep perfectly conveyed.
Deductive logic has been on everyone's lips since the British TV series Sherlock, because the detective Sherlock Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is a master of deductive reasoning. At first, deduction means nothing other than to infer the particular from the general. In short rounds of around 15 minutes, the players will play a board game codenames demanded everything from the Heidelberg game publisher. The whole thing is embedded in a classic agent scenario à la James Bond. The aim of the game is to first uncover all the agents on your own team to contact you. Since the head of the secret service has knowledge of all identities, he is able to give helpful tips from which the conclusions must then be drawn. Some conclusions are a little abstract, so that the feeling of purely logical conclusions sometimes dissolves, but still builds codenames on an excellent analytical gameplay that the game teams can really challenge. The great thing: codenames can be played in large groups, because it is not a question of moves, but solely of mental processes. This increases the number of possible players almost infinitely. codenames is the perfect party game and even brings the topic of "board games" closer to people who would never have thought that they would ever play board games. And with over 200 term cards codenames for long-term fun.
Festival of lights
The game Festival of lights from Pegasus is more of an outsider for me. The game principle, on the other hand, is worthy of a game of the year 2016. Being awarded the “Mensa Select” prize by the American Mensa section already shows what you can do as a player Festival of lights get to do: tactics with depth. If even highly gifted people can improve their intellectual performance with the Festival of Lights, there must be a sophisticated game mechanism behind this title. And motivated indeed Festival of lights from Pegasus to complex thought processes that one would not expect with the actually simple game principle. Once a year artists arrange a beautiful one Festival of lightswhere the placement of the lanterns is the real work of art. The aim is to get lantern sets that will earn you points by skillfully placing lantern tiles. Sounds simple so far, but is made more difficult by the fact that you also help your opponents by carelessly placed tokens. The placement game becomes more complex with every move. The options increase and as the game progresses, the great strength of is revealed Festival of lights: It remains exciting even during the opponent's moves.
The lovely Isolde
Schmidt Spiele is competing with the lovely Isolde for a nomination on the election list for the Game of the Year 2016. Some time ago there was more furore around the board game The lovely Isolde did. The title has become a little quieter now, but it doesn't have to be a bad omen. Quite a few board games have surprisingly been chosen for the game of the year. Already the game material from The lovely Isolde is a feast for the eyes. The illustrations are colorful, fun and go perfectly with the background theme. The very cheap board game The lovely Isolde catapults you straight into the Middle Ages, more precisely to a medieval tournament ground. As a knight, you try to earn the greatest possible number of fame points. As usual in a knight tournament, this happens in various disciplines such as traditional lancing or the duel with sword and shield. Then you go out to do the really chivalrous tasks: killing dragons, for example. Or studying dusty books. Only the point winner is able to win the heart of the beautiful princess in the end. You can achieve this in a playful way with the board game The lovely Isoldeby using the appropriate cards in hand and planning the deployment well. Funny, refreshing and entertaining, this is the board game The lovely Isolde and thus one of the favorites for the nominees for the game of the year.
With Karuba I'm throwing another puzzle game into the running as a promising candidate for the title Game of the Year 2016. Karuba inspires 2 to 4 players in games averaging 30 minutes in length. Thematically, this board game is based on similar treasure hunter titles: Each player embodies an expedition team in search of valuable treasure. Whoever reaches his goal first wins. In addition, each player receives his or her personal island game board, 4 adventurers, 4 temples and 36 jungle tiles. The temples are then distributed together on the island cards. Then it says: Preparation finished, the treasure hunt can begin. Overall, the game material is visually appealing and made from various basic materials. Makes on the board game table Karuba a good impression thanks to the mix of materials. The other players sort the jungle tiles openly around their islands. The plates marked with numbers have to be found quickly as soon as the expedition leader specifies a corresponding numerical value. The aim is to build a way to the temples of the same color. The elementary laying rules are quickly learned, so that younger players also have good access to Karuba to get. Here, too, the requirement for a game of the year to bring the board game as a cultural asset to everyone in the easiest possible way fits. The game ends as soon as all of the jungle tiles have been placed or a player has been able to lead all of his four adventurers to the temple. Karuba is a beginner-friendly, fast game with a successful laying mechanic.
My secret favorite and one of the best board games of the last few months comes from Space Cowboys: TIME Stories. This board game not only attracts attention because of the great packaging design, but can also convince in terms of play. The design of the packaging also corresponds to the game design, because TIME Stories is trimmed for innovation down to the last detail. Players take on the roles of time agents who travel back in time to track down temporal anomalies before they destroy the structure of time. To do this, you slip into avatars of the past and work your way through the scenarios. TIME Stories is a cooperative board game in which 2 to 4 players go through the game scenario of the basic game together. The greatest strength of this game is also its greatest weakness. The game scenario of the basic game is excellent, but only this one is included. In the meantime, more add-ons have appeared, but they have to be purchased individually. If you don't mind this fact, you will notice TIME Stories presents one of the best and most innovative board games of the current gaming season. The packaging is a bit reminiscent of typical 80s TV series classics such as 'Back to the Past' with Scott Bakula. would have to TIME Stories assign to a genre, this would most likely be that of role-playing games. The first scenario is convincing and you need more than one playthrough to reach the goal. Unpacking, playing and putting away once does not mean that you have to do without additional adventures in the basic game. Every action costs you time that you don't actually have. So the use of resources needs to be carefully considered. The illustrations of this board game are simply great and you can hardly get enough of the pictures, although the actual motifs are kept thematically relatively neutral. The wonderful presentation, merciless tension and an episode-like narrative structure ensure long-lasting fun. I definitely want this board game to be on the list of nominees for the 2016 Kennerspiel des Jahres XNUMX.
Mystery von Libellud / Asmodee is a healthy mix of the games Dixit and Cluedo, enriched with a good portion of mystery. After a murder, the dead man's ghost haunts an estate. Now it is the job of the spiritual detectives to solve the mystery of this crime. In this cooperative board game, players reach their goal through logical inferences. One of the players takes on the role of the ghost to provide information about correctly or incorrectly placed markers. Limiting the train and the lap creates tension. In particular, the role of the mind can playfully convince and is always exciting, because just because you have given a hint does not mean that the other players interpret it in the same way or recognize it at all. That gives the board game Mystery a good dose of humor and shows that board games are great entertainment value.
But there are more exciting titles that should be on the list. Including, for example, Imperial Settlers, Innovation or Isle of Skye.