As is well known, the eye plays a role. A bad game doesn't get better with good visuals, but successful illustrations are one of the pillars when it comes to assessing board and card games. The background music makes game ideas really come into their own, rules and modes become understandable and simple instructions become a theme world of their own. Exactly this achievement is honored annually by the Graf Ludo game graphics prize, which is awarded as part of the modell-hobby-spiel (October 1st to 3rd, 2021). The jury has now announced the list of finalists for the 2021 award - and the publishers Pegasus Spiele and Heidenbär Games are each sending two candidates into races.

Since 2009, Graf Ludo has been awarded for outstanding game graphics as part of the Leipziger Messe model-hobby-game. In addition to a jury, players can also cast their votes via the online specialist retailer's player network. The focus of the award is on the graphics of the board games. One of the three nominated games is awarded in the categories "Most beautiful family game graphics" and "Most beautiful children's game graphics". This year there are two Pegasus games on the nomination lists: everdell and Ghost Adventure.

Count Ludo: Online voting is ongoing

As the “most beautiful family game graphic”, it is both visually and playfully outstanding everdell nominated, which knows how to inspire with its detailed and lovingly drawn illustrations. In James A. Wilson's game, one to four game ends build their own city in the peaceful, wooded valley of using cards everdell. The appealing and imaginative illustrations by Andrew Bosley underline the game theme and make you want to get to know the animal inhabitants of the peaceful forest valley better. The second edition of the basic game, the 2021nd edition of the Pearlbrook-Extension as well as two new extensions: Bellfaire and spire crest.

The Graf Ludo jury says over everdell: “Life in the idyllic villages of everdell is played out on playing cards, where dodgy buildings fit organically into the landscape and the cute, animal inhabitants look at you as if you were interrupting their activity. The magic spread by the detailed graphics make the player dreamy everdell dive in, so that he can't help but help the cute, busy forest dwellers to rebuild their little villages. "

Also in the “Most beautiful children's game” category Ghost Adventure a title nominated by Pegasus Games. In the cooperative game by Wlad Watine, one to four players help a ghost mouse to protect the forest from the invading wolf warriors. To do this, they control the mouse, which is represented by a top, over several game boards that depict the different worlds of the forest kingdom. The unusual game of skill awaits with enchanting illustrations by Yann Valeani and Jules Dubost, which draw children and adults under the spell of the mouse adventure and bring the varied game plans to life. The enclosed, lovingly illustrated adventure booklet not only provides 56 game missions, but also lets players delve deeper into the history of the ghost mouse.

The Graf Ludo jury says over Ghost Adventure: “Here it is clear at first glance: The young and older players have each other with Ghost Adventure to embark on a rapid course through fantastic landscapes. And to make the adventure even more challenging, the journey between all the obstacles must be completed on a roundabout. Striking and varied, the design of the various adventures is perfectly matched to the literally multi-layered game material. "

Heidelbär: With Spicy and Similo - wild animals there

Similo is magnificently illustrated how the wildest animals look out of the laundry or look at each other suspiciously, seemingly uninvolved by what is happening around them. The game is part of a series with an impressively simple idea: The group has to find out which of the 12 animals they are looking for - only a player who uses additional cards played vertically or horizontally to indicate whether or not there are matches. This also means putting a lot of features in the spotlight. In Similo - Wilde Tiere this is cartoon-like, but never slipped into the gaudy.

The bluff game Spicy, on the other hand, is explained so quickly and plays so smoothly that most of them only notice the numbers and the spice symbols in the card corners at first. What a waste! Because every degree of spiciness of every spice is illustrated differently, the white card frames look differently worn, the unusually humorous effect despite the normally serious Far Eastern imagery and - as the crowning glory, so to speak - the gold print. The unusual printing process and the choice of high-quality cardboard perfectly complement the overall graphic concept.

The four games from the two publishers are of course not the only candidates. Also nominated for Count Ludo this year are:

  • Fabulous worlds In sales at Asmodee: In a game that is about telling a story together, it is all the more important to draw the players into what is being said through graphic subtleties and to encourage them to fantasize.

    In “Fable Worlds” this happens in that the animal protagonists, lovingly and child-friendly designed, wear interesting, sometimes ambiguous facial expressions that open up space for further thinking, speculation and ideas. This trick also breaks narrative stereotypes and you don't always have to deal with the same clever fox or self-confident lion, but instead with a bashful parrot or a helpless fly, which unexpectedly become heroes.

  • Tang Garden by Skellig Games: The graphics for this lavish and opulent development game have a number of virtues that have unfortunately all too often been forgotten. For example, the legibility of the game instructions thanks to clear, large fonts, clean typesetting and unambiguous coloring that is solely due to functionality.

    Or: Even the box cover is designed right down to the smallest detail, the publisher's logo and information on authors and graphics are perfectly integrated. The large amount of white space is not simply an optical stylistic device - it also refers to the still empty, also white game board and sets the framework so that the illustration of the game theme can really develop its pull.

The Graf Ludo award ceremony will take place on the first day of the fair, October 1, at 10 a.m. in the glass hall of the Leipzig Trade Fair. "All visitors are cordially invited to follow the award ceremony," says Messe Leipzig. The games can then be played in Hall 2, J21. More about Count Ludo at:

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