The decision has been made: Pictures by Daniela and Christian Stöhr is Game of the Year 2020. The board game published by PD-Verlag prevailed against Nova Luna and My City and won the coveted red pawn of the jury of the Game of the Year eV. 

The “Game of the Year” award has been presented for the 42nd time, in 2020 under special conditions due to the corona pandemic. The ceremony took place in a small circle in Berlin, some authors and publishers' representatives were there, others connected via live stream. They didn't want to do without the award even in the Corona year, explains club chairman Harald Schrapers: "We owe that to the cultural asset of the game".

Pictures prevails against competitors

The jury of the Spiel des Jahres eV scrutinized around 330 German-language innovations, and in the end the board game prevailed Pictures from the PD-Verlag, quite surprising, as one could see from the direct reactions of the viewers of the live stream. Nevertheless: For the jury, the graphic creative game seemed to best represent the idea of ​​the cultural asset.

The list of recommendations also includes:

  • Color Brain by Tristan Williams (Game Factory)
  • The fox in the forest by Joshua Buergel (Leichtkraft)
  • Draftosaurus by Antoine Bauza and others (Ankama and Board Game Box)
  • Kitchen Rush by Dávid Turczi and Vangelis Bagiartakis (Pegasus Games)
  • Little Town by Shun Taguchi and Aya Taguchi (Studio GG and Iello)
  • Spicy by Zoltán Győri (Heidelbär Games and Gémklub)

The competition was top-class in the area of ​​the game of the year 2020: Pictures prevailed against Nova Luna by "Rekord-Uwe" Rosenberg, Reiner Knizia's idea of ​​the simplified family legacy concept of a My City also ended up in the board game from PD-Verlag too little to oppose.

The mix of materials and the idea of ​​Pictures convinced the critics:

Playing was and is one of the central topics in Corona times. A solid increase in sales during the lockdown confirms how popular the game round is at home - and how competitive the board game, which has meanwhile been said to be dead, can also be today when life is thrown out of joint and standards are suddenly no longer standards.

The jury also used alternatives in times of contact restrictions, says Harald Schrapers: video conferences, for example. It didn't really catch fire. It works, but it's only an emergency solution for board gamers. "Physical presence cannot be replaced 1:1 virtually," sums up Schrapers. Lively discussions at the table, anger, joy - the range of emotions simply comes across differently in the - sometimes time-delayed - live stream. Not in the way you are used to from "real game rounds".

And so the awarding of the "Game of the Year" award this year is again to be understood as a call to deal intensively with the cultural asset "board game". The classic Catan, which was honored by the Game of the Year eV in view of the anniversary, shows how enduring this can be.

Catan has probably changed many lives, but one thing is certain: that of author Klaus Teuber. With tears in his eyes, he says in a video shown at the award ceremony: "I'm grateful to Catan." It's an author's view of a game that seems to have hardly aged, even today enthusiastic and overly doting game fans the bubble brings back to reality. It's the Gloomhavens, 'Terraforming Mars' or 'Nemesis' that inspire fans to play the board game. Titles that are often frowned upon, such as Monopoly, Uno or Catan, serve many as an entry point into a hobby, which is only then developed over decades. Instead of loud prophecies of doom about the "scrap games", one should be happy about every individual who at some point reaches for the board game.

By the way: The Crew became the Kennerspiel of the year 2020, published by Kosmos.

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