Berlin (dpa) – This time the award ceremony in Berlin is a few numbers smaller – but not in the water. And so there is also a publicly selected “Game of the Year” in Corona 2020.
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The coveted award goes to “Pictures” by Daniela and Christian Stöhr (PD-Verlag) on Monday. The award winners will be connected via video from their home in Stuttgart. “We can’t believe it,” the game inventor is surprised. It is the first freestyle without shaking hands.
At “Pictures” photo motifs are built from building blocks, shoelaces or symbol cards, which should be recognized by the other players on a large card. At first glance, the five different material sets looked almost randomly thrown together, but were chosen wisely, the critics’ jury justified their choice. The incentive to experiment was enormous, the guessing sessions were like visiting art exhibitions. Conclusion: “Great creativity with the simplest means!”. The game for up to five competitors costs about 40 euros.
The committee of the association “Game of the Year” annually probes the game market and selects what he believes to be the best game from hundreds of new releases in various categories. Idea, rule design, layout and design are evaluated. Around 330 new German-language publications have been put under the microscope, says association chairman Harald Schrapers.
The association’s aim is to promote board, card and board games as cultural assets. The “Game of the Year” award has been given since 1979. At that time, “Rabbit and Hedgehog” won. Other categories were added later.
In the “Kennerspiel des Jahres” category, the award goes to “Die Crew” by Thomas Sing. According to the jury, the card game challenges in an original way and requires team spirit and foresight. It’s about a spaceship crew traveling to a planet on the edge of the solar system. “Speedy Roll” was named “Children’s Game of the Year” in June.
In times of the pandemic, board games are “more in demand than ever,” says club boss Schrapers. Corona estimates the increase in sales in the industry at 25 percent. Many families would have had the experience: “The analogue game cannot be replaced virtually.” The shared experience is at the top. The German board game – the “German Style Game” is internationally recognized as a style-building.
For Kosmos-Verlag, Heiko Windfelder confirms the constant trend towards board games despite digitization. “Corona has reinforced this even more,” says the manager of the German press agency. Revenue went up by about 30 percent compared to the previous month. Children’s books, experiment kits or advice books would also be bought more than usual.
The association Spieleverlage sums up that board games have become an important helper in domestic crisis management in many families when coping with extreme corona situations. According to the merger of the game publishers, the million sales in the board game market rose in 2019 for the sixth year in a row. “The quality of the games has been increasing consistently for years.” Publishing houses sold more than 50 million games across Germany.
The award as “Game of the Year” with the logo print of a laurel-encircled stalk figure boosts sales, according to game developers. The manufacturer pays the association a license fee for the use of the logo. According to its own statements, it is strictly based on the consumer.
Last year “Just One” had won “Game of the Year”. And the 1995 board game “The Settlers of Catan” by Klaus Teuber has become a modern classic, emphasizes the club boss of “Game of the Year”. Meanwhile renamed “Catan – The Game”, it is still played in many countries.