Spielbox English Edition – July 2023
English | 62 pages | pdf | 63.73 MB

Dear readers
On May 22, staff at all German board game publishing houses may have gathered in groups of varying sizes to watch a live stream on You Tube. Harald Sch rapers, chairman of the Spiel des Jahres jury, and Christoph Schlewinski, coordinator of the Kinderspiel jury, announced those designers who, in the jury’s eyes, had created something truly exception-
al, and those publishers who had hit the jackpot, in short: the nominees for the most important industry awards Spiel des Jahres, Kennerspiel des Jahres and Kinderspiel des Jahres.
As is well-known, many of the jury members also write for the spielbox, and their ratings provide a mirror image of the jury lists. But the appeal of our ratings specifically is that critics who are not part of the jury bubble also pass an expert opinion. As an external corrective, so to speak. That’s why, just like in the past two years, we take a look here at how the nominees have fared in our magazine.
The bronze medal of the spielbox ranking in the connoisseur game section goes to IK1, which received an average rating of 7.8 from five reviewer colleagues. Their main criticism, if any, was the devastating impact of the fires in Koota Yamada’s otherwise very atmospherically dense game, reissued by French publisher Sorry We Are French. PLANET UNKNOWN by Ryan Lambert and Adam Rehberg by Adam’s Apple Games was rated a very good 8.08. Feel free to read up on it in Christoph Schlewinski’s review on page 14. That leaves us with CHALLENGERS!, a cooperation of Austrian designers Johannes Krenner and Markus Slawitschek that was originally supposed to be published as “Underdogs” by the young Austrian publishing house 1 More Time Games. But then the big US-player Z-Man Games wanted in on the fun. As a result, the game’s visual appearance, name and some minor rule details changed-for the better. Eleven colleagues rated this game, and it averaged at a sensational 8.55.
There is a very clear winner in the race for the red pawn, for at least according
to the spielbox ratings, the differences here are wide. Kasper Lapp’s FuN FACTS, published by Belgian publishers Repos Production, came third with an average of 7.22 from nine reviewers. In second place was NEXT STATION: LONDON. Matthew Dunstan’s flip-&-write-game by Blue Orange received a very good average rating of 7.66 from eleven colleagues. But in our rankings, nothing could get past DoRFRO­MANTIK: THE BoARD GAME. Michael Palm and Lukas Zach congenially adapted the video game hit of the pandemic, Pegasus landed this hit, and eight reviewers gave it an 8.38 on average.
Nominated for Kinderspiel des Jahres are CARLA CARAMEL by Sara Zarian (Loki), G1GAMONS by Johann Roussel and Karim Aouidad (Gigamic), and MvsTERIUM Kms by Antonin Boccara and Yves Hirschfeld (Libellud, Space Cow). We cannot play oracle in this category as kids’ games don’t get rated in spielbox.
That leaves the special price for the UNLOCK! series from Space Cowboys as well as UNLOCK Kms! from Space Cow. The system with the app, for the most part conceived by Cyril Demaegd, has developed into an outstanding game system in recent years, with the app very creatively incorporated into the cases. It’s well worth discovering or rediscovering this series. But that actually applies to all recommended and nominated titles. With this in mind, have fun gaming!

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