Boardgaming Finland

Boardgaming Finland – a blog and a podcast of Finnish board and card game scene since 2007

Finnish Game of the Year 2014

It’s been a long hiatus for blogging (except the few podcasts I’ve done) but it’s the time of the year for Game of the Year competitions and I love to take part in the conversation.

Finnish Game of the Year has three categories; Children, Family and Adult. Participants are Finnish game and toy companies most of which belong to the Finnish Toy Assosiation which also organizes the competition. Each category has judges who in general are journalists of some sort (there are kindergardens as judges in the Childrens’ Games category as well) and game retailers also have a vote in the process. What this has meant is that games which succeed tend to be lighter, there’s a heavy emphasis on the how the games will sell and there’s from time to time really interesting choises as winners for Game of the Year especially in the Kids category.

 

Lets look at the finalists this year by category:


 

CHILDREN’S GAMES

The Magic Tower – Lumottu Torni (aka Enchanted Tower) by Bergsala Enigma

This is the Der verzauberte Turm which won the Kinderspiel des Jahres award last year in Germany and is originally published by Drei Magier Spiele who are known for solid games and excellent design and components. I had the opportunity to play this game in the Spiel 13 fair and while it was good looking and had solid components I did not quite enjoy it as much as some other Drei Magier products.

Strong finalist and I would not be surprised to see Lumottu Torni to win.

 

Halli Cups (aka Speed Cups) by Lautapelit.fi

Halli Cups is a stand alone game in the Halli Galli series. It’s fast, simple and small in size and it got recommended this year in the Kinderspiel des Jahres competion. I did play the game also in the Spiel fair and liked it but did not find it very appealing or unique.

Also a strong finalist with a good chance to win. Is simpler than Lumottu Torni and Children Game winners tend to be very light in Finland.

 

Koiramäki vikkelästi vintille peli by Martinex

This is a finalist which is not based abroad and is probably designed by Martinex designers. Koiramäki is a rather well known children’s book brand in Finland and thus appeals to kids for sure. It’s the black horse in the competition since we’ve seen it so many times that these brand based games win the competition even if there are other strong and acclaimed candidates in the running. I would very much like to see this game to figure out whether there is a game inside the box or just the fancy brand.

Black horse of the competion and can win.

My favorite of the finalists: It’s at the moment a very close race but I’ll say Lumottu Torni (and I’d like to try Koiramäki vikkelästi vintille peli out).


 

FAMILY GAMES

From here on the fight for the prize goes between Lautapelit.fi and Competo (Marektoy) as has been the case for several years. Some of the notable games which did not make it into the final three were Manno Monster, For Sale and Imperium (aka 8 Minute Empire).

 

Battle Sheep by Lautapelit.fi

This is a blind spot for me since I have not played the game but it got a recommendation in the Spiel des Jahres 2014 competition. Abstract game for 2-4 players and takes less than 30 minutes – sounds good to me and I’m eager to try the game out.

I can’t really see this game winning the title though because of the games it’s up against with…

 

Camel Cup (aka Camel Up) by Lautapelit.fi

SdJ winner makes an appearance also in the Finnish Game of the Year competition. Fun and fast game which appeals to a wide variety of gamers from non-gamers to hard core gamers.

Is definitely leading the race but can one of the other finalists top it?

 

Qwixx by Competo

Nominee in the SdJ last year and a simply fun dice game. It’s great to see that card games are also coming to Finnish market since they really are absent at the moment. This is an excellent summer cottage game thus perfect for Finnish audience.

Good game but it’s really tough to win this category

My favorite of the finalists: I like both Camel Cup and Qwixx but I’m fairly certain that Camel Cup takes the race.


 

ADULT GAMES

This is a category which is dominated by Lautapelit.fi and Competo. I was surpriced that AMO published CV and I’m sad it did not make in the final three. Other notable games left out were last year’s SdJ winner Hanabi and Nominee Augustus.

 

Love Letter by Lautapelit.fi

Micro games are trend at the moment and this 16 card game is an excellent show piece of such a game. Small, easy to carry around and most importantly fun to play.

Strong candidate in a very tought competition.

 

Splendor by Lautapelit.fi

This years SdJ nominee and for many the strongest game in the race. In Finland it’s now in the adult category where I think it fits well. Fun game albait a tad too heavy on mechanisms on my taste. I like the game and I would not sorry to see Speldor win.

Another strong candedate and a likely winner.

 

La Boca by Competo

SdJ recommended game last year and interesting candedate because it actually was also in the race last year. It’s possible for a game to take part two year in a row if they participate the competition in a diffirent category as last year (last year La Boca was in Family category). I have not played this game but what I’ve heard there should not be anything major wrong in it.

Strong candidate but unlikely winner.

My favorite of the finalists: I would like to see Love Letter to win but I think Splendor has better odds this time.


 

In general I think this is a strong Game of the Year in Finland. There’s good games in each category and we get our confidence back from last year when Super Farmari took the Family Game of the Year prize.

Here’s a list of all the winners from previous years for you who are interested.

Winners of the Finnish Game of the Year prize

 

 

Tue, August 19 2014 » Awards, General

Leave a Reply