Essen 2016: Impact of the Spiel des Jahres Awards

 

Release Date: Oct. 24, 2016

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Running Time:   51 min.

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Since its inception in 1979, the German Game of the Year, the Spiel des Jahres, has grown into one of the most prestigous and noteworthy awards in the game industry. The red pawn trophy is given to a game that German families will love and enjoy for years to come.  

And what started as a single award has expanded to include now a family of awards. The Kinderspiel des Jahres which started in 2001 celebrates the best children’s games in Germany and the Kennerspiel des Jahres which started in 2011 celebrates more strategic and thoughtful games.

Many compare the Spiel des Jahres to the Oscars of the game playing world and this is not a bad analogy at all because the impact and influence of the award has spread far beyond the borders of Germany.

The goal of this panel is to explore the influence and impact of the award - on the game industry, on the organization itself, on the designers and the publishers who win the awards.

Our panel features:

Tom Felber (Spiel des Jahres Jury)

Andreas Pelikan (Game Designer, 2x Winner: Kennerspiel des Jahres)

Wolf Wittenstein (Eggertspiele - winner: Spiel des Jahres & Kennerspiel)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Essen 2016: Publishing Games for the World

 

Release Date: Oct. 23 , 2016

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Running Time:    48 min.

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The world of board and card games has grown into a global enterprise.

20 or 30 years ago the idea of a regional game publisher reaching markets around the world would have been almost laughable. Because the world today is more united than ever by technology and by a common love of games, the publishers are able to have their games reach players thousands of miles away across boundaries of culture and language. 

Publishing a game for people around the corner is not easy. Publishing games for the world is a tremendous challenge. The goal of this panel is to explore this idea and to learn how different companies around the world try to reach the world with their games. 

Our panel features:

Agnieszka Kopera (NSKN, Strawberry Studio)

Nate Scheidler (Gigamic)

Konstantinos Kokkinis (Artipia Games)

Nobuake Takerube  (Japon Brand)

Brandan Parsons (Brain Games)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 244: Team Play is Major Fun

 

Release Date: Oct , 2016

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Running Time:   39 min.

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Team Play is game that draws deep from the well of classic card games. With hints of Rummy, Pinochle and even a little Euchre, anyone familiar with these classics will feel like you almost already know how to play.

You and your partner have goal cards you hope to achieve to score points. The goals ask you to collect sets of cards based on the color or number or both. There's also a public goal that any team can try to accomplish. 

The trick and twist to Team Play is that you can help your partner by passing cards each turn. If you pay close attention to the cards everyone is collecting, you'll have a good idea of what cards could help or hurt your chances of success.

Tune in to learn why we think Team Play is a modern classic and most assuredly... Major Fun!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 243: 3 Wishes is Major Fun

 

Release Date: Oct. 6, 2016

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Designer: Chris Castagnetto

Publisher:  Strawberry Studio, Passport Game Studio

3-5 pl  5 min ages 8+  MSRP $9.99

 
 

A very particular genie is looking for just the right person worthy of three wishes. Anyone can make three greedy wishes. In order to gain this genie’s favor, you need to find the right kind of wishes to wish for! The first player to collect a wish for a superpower, a wish for world harmony and a wish for a gift will win the game.

3 Wishes is a game of bluffing and deduction you can play in five minutes. The goal is to declare the end of the game with one of each type of wish in front of you BUT here's the twist. All your cards are face down and you begin knowing only one wish! By peeking, swapping and shuffling, you hope to manipulate the wish cards in your favor.

Read on to see why 3 Wishes is Major Fun!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 242: The Spiel on Among Nobles

 

Release Date: Oct. , 2016

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Running Time:   62 min.

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Among Nobles is a game of family building in Renaissance Europe.

Each player in among Among Nobles is the timeless overseer for an aristocratic family in 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. 

You begin with a well bred, well matched couple and, over the course of the game, you will guide them, their children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren through marriages, warfare, commerce and influence throughout the continent.

Your decisions will generate prestige for your noble house. The family with the most prestige after three ages will have established the greatest dynasty of the era and be crowned the winner of the game. 

All this in a deck of 69 cards.

Tune in to learn why Among Nobles is the latest winner of the Spiel of Approval Award.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 241: Mmm! Is Major Fun!

 

Release Date: Sept 30, 2016

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Designer: Reiner Knizia

Publisher:  Pegasus Spiele

2-4 pl  20 min ages 5+  MSRP $23.99

 
 

Charlie and Carlotta are mice who live in the walls of the Smith family’s house. They are preparing for a big dinner party for all their friends and they need your help to gather groceries. The Smith’s pantry is full of delicious food: bread, carrots, cucumbers, fish and, of course, CHEESE! By rolling dice everyone will collect these tasty morsels but your team must be quick! The Smiths have a mean black cat who prowls through the house. If you take too long, the cat will catch you red-handed and the meal will be ruined. 

Mmm! is a cooperative game where players work together to cover every food item displayed in the pantry with a mouse token before the mean black cat reaches the door

Read on to see why Mmm is Major Fun!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 240: The Spiel on Oh My Goods!

 

Release Date: Sept. 17, 2016

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Running Time:   47 min.

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Oh My Goods is a small game that packs a huge punch.

Using a deck of 110 cards, players build engines where the cards will represent both the factories you build and the goods you produce. Over time, these factories create production chains, turning basic resources into more refined goods - wheat into flour, flour into bread, and so on. 

The most surprising aspect of Oh My Goods is its press-your-luck element. Each day you must commit your workers at sunrise to work efficiently or sloppily based on partial information. Each day offers a high risk, high reward situation. Accounting for this unpredictable element makes the game challenging and fun every time you play.

Not bad for a game that can literally fit in your back pocket!

Tune in to learn why we think Oh My Goods has earned the Spiel of Approval Award!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 239: Chronicler is Major Fun

 

Release Date: Sept 8 , 2016

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Running Time:   43 min.

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Chronicler is a small game with large aspirations.  With less than 100 cards, Chronicler explores the march of technology through time. You’ll be telling the story of your civilization through the tools you choose to build... in 20 minutes or less

Now, this isn't a civilization building game in the long line of a complicated titles that gamers know and love. This is a civ builder kids and families can learn and enjoy. You’re not going to find historical depth in this level of game but it doesnt pretend to offer it. Instead you hit fast forward on the time machine. Plant the seed for your culture with a single card and see how your tech tree grows. 

Tune in to learn what we love about Chronicler and why it deserves the Major Fun Award.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 238: Ice Cool is Major Fun

 

Release Date: August 30, 2016

Download: PDF

Designer: Brian Gomez

Publisher:  Brain Games

2-4 pl  20 min ages 6+  MSRP $39.99

 
 

Young penguins can be troublemakers, especially if they’re hungry. You and your classmates have decided to sneak out of class to grab an early snack. You’ve hidden some fish around the school and there’s only one thing standing between you and these tasty morsels… the hall monitor! If you’re quick, you’ll be able to scoot through the halls and grab your fish before getting caught. If not, you’ll be stuck in detention…. again!

Ice Cool is a dexterity game where players will take turns flicking their penguins through a 3 dimensional school trying to either catch fish or catch the students skipping class.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 237: The Spiel on My Village

 

Release Date: August 29 , 2016

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Running Time:   63 min.

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My Village is a game of life and death where players will tell the story of an entire community as time passes from generation to generation. Will your village focus on commerce and craftsmen producing and selling goods? Perhaps you’ll put your energies into building a magnificent church or a town council to provide law and order or send your villagers traveling the countryside to see the wider world. Your decisions wind the clock forward every turn and when time’s wheel makes a full cycle, your decisions will even decide who lives and who dies. A game of life and death indeed!

My Village is built around the same concept used by the game Village which won the Kennerspiel des Jahres in 2012 (listen to our review of Village). Dice feature prominently in My Village; in Village they do not. But I would resist the temptation to think of My Village as Village: the dice game. Instead, think of My Village as a reimplementation. A fresh take on the concept with entirely new game mechanisms at its heart.

Tune in to see why we think My Village is worthy to carry the name of its predecessor and to earn the Spiel of Approval award. 

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

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