On June 15, 2019, at the annual Origins Game Fair, the winners of the 45th Annual Origins Awards were announced. The awards are chosen not only by the Academy Jury, but by the fans.
The Best Board Game Award and Game of the Year as voted on by both the Jury and the fans is Root, published by Leder Games and designed by Cole Wehrle, with artwork provided by Kyle Ferrin.
In addition to announcing the award winners, the annual inductees into the Hall of Fame were announced: fantasy horror artist Gerard Brom and game designer Vlaada Chvatil were inducted, as were the games Mage Knight: The Board Game and Apples to Apples. There was a new award handed out this year for the first time, the Rising Star Award, and it went to Jamey Stegmeier of Stonemeier Games.
For further information on the rest of the award winners, be sure and check here.
“With this comprehensive Ultimate Edition, we will be releasing Mage Knight in English, Spanish, Polish, Czech, German, French, Russian, Korean, Portuguese, Chinese, and Italian! Now you can get Mage Knight in your preferred language and make your playing experience that much easier!*“
The official Harry Potter edition of Vlaada Chvátil‘s wildly popular and award winning game Codenames is now available in your friendly local game store. Codenames: Harry Potter is actually more a variation on Codenames Duet, being a cooperative puzzle game for 2 wizards. Players take turns trying to locate 15 hidden members of the Order of the Phoenix among a 5×5 grid of both picture and word cards, using their side of the key card. Players give single word clues, along with a number referencing how many cards relate to the clue. The clue receiver can pick multiple cards, but must stop after an incorrect pick. But beware, because the game is instantly lost if the Black Card is picked, leading the players down Knockturn Alley to the waiting Death Eaters. Players win if they find all 15 members before 10 incorrect guesses.
“The International Gamers Awards were founded in 1999 for the express purpose of recognizing outstanding games, their designers, and the companies which publish them. The awards have gained widespread acclaim and have helped bring these outstanding games to the public’s attention.”[source]
The winner in the 2-player General Strategy category was Codenames Duet, designed by Vlaada Chvátil and Scot Eaton, with art by Tomáš Kučerovský, and published by Czech Games Edition (CGE). In it, two players attempt to decipher the identity of their agents hidden behind a card with a word, by guessing those words based on one-word clues. Assassins are hidden in-between the agents which end the game when revealed. The crew at the Dice Tower have spoken well of this game numerous times as well.
You can learn more about the International Gamers Awards, the awards categories, and other nominated games, by visiting their website.
Released in 2012, CGE now takes Pictomania and dresses it anew with its second edition! With a brand new design and at a lower price point, families will get to enjoy the fast paced game of drawing and guessing at the same time with this brand new edition!
Pictomania gives each player a certain word or phrase, then, simultaneously, everybody tries to draw it. Are you an artist? Do you draw bad? It’s fine! This game evens out talent by being a real-time game! Everybody draws and guesses what the other players’ drawings are, giving out points to everybody who finishes fast and guesses correctly.
Curious to know when this game will come out or what the changes are? Head on over to their website here for more details.
WizKids announced the release of the ultimate edition of Mage Knight Board Game. If you’ve missed out on getting this game and its expansions this edition includes the base game and The Lost Legion, Krang, and Shades of Tezla expansions all in a single package which will dominate your board game shelf. Mage Knight Board Game is designed by Vlaada Chvátil and supports 1-4 players, aged 14+.
“The Mage Knight Board Game throws you and up to three other Mage Knights into the sprawling and ever changing world of the Atlantean Empire, a land that is but a distant memory since your transformation into a mysterious Mage Knight. Build your armies, defeat bands of marauding enemies, and eventually conquer cities in the name of the mysterious Void Council.”[source]
This edition also features comprehensive rules text for the base game and expansions as well as 5 all-new cards, alternate paint jobs, and a significantly reduced price. WizKids will also be teaming up with publishers around the world to release Mage Knight Board Game in English, Polish, Spanish, Czech, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian. Considering the heavily strategic nature of this game having the content in the players native language will greatly add to its enjoyment.
Mage Knight Board Game: Ultimate Edition is expected to release in English in September 2018. Release dates for other languages have not yet been made known. For more information check out the WizKids website.
Pulsar 2849 is a new space based euro game from Vladimír Suchý (Prodigals Club, Shipyard). 2-4 players explore space, build megastructures and discover alien technologies, using a unique dice drafting mechanic. Each round, players roll dice and sort them according to value, and draft with each number corresponding to an action in the game. Expect Pulsar 2849 in Q4 2017.
Tash Kalar: Arena of Legends by Vlaada Chvátil has a new expansion coming, Etherweave. This third expansion brings a new faction and a new mechanic. Warp Effect allows a player to manipulate time, using the effect of a not-yet-summoned being right now. Be careful and do not destroy causality – once you use the effect, there are serious punishments for failing to summon the future being. Expect Tash-Kalar: Etherweave in Q4 2017.
Adrenaline, the 2016 hit FPS simulator by Filip Neduk, also has an upcoming expansion, adding a sixth player and several new elements. Adrenaline: Team Game Expansion promises a new player character, simultaneous team play, a new poison damage mechanism, and character specific weapons and gadgets. The new expansion is due to hit the streets in Q1 2018.
Finally, CGE has announced a digital version of their mega-hit game Codenames. The new computer version promises online matchmaking or play with your friends. CGE also promises the already large word list will be easily expandable. Additionally, a Codenames Gadget App is available for iOS and Android from CGE, providing random key cards and a timer. Interested players can sign up for future news about Codenames Online here.
Along the same vein, Temple Gates Games and Rio Grande Games have announced a digital version of Roll For The Galaxy. The popular dice game version of Race For The Galaxy hit the board game world by storm in 2015, and has consistently been at the top of the charts. The digital version will be made available for iOS, Android and Steam, and is being designed by Keldon Jones, who was responsible for the AI on the Race for the Galaxy app. You can read the full press release here.
Z-Man Games has announced the new 2018 Season of Pandemic Survival. Pandemic Survival is the competitive team version of the award winning cooperative classic, pitting teams of 2 against the same scenario: same roles, same cards, same infected cities, same situation. Tournaments are held across the glode, leading up to the World Championships, with the grand prize being a trip to any city on the Pandemic map. For more information on the 2018 Survival Series, read the full press release here.
Fantasy Flight Games is releasing a new skirmish map for Imperial Assault, The Nal Hutta Swamps Skirmish Map . Taking place on the homeworld of the Hutts, this new map will be available as a tournament skirmish, and comes on a 26×26 beautiful neoprene playmat. The Nal Hutta Swamps Skirmish Map should be available now, and you can read the press release here.
Hawk Wargames has announced the second edition of their highly regarded 27th century wargame Dropzone Commander. Hawk Wargames has stated the update is intended to bring more balance, and allow every unit to be playable. Expect Dropzone Commander second edition in Q4 2017.
Steve Jackson Games has given some more details about the upcoming digital version of their classic wargame Ogre, being designed by Auroch Digital. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of this futuristic tank battle classic, the early screenshots look true to the original. You can read the press release about Ogre digital here.
An expansion to Mayfair Games‘ Spiel winning tile building game Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King has appeared in some distributor’s pre-order lists, and confirmation has come from the designers. Isle of Skye: Journeyman Expansion adds mighty warriors, cunning merchants, and swift heralds. Players can turn agents, flip cards and fulfill missions, while trying to avoid being thwarted by their opponents. Isle of Skye: Journeyman is expected in stores November 2017. A brief description is available on Alliance Distribution’s web page.
The winners of the prestigious Spiel Des Jahres and Kennerspiel Des Jahres have been announced.
Codenames by designer Vlaada Chvatil published by Czech Games Editions won the Spiel Des Jahres (German for Game of the Year). This team party game has seen great success thus far having one a number of Dice Tower Awards as well. Having already picked up placement in Target stores this award can only aid in its uptake with the non-hobby gaming public. This win was not overly surprising as a result of the overwhelming popularity seen by the aforementioned items.
Isle of Skye: From Chieftan to King by designers Andreas Pelikan and Alexander Pfister Published by Mayfair Games/Lookout Games won the Kennerspiel Des Jahres (German for Connoisseur Game of the Year). This game has received critical acclaim from many within the gaming community. This win was more surprising as a result of the competition it received from both Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and T.I.M.E. Stories.
For more information you can visit the Spiel Des Jahres awards pages for Codenames here and Isle of Skye here.