A ball with its own magical proper motion
In the children's game "Dodo – Save the loose egg" from KOSMOS Verlag, an inconspicuous plastic ball plays the starring role. It embodies the dodo’s egg, which rolls out of the nest by mistake and now has to be guided safely down the "hill" by the players and into the rowing boat that will rescue it. The ball moves slowly, irregularly and, at the same time, as if by itself and almost seems to adhere to the hill. "Dodo – Save the loose egg” is an innovative, cooperative children's game that a race against time.
The winner of the ToyAward in the Teenager & Adults category
"Mystery House" from Schmidt Spiele is a real innovation in the field of popular escape room games. In these games, the players work together to try to solve several puzzles based on each other in order to win the game. For the first time ever, Mystery House uses a 3D game board, where players also have to use a torch to discover clues in a labyrinth of specially placed cardboard tiles. Mystery House is this year's ToyAward winner in the Teenager & Adults category.
Playing like in a film
With "Jaws", Ravensburger is upholding the trend of turning successful licences into original board games. The board game for adults closely follows the story of the cinematic model and is divided into two completely different acts. In the first act, the players have to find and mark the shark – also played by a player. In the second act, the final battle takes place, in which either the shark or the ship and the characters of the remaining players fall by the wayside.
Deciphering taken literally
With "Decipher", the new game from Heidelbär Games, you have to guess a word. The players compete against the clue-giver, who has to give them hints in the style of a good mastermind. The more clues the guessers need, the more points the clue-giver gets. The innovation of this game lies in the kind of tips given. They consist of coloured plastic strips that the guessers have to use to build individual letters. This is not so easy, because the strips of varying lengths can be used to assemble a lot of different letters.
Monstrous food-tossing fun
The creativity of the authors is not diminishing in the field of children's games either. The new "Yummy Monsters" game from HUCH! proves that neither plastic nor electronic aids are required. The game plan consists of four monsters with open mouths, all standing upright, which have to be fed by the children. Each child tries to throw its food plates through the monsters’ mouths. But special monster tentacles, which have to be put on the fingers, and other handicaps such as throwing the food with one‘s left hand or blindfolded make it exciting and varied. In these cases, you have to take cover and ready, steady... feed the monsters!
Ecological fun to go
For the Nürnberger Spielkartenverlag, the playing card publishers based in Nuremberg, the Spielwarenmesse is a home game, which is why the publishing company regularly presents its most important innovations here. The "Minis" are small and very cheap“ take-away games”. They stand out in particular on account of their environmentally friendly packaging, which completely foregoes plastic and adhesives. The different versions each contain a writing pad and a dice. The games are so-called "Roll ‘n’ Writes" – which can be described as a modern form of bingo. One player rolls the dice and all players can draw or write something on their block according to the result. The "Minis" are meant to be little games for train journeys or visits and could set a whole new trend here.
The Mouse, Goat, and Bear Race
Classic running and racing games such as Ludo are still very popular, especially with families. But authors and publishers are still trying to find new ideas for this kind of game. In "Da bockt der Bär", a.k.a. The Mouse, Goat, and Bear Race, from Zoch Verlag, each player can slip into three different animal roles, each with different abilities. So the little mouse is slow, but can take shortcuts through its cave; the big bear rushes ahead, but has to take a small toilet break every now and then. Thanks to a clever card mechanism, each player changes roles over and over again, so that the race remains exciting until the very end.
A farm shop for the entire family
The trend towards direct sales is not only just something you find in the food industry. In the family game "My Farm Shop" from Pegasus Spiele, every player can try his or her hand as a farmer offering freshly harvested produce in their own shop. This is done using a dice mechanism that is as clever as it is simple. Each player throws three dice. The result of the first determines the new card with which the player can expand his farm. The sum of the other two determines which function of your farm is activated. This could be food production or selling the produce in your own farm shop. The player who earns the most money this way is the winner.
Lots of rings for the fingers
Party games for adults are likewise still highly popular, although "Fringers" by Abacusspiele can, of course, also be played with children at home. As the unusual name suggests, this game is all about lots of coloured rings that the players put on one hand. Players now have to work together to create a certain arrangement of the rings on each finger. The tricky problem with this is that each player is only allowed to "work" on his neighbour's finger. Put on the rings, turn the hourglass over and ready steady, go!
Hot dice fun
A handful of dice and a writing pad, these are the classic ingredients of the new Amigo game called "Chili Dice". The special thing about this game is found on the sides of the dice, because one face on each die has red pips instead of white, making it a "chili number". If this side lands face up, points can be doubled or you can rotate any red die face to the side that you wish. In addition, there is an inventive rule variation, because each player has exactly 30 throws available to achieve the various doubles and straight throws, which he can divide up between his rolls.
Would you like to take a closer look at the individual games?
- Dodo – Save the loose egg, KOSMOS Verlag
- Mystery House, Schmidt Spiele
- Jaws, Ravensburger Spieleverlag
- Decipher, Heidelbär Games
- Yummy Monsters, HUCH! friends
- Minis, Nürnberger Spielkartenverlag
- Da bockt der Bär, Zoch Verlag
- My Farm Shop, Pegasus Spiele
- Fringers, Abacusspiele
- Chili-Dice, Amigo
About the author:
Johannes Jaeger, is the "Hunter" of the duo Hunter & Cron. The multiplayer and game reviewer is known from the board game channel Hunter & Cron from Berlin. All game enthusiasts find there daily new videos about board games in German Language, such as board game reviews, board game rules, board game club, top lists, fairs & events like the Berlin Brettspiel Con and much more.