Congratulations are in order! The Spiel des Jahres judge panel have announced the 2020 winner. Please join us in raising a glass of something bubbly to Pictures, by PD-Verlag/Rio Grande Games. Hats off to designers Christian and Daniela Stöhr – you’re entering quite the impressive board gaming ‘hall of fame’…
If there’s one award that everyone talks about in the board game world, it’s the Spiel ds Jahres. It’s the ‘Family Game of the Year’ Award. Past winners of this award are some of the biggest hitters in recent board game history. Catan, Carcassonne, Ticket To Ride, anyone? How about Azul, Colt Express, or Codenames? These titles are huge, and popular on a global scale. Once a game has that coveted red Spiel des Jahres logo on the box, it leaps off the shelves.
What is Pictures about?
Pictures is a party game with plenty of deduction elements going on. A 4x4 grid of 16 pictures cards (1-4, A-D) sits in the middle of the table. On your turn you draw a marker from a bag (say, B3) which becomes your secret, designated picture. You then have to create this picture using a set of props. Can you make the shoelaces look like that swan? How the heck do you make an umbrella using a combination of sticks and stones? Other challenges involve mimicking your picture out of coloured cubes within a frame like an 8-bit mosaic.
You earn points if others guess which picture matches your creation. Likewise, they’ll earn points too, for a correct guess. Each round, you pass your components (such as the shoelaces) clockwise. Pictures is a game that only lasts about 20-30 minutes. But you know as well as we do that it sounds like the kind of party game one does not simply play once per sitting!
And the winner of the Kennerspiel is…
That’s not all! The panel of judges also awarded the Kennerspiel (‘Connoisseur Game of the Year’). Congratulations to The Crew, by KOSMOS Games. This had to fight off tough competition from The King’s Dilemma and Cartographers to win the Kennerspiel. The Crew is a trick-taking game, but with a co-op twist. Instead of competing against each other to win ‘tricks’, you’re working together, on a series of space missions. You have to be smart with your hand management to try and win the right tricks.
Want to read more about past winners of the Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel? See here to read our series of blogs detailing the other games to have ‘lifted the trophy’!