Recommendation List #4
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Best Australian Game 2011 Print E-mail

Boardgames Australia congratulates the designers of the following games, which have been shortlisted for the Best Australian Game Award, 2011/12. Award timing changed to June, so this award in 2012 was for games from 2011 and 2012. Note that the Australian games are shortlisted for two years, so there is some overlap with last year's list.

Caption if you can!  Image source: Adventureland Games

Game Name: Caption If You Can!
Designer: Phil Harding
Publisher: Adventureland Games
Players: 4-8
Playing time: 30-60 minutes
Suitable for: Families (ages 12 and up), Adults
We shortlisted it because: This is a new party game, where players compete to write 'the best' caption for an image. Each round one player will select an image, and then every player will try and come up with something witty, poignant, or absurd in an effort to win the votes of the other players. The captions are read out (without identifying the author) and then the players all have one vote - every vote for your caption earns you a point! The pictures are beautiful and have a lovely range of images from the crazy or funny through to the intriguing. Our tactical hint?: when in doubt, you can always write "who f*rted!?".

(Best ordered direct from the publisher, click on the Publisher link above)

Cuble. Image source: Hexalia Games

Game Name: Cuble
Designer: Lawrence Roux
Publisher: Hexalia Games
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suitable for: Families (Ages 6 and up)
We shortlisted it because:

This is a nicely produced game with sturdy plastic tiles, that are laid out to form pleasing patterns. The aim is to play out tiles so as to score a cuble which happens when the three adjacent numbers form a sum (like 7, 4, 3 which is 3 + 4 = 7). The rules and game play are easy, but keep everyone alert and engaged. There is scope for a little tactical play by seeing what numbers are still available. A fun way to learn some maths and enjoy family time together.

Dungeon Raiders. Image source: Adventureland Games

Game Name: Dungeon Raiders
Designer: Phil Harding
Publisher: Adventureland Games
Players: 1-5
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suitable for: Families (Ages 8 and up), Adults
We shortlisted it because:

This is a fun card game of defeating the hazards of a dungeon and dividing the loot. Each player has a different character with slightly different powers, and must use their hand of cards to best effect. Each of the 25 rooms in he dungeon features a monster, trap or some loot, and players compete to get the best stuff, or to avoid being wounded by the traps and monsters. The most wounded adventurer is eliminated at the end of the game, and then the richest is declared the winner. Despite the cute cartoonish artwork, this is a game of some tactics and cunning, and although 8 year olds can play, age 12 or 14 would be a better guide for when someone might expect to win!

Dweebies. Image source: Gamewright

Game Name: Dweebies
Designer: Tim Roediger
Publisher: Gamewright
Players: 2-6
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suitable for: Families (Ages 6 and up)
We shortlisted it because:

This is cute card game, full of adorable characters called Dweebies, one Dweebie pictured per card. Your object is to collect as many Dweebies as you can, by playing a card that matches one at the other end of a line: this allows you to collect all the intervening cards. Each card shows with dots, how many Dweebies there are of that type, so you can know whether there is a risk of someone else stealing your row. The game involves a mix of memory, light tactics, and luck, and is enjoyable for the whole family.

Box cover: Higher or Lower. Image courtesy of greg Middleton

Game Name: Higher or Lower
Designer: Greg Middleton
Players: 3-8 (more if you play in teams)
Playing time: 45-60 minutes
Suitable for: Families (Ages 10 and up), Adults
We shortlisted it because: Higher or Lower is a trivia game with a great twist: the diverse trivia questions all have answers that are a number: "How many beats per minute does a hedgehog's heart beat?" or "In what century did Genghis Khan live?". If you get it right first time you advance three spaces up the scoring track. If you are wrong, you'll be told "higher" or "lower", and then the person to your left has a chance to answer, but for a reduced score; this continues on until someone gets the right answer. Higher or Lower ensures that everyone has a chance, as a question may go round several times before someone gets the exact answer. The game is further enlivened with some Challenge rounds and Group rounds played against the clock.

Click on this link to find some retailers selling this game.

Rosetta.  Image source:Hexalia Games

Game Name: Rosetta
Designer: Lawrence Roux
Publisher: Hexalia Games
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suitable for: Families (Ages 8 and up)
We shortlisted it because: This is a game of tactics, pushing your luck, and perhaps some negotiation!  The game uses hexagonal tiles, where the aim is to form pure rosettas, which are a ring of 6 tiles around a centre tile in your own colour, with no repeated number. Of course every other player is busy trying to spoil your rosetta! To some extent you can work together to fill in rosettas for you and an opponent, but the risk is that they might find a tile that will help them while spoiling your plans. The rules are simple, but the game offers a variety of tactical choices.

Viewpoint.  Image source: 93 Made Games

Game Name: Viewpoint
Designer: Sean Carroll
Publisher: 93 Made Games
Players: 2-6
Playing time: 10 - 30 minutes
Suitable for: Families (Ages 8 and up)
We shortlisted it because: Viewpoint is a fun card game of tit for tat with a psychedelic theme of vision: spectacles, TV, blurry vision, and shadows all appear in this game! Each player is trying to get 100 points out on the table, but every card that they play also gives them special actions: moving cards back into their hand, drawing more cards, stealing from opponents and so on. The game hinges on timing the play of your key cards to have the best effect, but a little bit of luck never hurts either!

Latest news!


CanCon in on Saturday the 24th of January 2015, Sunday the 25th and Monday the 26th (Australia Day).

This long-running games convention is held in Canberra, in the Exhibition Park (EPIC).

General entry is free and there will be lots of board and card games as well as wargaming with miniatures.

More details on the website


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