NewsIn the wild: "Cascadia" is "Game of the Year...

In the wild: "Cascadia" is "Game of the Year 2022"

Created:07/17/2022, 11:28 am

Verleihung „Spiel des Jahres“
The tile placement game Cascadia by author Randy Flynn has been voted “Game of the Year 2022”. © Jörg Carstensen/dpa

The Game of the Year award not only brings prestige, it also has an economic impact. This year, the winning titles focus on an important topic.

Berlin – Loud cheers erupted and Randy Flynn beamed with joy: The 54-year-old American had just won the coveted “Game of the Year” award in Berlin with his nature-loving tile placement game “Cascadia” and was overjoyed.

“It’s all a bit surreal. I feel great and I don’t know what to do with myself,” Flynn said.

In “Cascadia” a biotope with animals and landscapes must be put together. Flynn came up with the idea for the theme while hiking through the region of the same name on the west coast of North America – Flynn’s home for 30 years. The critics’ jury praised the two-part puzzle task as “particularly successful. The moves are always rewarding.” The game from the Stuttgart-based “Kosmos” publishing house, which is suitable for one to four people aged 10 and over, is “a real feel-good game”. The quite classic “Cascadia” prevailed against the nominated titles “Scout” by Kei Kajino and “Top Ten” by Aurélien Picolet.

The “Spiel des Jahres” association has been awarding the prize for over 40 years. The jury takes a close look at the games market with hundreds of new releases every year. The game idea, rules, layout and design are evaluated. The aim of the association is to promote board, card and parlor games as cultural assets.

Aske Christiansen’s “Living Forest” was voted “Kennerspiel des Jahres”, which should appeal to people with a little more gaming experience. The game about nature spirits in a mystical forest is about a race for twelve points – among other things, burning trees have to be extinguished.

At the Saturday evening event, despite the bright pink design of the hotel directly on the Spree, the focus was less on glamor and more on nature. “It’s really nice that games with these themes are getting more exposure now,” said Flynn, who normally works as a software engineer in Seattle.

“The environmental aspect of the game is very important to me,” said Kennerspiel winner Christiansen. “I hope that we will change the way we treat nature. That we not only play with her, but also respect her,” said the 34-year-old Dane.

Board games as a lucrative business

Hermann Hutter, as chairman of the industry association of games publishers, also sees a trend: “Of course it fits into the landscape. We have the movements to protect nature, avoid global warming and the like. There is such a game, back to the roots of humanity, to nature, ideal world.”

Nevertheless, board games remain a lucrative business. The coveted red pawn (playing piece) on the cover is worth it. “Internationally, 500,000 units, including around 300,000 games in Germany, can be sold,” said Hutter. Hutter explained that the award-winner is sold around ten times more often than another successful game. “It’s a big economic factor. That’s why it’s a great blessing for a publisher and a small win in the lottery if you get a game of the year like this.” dpa

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