26 November 2018
Don’t Step In It! beats remastered Fireball Island and others to Toy & Game Innovation Award
When you think of games pushing the boundaries of playing on the tabletop, what comes to mind? The branching storytelling and personalisation of legacy games, maybe. The one-of-a-kind copies and complex algorithms of this year’s unique games like KeyForge and Discover: Lands Unknown, perhaps. What about treading on a plastic dog turd?
No need to check the calendar; it’s late November, not April 1st. And yet, Don’t Step In It! – a game about avoiding fake doo-doo between your toes as you walk blindfolded around a plastic mat – was named as the most forward-thinking game of 2018 at the Toy & Game Innovation Awards this month, (pooper) scooping the prize for Game Innovator of the Year.
Now, bear in mind that the TAGIEs aren’t exactly the place to see the latest seven-hour Eurogame or roleplaying epic recognised. Other contenders for the accolade included Chow Crown, a game involving a helmet that dangles food in front of someone as they try to eat it, and Greedy Granny, a Don’t Wake Dad-like game about stealing biscuits from your sleeping grandmother before she wakes and spits her false teeth at you. There was also Relative Insanity, a sort of sanitised Cards Against Humanity ‘finish the punchline’ party game from comedian Jeff Foxworth.
Rounding out the finalists was the remastered new edition of ‘80s childhood favourite Fireball Island from legacy pioneer Rob Daviau and Justin D. Jacobson under their Restoration Games label, which has previously resurrected Top Race as Downforce, Stop Thief and others, and is working on Return to Dark Tower.
Other categories at the TAGIEs to award games included the prize for Innovative Arts and Visuals of the Year, which was won by Exploding Kittens creators Elan Lee and Matthew Inman for their follow-up Bears vs Babies, and Rising Star, which saw nominations for game designers Jeff Lai (Maki Stack) and Daryl Andrews (The Oregon Trail).
Don’t Step In It! is far from the only scatological game to be making ripples – erm, waves – this year, too. Discussed on-stage and demoed at this year’s Essen Spiel game fair was Flushin’ Flenzy (brilliantly titled Kacka-Alarm in German), a kids’ game about plunging a miniature plastic toilet until it fires a human poo into the air and everyone tries to catch it before it hits the floor. Because that would be unhygienic.