11 June 2018
Toasts Emojito and Panic Mansion
The winner of this year’s Kinderspiel des Jahres – the ‘Children’s Game of the Year’ award that precedes the acclaimed Spiel des Jahres – has been crowned.
2018’s best kids’ game – according to the Kinderspiel des Jahres jury, at least – is Dragon’s Breath, also known as Funkelschatz.
Designed by Lena and Günter Burkhardt and published by Rhino Hero studio Haba, Dragon’s Breath is a hunt for hidden treasure. Each turn, a player lifts up an ice ring from the central ‘frozen’ column, before collecting all the stones of their chosen colour. That is, if they don’t fall down the holes in the game’s board.
The age five-plus game’s simplicity is a typical trait of the titles selected for the Kinderspiel des Jahres, which aims to highlight a game for even younger players than the main family-friendly Spiel des Jahres or the more complex Kennerspiel des Jahres award for ‘Expert Game of the Year’. Last year’s Kinderspiel des Jahres went to penguin-flicking hit Ice Cool.
“This dragon dad does not only melt ice, but also children's hearts,” the judges said of their decision (translated from the original German). “This is where the whole family likes to get excited. A daughter-father team, the authors Lena and Günter Burkhardt, combines a child-friendly story, a classic mechanism and intriguing material to a game adventure that captivates children time and again. When assessing and collecting a cool head, a bit of luck and instincts are needed. (Dragon) Dad is the best.”
Dragon’s Breath saw off competition from the other two games shortlisted for this year’s prize: card game Emojito, about trying to express particular emotions, and Panic Mansion, a dexterity game involving moving the game’s board to shift objects between rooms of the haunted house and complete challenges.
The final three pulled ahead of other games Recommended by the Kinderspiel des Jahres jury: Dino World, The Legend of the Wendigo, Rhino Hero: Super Battle, SOS Dino and Speed Colors.
The Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres will both be announced next month on July 23rd, with a special prize – the first given out since 2010 – being awarded to Pandemic Legacy: Season Two as a marker of the legacy series’ influence and innovation.