Haba bout that
This year’s Kinderspiel des Jahres prize for the best Children’s Game of the Year has gone to Tal der Wikinger – known in English as Valley of the Vikings.
The Kinderspiel des Jahres award precedes next month’s announcement of the prestigious Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel prizes for Game of the Year and Expert Game of the Year – you can see the full nominations for those two hostly-contested awards here.
The Kinderspiel is voted for by a jury specialised in games for kids (all of this year's nominees were suitable for ages six and up), who decided that Wilfried and Marie Fort’s Norse barrel-bowling dexterity game was the cream of 2019’s crop.
Published by Haba – which also released 2018 winner Dragon’s Breath – and illustrated by Maximilian Meinzold, Tal der Wikinger involves players rolling a ball to knock over specific coloured barrels, which lets them line their Vikings up on the nearby dock. The aim is to avoid being the first Viking to take the plunge off the jetty, causing everyone else to score.
The game saw off competition from runners-up Go Gecko Go!, a game about stacking animals, and Fabulantica, a fairy tale-themed memory card game.
Recommended by the Kinderspiel jury for 2019 were games including the kid-friendly versions of hectic real-time co-op Magic Maze and word deduction game Concept, plus Bauernhof Bande, Monster Match, Monster-Bande, Octopus and Voll Verwackelt.
2019 marks the Kinderspiel des Jahres’ 30th anniversary, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the Spiel des Jahres. The Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres will be announced on July 22nd.