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Pictures Wins Spiel des Jahres 2020; Die Crew Claims Kennerspiel des Jahres 2020

W. Eric Martin
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Pictures from designers Daniela and Christian Stöhr and publisher PD-Verlag has won the 2020 Spiel des Jahres, German's game of the year award.

Each round in Pictures, you recreate one of the sixteen images on the table as best you can with an odd set of artistic equipment: two shoelaces, six wooden blocks, four sticks and four stones, 2-5 symbols on cards, and colored cubes placed into a 3x3 grid to create a pixelated image. The image you must recreate is determined at random by drawing a token from a bag, and each token appears in the bag three times. You score points for guessing which image matches other players' artistic creations and for them guessing which image inspired your work. For a more detailed overview of the game, both written and on video, head to my write-up from January 2020.

Pictures beat out My City by Reiner Knizia and Nova Luna from Uwe Rosenberg and Corné van Moorsel for the Spiel des Jahres, which is probably the best known and most influential award in the hobby game market.

Board Game: Pictures

For the Kennerspiel des Jahres, an award intended for enthusiasts comfortable with a slightly more involved game than the mainstream-friendly Spiel des Jahres winners, the SdJ jury chose The Crew from designer Thomas Sing and publisher KOSMOS.

The Crew is a co-operative trick-taking game for 2-5 players in which one or players are given a task to complete for whatever mission the group is currently attempting, such as capturing a trick that contains a particular card, taking no tricks at all, or winning a trick with a 1. The co-operative nature of the game — and the particular challenge of whichever of the fifty missions you're undertaking — forces you to re-evaluate whatever trick-taking skills you have since you all win or lose the game together. For a more detailed overview, both written and on video, head to my write-up from December 2019.

Board Game: The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine

Congratulations to all involved with these two games!
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