The map-searching puzzle game, MicroMacro: Crime City has been named this year’s winner of the Spiel des Jahres, the much coveted German Game of the Year award.
A tabletop title that challenges players to search its visual puzzle for clues to solve a number of crimes, all by spotting details, suspects and important locations as prompted by cards for each case, MicroMacro: Crime City is a co-op game from designer Johannes Sich.
The winning title saw off competition from a shortlist of well-known and well-respected tabletop titles, such as The Adventures of Robin Hood, a co-op game from Michael Menzel (Legends of Andor), which sees player traverse a dynamic world of an evolving board, and Annick Lobet’s Zombie Teenz Evolution.
In a post-event round-up, the jury said: “A large black-and-white poster and a few cards – that’s all MicroMacro: Crime City needs to captivate players. When they lean in over the table to take in the whole scene, you can cut the tension with a knife. Everyone’s eyes flit over the city map, trying to reveal new information about the crime. Heated discussions between players about motives and evidence can create truly unforgettable moments.”
In a livestream from the event taking place this morning in Germany, the awards ceremony also named its 2021 Kennerspiel des Jahres winner, a category celebrating the ‘Expert Game of the Year’, recognising the more complex games in the tabletop gaming scene.
The award fell to Peter Rustemeyer’s co-op Stone Age survival game, Paleo, a game in which players are challenged to keep their early humans alive by exploring locations, gathering food, and crafting tools without dying.
It triumphed over a shortlist of nominees that included Fantasy Realms from the designer of Betrayal at House on the Hill, Bruce Glassco, and Lost Ruins of Arnak, the deckbuilding and worker-placement game from Min and Elwen.
About Paleo, the Spiel des Jahres jury, said: “It’s extraordinary how Paleo manages to create dynamic stories and images in the players’ minds that will stay there long after the game has ended. Through the relentless struggle for survival we learn that we are only as strong as the group.
“The variety of different events keeps our curiosity piqued through several play-throughs and rewards the exploration of this exciting and unforgiving stone age world.”
The Spiel des Jahres awards today follow last month’s Kinderspiel des Jahres in which the Children’s Game of the Year award was handed to Dragonimo, the child-friendly spin-off from Spiel des Jahres winner Kingdomino.