The Crew Wins a la carte’s Best Cardgame Award

The a la carte award is conducted annually by Fairplay magazine, with the goal of honoring the best card game of the year. It’s one of my favorite gaming awards and they’ve chosen a bunch of great designs since it began in 1991. They recently announced the results for 2020 and it will come as no surprise to most of you that the winner is The Crew, the hit cooperative trick-taking game designed by Thomas Sing and published by Kosmos. Richard Garfield’s Carnival of Monsters finished second and Tom Lehmann’s Res Arcana wound up third. All in all, it’s quite an impressive list of games. Here is the top 10, together with their designers:

  1. The Crew (Thomas Sing)
  2. Carnival of Monsters (Richard Garfield)
  3. Res Arcana (Tom Lehmann)
  4. Spicy (Gyori Gabor)
  5. Walking in Burano (Wei-Min Ling)
  6. Watergate (Matthias Cramer)
  7. Yokai (Julien Griffon)
  8. Palm Island (Jon Mietling)
  9. Don Carlo (Wolfgang Kramer, Bernhard Lach, Uwe Rapp)
  10. Space Base (John D. Clair)

Another award that recently announced its results is the Spiel der Spiele, Austria’s national game award. The winner is Smart10, a trivia game originally published in Sweden in 2017, to good reviews. It has a push your luck element, as you can gamble on answering additional questions, but you lose the points you won earlier in the round if your answer is incorrect. A German version was released by Piatnik in 2019. The two designers, Arno Steinwender and Christoph Reiser, are both Austrian.

The SdS also recommended a bunch of other games, in various categories. Here’s the full list of cited games:

Game of the Year

Games for Experts
Airship City
Expedition to Newdale

Games for Friends
Daddy Winchester
The Crew
Truth Bombs

Games for Families
Bermuda Pirates
Tiny Towns

Special Prize – Cards

Special Prize – Trend
Divvy Dice
Escape Room: Jumanji
Invastion of the Cow Snatchers

These are the last of the major and minor game awards to be announced, or, at least, the last that I usually follow. Here are the winners for all the awards from 2020:

Spiel des Jahre – Pictures
Kennerspiel des Jahre – The Crew
Kinderspiel des Jahre – Hedgehog Roll

DSP – The Crew

IGA – Barrage

a la carte – The Crew

Golden Geeks – Wingspan

Dice Tower – Wingspan

Meeples Choice
The Crew
Res Arcana

American Tabletop Awards
Early: Draftosaurus
Casual: ShipShape
Strategy: Wingspan
Complex: The Taverns of Tiefenthal

As d’Or
General: Oriflamme
Expert: Res Arcana

Tric Trac – It’s a Wonderful World

Spiel der Spiele – Smart10

As you can see, the most honored games from the 2019 calendar year were Wingspan and The Crew.

It’ll be interesting to see if any of the 2021 game awards are delayed as a result of COVID-19 issues. I’m sure they will all be awarded, but it wouldn’t shock me if the timing of them is different than usual.

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1 Response to The Crew Wins a la carte’s Best Cardgame Award

  1. Tasia says:

    I have played wingspan and its a beautiful and fun game. It’s educational but not in an in your face way. I’m excited to try some others!

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