Every year, Fairplay magazine conducts the a la carte award, in which their readers choose their favorite card game of the year. It’s one of my favorite of the gaming awards, as they’ve consistently rewarded excellent designs over the last 30 years. The results for 2022 were just announced and the winner is Scout. It’s been a very good award season for Kei Kajino’s excellent climbing game. The game was originally released in Japan by One More Game! in 2019, but the multilingual version from Oink Games had its worldwide release in October of 2021 and made an immediate impact. It received an SdJ nomination, finished in the top 10 in the DSP award, and also got a recommendation from the IGA’s. And now, it has an a la carte win to add to its trophy case. Congratulations!
Here are the top 10 finishers in the voting, together with each game’s designer:
- Scout (Kei Kajino)
- Jekyll vs. Hyde (Geonil)
- 7 Wonders Architects (Antoine Bauza)
- Top Ten (Aurelien Picolet)
- Canopy (Tim Eisner)
- Imperium: Classics (Nigel Buckle, David Turczi)
- Voll verplant (Hisashi Hayashi)
- 7 Seas (Arve Fuhler)
- Kings & Creatures (Nicko Bohnke)
- Fort (Grant Rodiek)
The a la carte is the last of the 7 gaming awards that I follow closely to be announced, so let’s summarize the results from the past few months.
- SdJ Family:
- Spiel des Jahres – Cascadia
- Kennerspiel – Living Forest
- Kinderspiel – Magic Mountain
- DSP Family:
- Game of the Year – Ark Nova
- Best Children’s Game – Quacks & Co.
- IGA Family:
- Multiplayer – Carnegie
- Two Player – Ark Nova
- Solo – Cascadia
- a la carte – Scout
- Golden Geek Family:
- Light Game – Cascadia
- Medium Game – The Crew: Mission Deep Sea
- Heavy Game – Ark Nova
- Dice Tower – Ark Nova
- Meeples Choice Awards:
- Ark Nova
- The Crew: Mission Deep Sea
As you can see, the two dominant titles of the year are Ark Nova and Cascadia. Both feature animals, but other than that, they are about as different as two games can be!
Yes… and one I love (Ark Nova) and one I will actively avoid (Cascadia).
Though I’d like to put in a good word for Scout and 7 Wonders: Architects… enjoyed them both WAY more than Cascadia.
Am I the only one who’s a little bit shocked that the individual we love to call “Fluff Daddy” greatly prefers the heavyweight Ark Nova to the family game Cascadia?
I also love Ark Nova, although mostly as a 2-player game. I’m not the target audience for Cascadia, but I think it accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do and was an excellent choice for the SdJ. And Scout is a terrific game and yet another perfect selection for the a la carte.