The 2020 Imagination Gaming Award Winners have been announced and we have had so much fun discovering and playing the vast quantity of new titles. It seems year on year we have more and more entries, making the Gold Award and our coveted seal of approval even more prestigious.
Read on to discover some featured winners, discover the full list of winners in each category, and of course this years BIGGY!
Well it has been an unusual several months to say the least, but we have done our utmost to make the most of it and to find new ways to engage families and children… to show them what’s new this year to engage their minds and spark their imaginations. Family, fun and education are what we are all about and our awards were set up to find and celebrate the best games in their field from all over the world. Many of the categories represent our work in schools and we are looking for those games that can teach literacy, maths, cross curricular subjects and problem solving skills in a fun, creative and imaginative way as well as those that are just wonderful family fun. This year we have been spoiled with over 150 games entered into the awards across our 10 awards categories from some of the most exciting games designers and publishers out there.
We thought we had seen it all in terms of games but we are constantly surprised and inspired by the games that arrive at the office for us to try out in schools and to test out with our family judging teams.
It would take several pages to mention all the great games we have seen but we would like to share some of our team’s personal favourites and some stories from the awards and before that offer a huge thank you to the huge number of families that took part in our games review teams across the summer. Thank you so very much for writing feedback and reviews on all of the games we received this year.
Literacy is dear to our hearts so we were very excited to see the games in this category. Alice In Wordland from Drawlab Games (Literacy – Gold), is a beautiful little game of clever word play with a fantastic theme and presentation. Letter Jam from Czech Games (Literacy – Shortlisted) has us thinking of all sorts of opportunities to take into school and engage children in a wonderfully clever word game.
Maths made easy was what we were hoping for and that is what we got however choosing from these games was anything but easy! Formula from Formula Games (Maths – Shortlisted) and Lampogo 3 from Lightning Maths (Maths – Shortlisted) both represented a classic number game formula well, whereas 6 Nimmt from VR Distribution (Maths – Seal of Approval) and Pat Pat Lions from Everxplor (Maths – Seal of Approval) demonstrated a different approach to engaging those maths skills that all young people need. The winner this year was another great and clever little game, Secret Code 13+4 from HABA (Maths – Winner) that proved extremely popular with all that played.
Cross Curriculum this year saw a staggering range of games tackling all sorts of subjects from environmental issues to music. The Diversity Deck range from Mantenant (Cross Curricular – Seal of Approval) are a great way to highlight issues we face on a day to day basis and Lord of the Chords from Lord of the Chords (Cross Curricular – Seal of Approval) is an incredible game that teaches music theory and really goes in to incredible depth whilst still remaining a clever game at heart. The winner in this category went to a game aimed at younger players and families this year. Dentaday from LOGIS (Cross Curricular – Winner) is all about eating healthy and cleaning those teeth and its simple yet engaging games play and colourful art work made it a big hit.
Problem solving as a category has become such an intriguing category now, the games in there are so good at engaging young people and challenging them and yet have the coolest look and appearance that deciding between them is so tough. We hope it isn’t too long before activities such as these are an essential part of school life as the difference they can make to some is huge. Take a look at Feed Me from Gen42 Games (Problem Solving – Shortlisted) and Firemaster from Peasoup Games (Problem Solving – Shortlisted) from two very different but simply wonderful puzzle based games that are ‘go to’ games in schools for the kids!
Family games this year have so many titles in there, whether for families with younger children or the family plus category for those families with older children and young adults, that it’s easy to forget how lucky we are to have such resources at our fingertips. If we think back a decade the difference now in the range is simply huge and the presentation and quality of the games available is just a thing of beauty to behold. Debtzilla from Capital Gains (Family Plus – Shortlisted) and Drago Tuku from LOGIS (Family – Shortlisted) and two examples of two such games.
If we are being very honest, Young Einsteins is always a hard category for us to choose from. Our little ones are not so little anymore but when they were, we remember long afternoons playing ‘baby’ games that made us want to cry with boredom so we were delighted to see the new generation of littlies games that adults can actually enjoy playing too. LOGIS, HABA and Djeco games all had numerous titles that all deserved a mention and it is a shame we cannot. Unicorn Glitterluck from HABA (Young Einsteins – Seal of Approval), Foto Fish from LOGIS (Young Einsteins – Shortlisted) and Little Action from Djeco are examples of these. All deserving of a win but unfortunately, not this year!
That leads us to the big one, the biggest winner this year…in fact…
The BIGGY… The Best Imagination Gaming Game of the Year!
Colour Brain from Big Potato was the ‘Best Imagination Gaming Game of the Year’ after much deliberation between the team and the families that helped us. Popular with every family we were able to show it to or to send to for playtesting this was also a BIG hit in all of the schools we were able to take it into including those schools that focus on behavioural issues. In every case this game was a hit and had everyone laughing and thinking in equal measure!
Congratulations Big Potato Games!
One last mention again has to go to all of the families involved in the Games Review Scheme which we ran across the summer. In total nearly 100 families got involved and they helped enormously… They made a real difference and allowed us to get the games out there to a bigger audience even with all of the problems COVID has thrown at us.
So, Thanks again to all the judges, the families, the IG Team and of course the wonderful Games Designers and Publishers whose support and participation have again made our awards such a great success. Thank you to each and every one of you!