The nominees for the 2022 As d’Or board game awards have been announced, including a brand new category.
Spread across four different categories, the nominations for this year’s As d’Or awards feature a variety of board games released within the last 12 months, with a jury of eight judges set to select a winner of each category in Cannes, France, next month. (Thanks BoardGameGeek.)
The nominees for the main As d’Or award – which is typically given to an accessible family board game - are 7 Wonders: Architects, a spin-off from the original card-drafting game by Antoine Bauza that streamlines its gameplay and grants each civilisation an ability rather than a resource, a storytelling card game from Thomas Dupont and Arnaud Ladagnous about going on an adventure to Tibet and India, called Cartaventura: Lhasa, and Happy City, a board game co-created by Airu and Toshiki Sato that has players becoming mayors of their own little cities and attempting to keep as many citizens as happy as possible.
A new category in the As d’Or awards, called the Initié category - or initiated in English - has been introduced this year. The Initié category is designed for board games that are more complex than the beginner games featured in the main As d’Or, but aren’t as heavy as those found in the award’s Expert category. The nominees for the Initié category are Aske Christiansen’s Living Forest, which is a game about guarding a sacred forest, Nouvelles ContRées - a co-op game by Germain Winzenschtark about searching through immense libraries for a book – and the narrative-heavy co-op board game Oltréé, by Antoine Bauza and John Grümph.
The nominees featured in the As d’Or’s Expert category – which is reserved for heavier and more complex board games – include the deckbuilding board game based on Frank Herbet’s series of sci-fi novels and created by Paul Dennen, Dune: Imperium, as well as Iki, a board game set in the Edo period of Japan from Koota Yamada, and finally Lost Ruins of Arnak by Elwen and Min: a board game that has players exploring an uncharted island for artifacts and secrets.
For the Children’s category, one that focuses entirely on board games for kids, the nominations featured are Bubble Stories by Matthew Dunstan – a game that has players exploring two different adventures by playing cards – Justin De Witt’s My First Castle Panic, a child-friendly spin-off of the co-op game about defending a castle, alongside a board game designed by Julie Bregeot that has players working together as firefighters called Pin Pon!
Previous winners of the As d’Or awards – known as the Golden Ace awards in English – include Micro Macro: Crime City, a Where’s Wally style deduction game that has players searching for clues on an illustrated map, the hidden role card game Oriflamme, co-op card game The Mind and the popular tile-laying title Azul. Past winners for the Expert As d’Or have included The Crew: Quest for Planet Nine, epic fantasy board game Res Arcana and Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game.
The winners of the 2022 As d’Or awards will be revealed on February 24th, before the opening of the FIJ 2022 Game Fair held in Cannes.