Home > TaG Awards > The 2013 Golden Game Award: Game-Off Number 2

The 2013 Golden Game Award: Game-Off Number 2

August 20, 2013

The sun rises quietly over the peaceful valley, seemingly unaware of the advice of the recently late Elmore Leonard to never begin a book with weather. Or perhaps fully aware that this is a blog post, not a book. Either way, the peace is soon to be shattered as two titans manoeuvre for position in the epic battle that would echo throughout history and come to be known as the second game-off in the 2013 Golden Game Award.

The match-up of the century, two games that go together like peaches and Costello.

The match-up of the century, two games that go together like peaches and Costello.

At the head of the vast legions of imperial Rome stands Augustus, the first Emperor and commander of heaps of little red wooden legionaries (one of which has no head), which he will fearlessly deploy in order to control cards depicting senators and provinces within the Empire. They take position in the high ground overlooking…

…The endless ice flows occupied by enormous numbers of polar bears, seals and the dread shoals of herring, all being eagerly looked for by a little Eskimo boy named Enuk, who is waiting for his parents to build an igloo.

It seems an uneven match. After all, what hope do the legions have against polar bears? But one way or another, this ancient rivalry must end…

I must admit that since we got it, Enuk has actually grown on me.  It is just a game of turning over random tiles, occasionally remembering stuff, and a bit of push-your-luck where you never come out empty handed, but it plays smoothly and it’s just… charming, I suppose.  I’m glad it’s not a game we play all the time, but as kids’ games go it’s excellent and, to be fair, Miss B deserves to play kids’ games when she wants to.  This game was fun and was eventually won by Miss B, who awarded the game a score of 15 out of 20.

Augustus was nominated for this year’s Spiel des Jahres award and, I think, deservedly so as it is a fun, slick, family game which uses a mechanic (bingo) that we don’t see often, and uses it very cleverly.  Miss B definitely “gets” this game and competes well in it, though is yet to win.  She did a good job again this time, focussing on collecting a combination of senators which set my efforts back as well as scoring quite a lot of bonus points at the end.  I still somehow managed to win, though.  Miss B’s special scoring system resulted in a score of 14 out of 20 for Augustus.

After all that (which was a lot quicker than the first game-off), Miss B told me that, “Enuk is better because it’s a bit of a memory game and I like to get my brain working, whereas Augustus is just bingo with more movement and things like that.”  Yes, she actually used the word “whereas”.  I don’t know where she got that from.

So, our second finalist is Enuk.  Coming up soon, the final, between Enuk and Empire Express.  Stay tuned.

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Categories: TaG Awards Tags: , ,
  1. Barnetto
    August 21, 2013 at 8:54 am

    …I’m starting to feel slightly guilty at pushing my boys towards games that I like instead of the children’s games that perhaps they would like more after reading this….

    Regarding Augustus, I’m thinking of perhaps introducing a handicap for myself when I play – something along the lines of the Rule 17b you mentioned before – maybe allowing my boys to have an extra soldier from the outset or destroying one of my senators/provinces – because, as you say, whilist it is a simple game, it can be quite difficult for children to choose the best combination of cards to go for.

    • August 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

      I didn’t mean to make you feel guilty. 🙂

      A handicap system may well be appropriate for Augustus and a simple extra legionary sounds sensible to me. Maybe if you wanted a bigger handicap, allowing to complete an objective when all but one space is filled.

      Miss B is starting to look for combos in games (Dominion is teaching her this quite well), but once she finds one she likes, she often fixates on it quite heavily. It’s great to see her gradually getting the hang of it.

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