Home > TaG Awards > The 2013 Golden Game Award: The Final

The 2013 Golden Game Award: The Final

September 5, 2013

So, at last we come to the final stage of the 2013 Golden Game Awards. The remaining competitors are the fun kid’s game, Enuk, and the slightly cut down rail game, Empire Express, both of which were Miss B’s nominations at the first stage of the competition.

Just so you know what the competition is: Empire Express versus Enuk.

Just so you know what the competition is: Empire Express versus Enuk.

For the final we played Empire Express first. Having played this very recently, Miss B was instantly right in the swing of things and figuring out where she wanted to deliver goods. In Empire Express I generally help her by pointing out the locations and sources of goods that come up on demand cards and pretty much leave her to it apart from pointing out a neat route if she seems to be struggling. This seems to work well and the only trouble she really has with the game is when the crayons break due to her slightly rough handling of them. The manufacturer claims that the crayons are very special ones and that we shouldn’t use regular ones on the board (I know the quality of crayons can vary wildly, so this seems plausible to me), so it would be nice to get hold of a fresh supply of unbroken ones some time.

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The game gets into its late stages with Miss B running maple syrup to Pittsburgh to put her within striking range of victory, but can I get my imports to Chicago first?

This game took us about an hour, which surprised me as I was expecting longer. In our previous play, Miss B caught me napping and beat me into the ground, but this time it was much closer and I just managed to scrape a win, just scraping past the winning post the turn before Miss B would have gone screaming past it. High fives all round for a very close game.

Miss B’s thoughts: “There’s not many games around with crayons in. I think there should be more games around that have drawing in because I like having a bit of a sketch.”

Our game of Enuk was also pretty close. Certainly more so than our last game, during which I was pretty much served. Miss B made an excellent start, while I seemed to unerringly (and un-herringly) pick up a piece of igloo every time (which ends your turn). Still, I eventually managed to find the scoring animals and due to having to resort to the unsportsmanlike tactic of actually paying attention, I managed to catch up and squeeze in a narrow win again.

I forgot to take a photo until the end, so here we are, with the final round of guesswork based on the claimed igloo tiles...

I forgot to take a photo until the end, so here we are, with the final round of guesswork based on the claimed igloo tiles…

Enuk is definitely a game we play on an even footing, which makes it well worth having in the collection. As I said after our previous play, the game is growing on me and was definitely worth the few quid it cost us.

Miss B’s thoughts: “It’s really annoying when you get a really good set and they are all the same and then you get something that scares them all off and then you only get one thing. Apart from that I really like it.”

So, that is it for another year.  We had a lot of fun playing all four games, but in the end only one could be the winner.  Actually that is a lie as last year we had two joint winners.  But this year we definitely have just one, which is…

Drumroll…

Empire Express.

The winner does a lap of honour with Miss B.

The winner does a lap of honour with Miss B.

I got this game after someone recommended it to me on Board Game Geek after I asked for recommendations for train games that might work for Miss B and myself, and it turns out this was a very good pick.  We’ve had a few plays so far and once the current set up gets a bit old, there is an advanced way of playing in the rules which is more like the full crayon rail games where you don’t get the easy start that we have been using here.  All in all, I’m happier with this purchase than I thought I would be.  Thanks for the recommendation, whoever you were!

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