The most important prize in the country’s gaming industry, the German Computer Games Awards selects innovative games in 14 categories. This year’s winners include “Huxley,” “Assassin’s Creed Origins” and “Townsmen VR.”The German Computer Games Awards (Deutscher Computerspielpreis), were presented on Wednesday in Munich. First awarded in 2009, it is the most prestigious accolade in the German game industry, recognizing innovative and educational games mainly produced in the country.
Hide and seek with ‘Witch it’
This year’s big star was “Witch it,” by Hamburg-based indie developers Barrel Roll Games. Their new title won in the category Best German Game, Best International Multiplayer Game as well as Best Youth Game.
“Witch It” is a multi-player hide-and-seek game set in a medieval world where farmers need to join forces in order to chase witches in their village. The witches can turn into objects, which makes them hard to find. Players need to work together to catch them.
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Escape game meets VR technology: ‘Huxley’
Escape VR, Berlin-based developers specialized in virtual reality environments, won in the category Best Innovation with their game “Huxley.”
The virtual reality adventure allows up to eight players to participate in a mission at the same time. Equipped with VR glasses, they need to find their way out of the escape room. For now, the game can only be played in Berlin, but other locations are already being planned.
‘Townsmen VR’ — another virtual reality game
The winner in the category Best Design, “Townsmen VR,” is also set in a medieval context. HandyGames, indie developers headquartered in Giebelstadt, came up with this historical strategy game with an innovative style.
The aesthetics of the game and the perspective of the village are reminiscent of the virtual god video game “Black & White,” which was highly acclaimed when it came out in 2001.
As in “Black & White,” players in “Townsmen VR” can use their virtual hands to get involved in the action of the game and speed up the progress of the village. VR technology creates effects that feel impressively real.
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Learning geometry in a playful way with ‘Monkey Swag’
Going on a treasure hunt with pirates is certainly more fun than plain geometry, and that’s what “Monkey Swag” is all about. The players hardly notice that they are learning through the treasure hunt, adding to the game’s educational value. The developers, Tiny Crocodile Studios and kunst-stoff, won in the category Best Children’s Game.
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Recognizing young talents: ‘Ernas Unheil’
Another game that was recognized for its educational value was “Ernas Unheil” (Erna’s mischief). The award went to its five young female developers, who are students of the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin.
The designers created a mystery game for children based on a book. If you only read the book, however, you won’t understand the story. Readers find their way through the adventure with an app. “By combining an app with a book, we aimed to make books more interesting for children,” explains Lisa Forsch, one of the five developers. Depending on which decisions are made, the children reach one of 24 different exits.
A journey in Ancient Egypt with ‘Assassin’s Creed Origins’
Although the German Computer Games Awards mainly recognize German titles, there is also a Best International Game category. The award went to “Assassin’s Creed Origins.”
The latest episode of the popular adventure series, set in Ancient Egypt, features outstanding design and a lot of action.
The recognition given to French game developer Ubisoft is a symbolic one, while the other awards come with prize money to help develop the German gaming industry.
The Association of German Games Industry and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the co-sponsors of the endowment, invested a total of €560,000 ($692,000) in the 2018 awards — €10,000 more than the previous year. A 55-member jury decided on the winners in 14 categories from a total of 432 candidates. The focus is on promoting innovative, culturally relevant or educational computer and video games primarily produced in Germany.