The board games of the year in Quebec are…

During a gala held Wednesday evening in Montreal, Ludopolis — a non-profit organization promoting gaming culture — revealed the identity of the winners. Formerly called Les Trois Lys, the Lys awards are back for a 12th year to celebrate the games released last year, after an absence caused in particular by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The winners were selected from approximately 200 applications — authored games distributed in French in Quebec in 2023 — submitted by a selection committee and local game distribution companies, among others. Games from all over the world could be registered, not just those from Quebec authors or publishers.

The jury responsible for testing the candidates is made up of board game enthusiasts, workers from specialized stores, library employees, people from the school community and families.

“We are independent of the industry. The independence of the jury is important for the credibility of the awards and our organization,” says Simon Vigneault, general director and co-founder of Ludopolis, which oversees Les Lys.

The games below whose names are colored and underlined indicate that they have been mentioned in a previous section. You can click on each one to learn more.

The board game Magic keys (Happy Baobab)

Child Category

Magic keys from the publisher Happy Baobab won first place in the Children’s category after a “very close competition”, they say. In this 15-minute dice game, two to four players travel through the forest in search of keys that will unlock a treasure chest. The other finalists were Dodo, The Hill of the Wisps, The pirate board And Mysterium kids.

*****

The board game Hitster (Annie Diotte)

Category General public

The “musical party game” Hitster from the publisher Jumbo won the prize in the General Public category. In games of 2 to 20 people, this atmospheric title invites participants to place 10 hit songs in chronological order over a century-long timeline. The other finalists were Cafe del Gatto, Fun Fact, Romi Rami And Sea Salt and Paper.

*****

The board game Sky Team (It’s your turn)

Insider Category

Among the games for initiates, it is Sky Team from Montreal publisher Le Scorpion masque which was crowned the winner. Designed exclusively for two players, this cooperative dice game (in which you play “against” the game) simulates a flight and landing experience in the world’s major airports.

Sky Team has also just been nominated for the prestigious Spiel des Jahres awards, the Oscars of the board game world. The other finalists in this Lys category were Heat, Knarr, The Merchant Expeditions Guild And Splendor Duel.

*****

The board game Ark Nova (ISLO)

Expert Category

Finally, it is Ark Nova from Super Meeple who stood out in the Expert category. This is an advanced card game in which each player builds their zoo, arranging enclosures to accommodate a variety of animals and attract crowds.

The other finalists were Carnegie, Marrakesh, Pax Pamir And Sleeping Gods.

Where did it go Earth?

Should we be surprised not to see the game Earth ― designed by Quebec designer and pharmacist Maxime Tardif ― appear among the nominations? This esteemed and sales success has nevertheless won a host of coveted prizes in recent months.

“It surprised me too because I knew everyone was into it. We cannot be accused of being chauvinistic in our choice of winners!” replies Simon Vigneault.

“One of the reasons given by the jury is thatEarth share a small thematic link [animaux et nature] and an action choice mechanic that recalled Ark Nova, he specifies. Moreover, he fell exactly between the initiate and expert categories. That said, he came very close [d’être nommé].”

What is this Board Games section?

I dive with you into the world of board games, keeping the perspective of the consumer who — like me — discovers and explores this hobby. And this, always giving a good place to the games offered in French in the stores here.

Come back regularly to our Board games page and consult the Live section of the application Sun.

If you want to react to this article, share your impressions on the games presented, ask questions or suggest topics, write to me at [email protected].

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