Valley of the Vikings from HABA is the "Kinderspiel des Jahres 2019" (Children’s Game of the Year 2019)


We've done it again! With "Valley of the Vikings", we have won the renowned title "Kinderspiel des Jahres” (Children's Game of the Year) for the second time in a row. Together with the authors Marie and Wilfried Fort as well as illustrator Maximilian Meinzold, we are delighted to receive this great accolade.

The exciting tactics and skill game "Valley of the Vikings" literally has it all. It welcomes children aged 6 and over to an adventurous Viking competition, both on land and at sea. Some of the outstanding features are the great 3D ships and the impressive XXL game board. 

There's a lot going on in the Valley of the Vikings!

In the Viking village the annual tournament of barrel bowling is taking place. Each player tries to roll the ball skillfully towards the barrels. Depending on which barrels fall down, the players then move their Vikings forward on the jetty. Strategically positioned Vikings can seize the precious coins. But be careful - if you're unlucky or take too much of a risk, you'll plop into the water with your character and get nothing! The player who becomes the chief of the Valley of the Vikings and winner of the game at the end is the player with the most gold. 

The jury’s statement:

The "Kinderspiel des Jahres” jury is convinced: "Valley of the Vikings" is an exciting foray, one where you just need skill to play. The tactical considerations when fighting for a position on the dock develop with increasing experience and guarantee long-term playing fun." Everybody wants to get started playing - simply because of the beautiful materials. Everybody can bowl away. The barrels fly and the action is enjoyable to watch and do! With this game, you learn the finer points on the spot, and when it doesn't go well, it doesn't cause frustration, just the desire for another game." 
The jury has nothing but praise as well for the authors of the game, Wilfried and Marie Fort. "The way the pair of game designers create the challenge with a mixture of both skill and tactical thinking is both novel and unique."

A lot of tinkering

A foam ball, a piece of cardboard and a plastic display - at the very start of the game's development, it was all about functionality. Altogether there were several different prototypes that were developed, so the different elements were continually being perfected. For example, originally the plan was to have the jetty and coin compartments in the game box, but it was not always easy for the players to reach both stations. “Placing the player tiles in holes in the game board resolved the problems caused by off-course ball rolling. Nothing can slide off," reports Annemarie Wolke. She was the person mainly responsible for the game development on the HABA editorial team side. 

The authors - on the road to success in both their professional and private lives

Marie und Wilfried Fort.jpg

Marie and Wilfried Fort are living proof that combining professional and private lives can work. They are happily married, have two sons and live in the quiet community of Saint Colomban near Nantes in France. They have also been working together successfully as game authors for a number of years. Both Marie and Wilfried are behind the idea of "Valley of the Vikings".

Markus Nikisch, Idea Scout in the HABA Game and Book editorial department, became aware of the author couple during the Festival International des Jeux in Cannes in February 2017. "They introduced me to their concept for Valley of the Vikings and I said that I wouldn't leave before we started playing the game together," he remembers with a smile. His perseverance was to pay off.

The illustrator Maximilian Meinzold:

Maximilian Meinzold.jpg
Above all, the great illustrations of "Valley of the Vikings" are what immediately captivate children and adults alike. The freelance graphic designer and illustrator Maximilian Meinzold is the one responsible for these. His convincing characters and his attention to detail have allowed him to create just the right atmosphere for the game. The 32 year old illustrator lives and works in Munich, and specializes in fantasy, science fiction and children's and young people's literature. He has already been nominated for numerous prizes for his work.

Barnyard Bunch on the “Empfehlungsliste” (recommended list)

As well as "Valley of the Vikings", another game from HABA impressed the jury: "Barnyard Bunch" made it onto “Empfehlungsliste” (recommendes list) of the "Kinderspiel des Jahres" (Children’s Game of the Year) jury. The collaborative dice rolling game relies on close cooperation. Working together and with a bit of luck with the dice, the players must stop the farm animals from getting out. "Barnyard Bunch" is intended as a fun game with animals for children from 4 years of age, and it was written by Justin Lee. The illustrations are by Anna-Lena Kühler.


Valley of the Vikings

Barnyard Bunch

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