German Computer Game Award: Fateful Years of a Superheroine

The patron did not come in her flight taxi, but at least in the superhero outfit. Dorothee Bär, Minister of State for Digitization, acted like a female Marvel figure at the presentation of the German Computer Game Prize 2019 on the stage in Berlin’s Admiralspalast in the latex dress of the Austrian designer Marina Hoermanseder.

Anyway: Germany celebrated the local games industry. 590,000 euros prize money in 15 categories, 210,000 euros extra as media services for the winners – the German gaming industry is now doing better: the German games market generated 4.4 billion euros in 2018 – a plus of nine percent in comparison to 2017. But worldwide, the share of German publishers is still not worth mentioning.

That should change soon, if it goes to Federal Ministry of Transport Andreas “Andy” scouring and bear in superhero costume: 50 million euros want to spend Bär and Scheuer for a better promotion of computer games with the seal “Made in Germany”.

“Trüberbrook” awarded as “Best German Game 2019”

Germany’s game industry should be less gloomy and develop more modern ideas. It’s just a coincidence that the game of the evening, which is awarded the highest prize by the Bundesverband game and the Federal Government, is called “Trüberbrook”. Trüb is by no means the execution of the game, which was created in painstaking detail and beautiful graphic style. A feast for the eyes, but also from a genre that celebrated great success in the 70s: well known, point-and-click adventure in the classic style. The elders happily remember games like Leisure Suit Larry or later Monkey Island. “Trüberbrook” also liked us, but does not reinvent the game world when a physicist gets into a village (the 1960s ?!).

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Executing developer is a Berlin indie studio, which in turn belongs to the Cologne company bildundtonfabrik. Otherwise, this company is mainly behind Jan Böhmermann’s “NEO Magazine Royale”. Only a Kickstarter campaign, which had recorded 150,000 euros, enabled the start of the production of the game. Seen in this way many talented gaming producers in Germany seem to lack the financial means to initiate their ideas.

Trüberbrook is already available for PC, macOS and Linux. From 17 April, the winner of the German Computer Game Prize can also gamble on the console. Leisurely. Because action is not offered here. Rather, reminiscences of the good old Gamer days. So the critics are even more euphoric than the first players themselves. In the Mac App Store, the game comes in the reviews of the gamer just 2.6 stars out of 5 possible. In the beginning, the jerky control caused problems, but in the meantime the developers have commendably released a fix bugfix update.

The winners will receive 110,000 euros in prize money and 110,000 euros in extra media services to promote their game. No gloomy prospects, on the contrary.

“Unforeseen Incidents” is “the best youth game”

Panning to the category “The Best Youth Game”: Here “Unforeseen Incidents” secured a prize of € 75,000 plus € 50,000 in medial performance. And you guessed it, this game is also a point-and-click adventure. Well done undoubtedly, but just the same genre as over-winner “Trüberbrook”.

“Unforeseen” is a collaborative work by Backwoods Entertainment from Bochum and the renowned Application Systems in Heidelberg (“Ask it the Mouse”, “Cafe International”).

Mystery-style, classic: Hobbybastler gets in the small town to a woman with mysterious and highly contagious disease and is the victim of a conspiracy. Dark secrets. Many puzzles. 2D graphics, 60 hand-drawn backgrounds, predicate beautiful and entertaining. There is absolutely nothing to criticize about the game. On the one hand. On the other hand, the common long-term gamers will not be able to get out of his leather-covered 3000-euro gaming chair and, well, they’ll run out of luck.

Also interesting: when seniors gamble

What a lover of classic games will end in 2019. But why should a federal government, which often relies on preserving and classic (old) themes in its term, suddenly abandon all conservative principles when awarding games? That was not to be expected.

… and yet surprising was also awarded!

There was one or the other surprise at the German Computer Game Prize. This is certainly not the (undoubted) winner in the category “Best International Gaming World” meant: Red Dead Redemption 2 of Rockstar Games. We could all have come to that, yes, we must. And that does not mean the “Best International Multiplayer Game” (also undoped): “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” from Nintendo. Mario! Nintendo! To say it with Louis de Funes: No! But! Ohhhhhh!

On the other hand, the well-deserved winner of the category “Children’s Game”: “Laika” from the Berlin studio Mad About Pandas. The free browser game, created with funding from the EU Learning Initiative, is aimed at preschoolers and appeals to children’s social and emotional abilities or wants to expand them. Surprisingly well done.

The most deserved award went to Berlin this night but to our liking to the German developer Philipp Stollenmayer from Riedstadt. “see / saw” was rewarded as the “best mobile game” with 40,000 euros in prize money. Stollenmayer, (sole) owner of the app forge kamibox, has not been bothering with old classic genres for months and years, but always tries out the new and the different, and above all the unexpected, in his games. Far away from the game convention is tried at Stollenmayer discarded, rethought.

The platformer “see / saw” offers 150 extraordinary game levels. While these are also inspired by classics like Super Meat Boy, unlike many other games, you’re not directing the protagonist, but the world around you. This is tilted and rotated. The goal is to reach a given point in the levels. Also in demand is the collision with traps.

In general, Stollenmayer stands for departure, for other ways of thinking in the development of games. His lineup is already huge at a young age and with a few exceptions recommended. If you like to get involved in surprising things, try out games like “Rätselei-Ei”, “Verticow” or “Bacon – The Game”.

Creative, differently thought-out lighthouses are now in demand in the German game industry in order to find the connection internationally. The total altitude at the German Computer Game Prize in 2020 may therefore be much higher than in 2019. Although Bär 2020 then probably still not einschwebben with a plane taxi to Berlin for the award ceremony. Fateful years of a “super heroine”. But that’s another story …

Also interesting: As popular as YouTube: Hyper Casual Games for mobile

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