Friday 30 Jul - Sunday 1 Aug 2021

UK Games Expo Awards Rules


There are the rules and criteria for the UK Games Expo Awards. The 2021 UK Games Expo Awards will be going ahead subject to advice from Public Health England in the current circumstances.

Eligibility for entry

  1. The game’s release date must be between 15th March 2020 and 1st August 2021.
  2. The game must be on demo at and available for sale at UK Games Expo 29th July to 1st August 2021 and represented by an exhibitor present at the show.
  3. Manufacturers and publishers may suggest which category, in which to enter their products, however the Expo judges will make the final decision. Only ONE category per product is permissible.
  4. A Game may only be entered for the awards in ONE year. Sometimes a given category will NOT be used one year in which case we will fit the game in the nearest category.
  5. For all categories games must be original designs and not just new editions unless there is very significant change in the design or game play between editions.
  6. To enter the awards you MUST send a copy/mock-up or sample by 20th May 2021. IF YOU MISS THE DEADLINE YOUR GAME WILL NOT BE ENTERED. There are NO exceptions to this rule. If the game is a Legacy Game or an escape room style game them you must send 3 copies to allow different judges to experience the game. If your are sending an expansion where the original game is needed to play you must also send the original game.
  7. If you do not have a production copy of the game available by 20th May 2021, a mock-up is fine if a full version is unavailable. (Alternatively you may decide to submit the game in the 2022 award year providing it is published after 15th March 2021)
  8. Submitted games are NOT returned to you and will be used in our game library or occasionally auctioned/sold for charity or given out as prizes.
  9. You must also upload a thumb nail and a high res image of the game box to the awards entry on your portal (the options will appear after you make your entry. This should be a flat image of the box from straight in front - not angled. This image is the one we will put in the programme if your game is selected to the short list and we want all of them to be the same style - the box cover.

Categories and nominations for 2021

These are the provisional categories for the awards for 2021. Games for evaluation are being sent to a panel of judges whose vote will be part of the final result. To this will be added the results of the public vote on the weekend. Good luck to all our nominees.

  • Best New Boardgame (American-Style ) Generally feature a prominent theme, encourage direct conflict between players and have a significant degree of luck. American-style games often have longer playtimes and have mechanics designed to suit the theme. Sometimes referred to as Ameritrash. (Games with a target ages of 12+ and specifically not for young children.)
  • Best New Boardgame (Euro-Style ) Generally these games will have less direct player interaction, limited elements of luck and less conflict. Sometimes called a Eurogame or German-style board game. (Game with a target ages of 12+ and specifically not for young children.)
  • Best New Boardgame (Strategic) These are games which involve tactical and strategic game play, involve direct player interaction, often involve elements of competition, conflict and sometimes military themes. Miniatures may be involved or tokens representing characters or units(Game with a target ages of 12+ and specifically not for young children.)
  • Best New Card Game (General) Generally these games will not involve a board, but cards will be the predominant feature. This category includes lighter and more family orinetated games.
  • Best New Card Game (Strategic) Generally these games will not involve a board, but cards will be the predominant feature. This category features a high degree of tactical or strategic play. Examples may include Collectible Card Games (Game with a target ages of 12+ and specifically not for young children.)
  • Best New Dice Game Generally these games will not involve a board, but dice will be the predominant feature.
  • Best Role-playing Game The main rules set for a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting and where the main thrust is players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a story generally run by a games master.
  • Best Role-playing Game Expansion An expansion or supplement for roleplaying games which expands or adds to an existing game system.
  • Best Role-playing Game Adventure An adventure, scenario or campaign or campaign setting for roleplaying games.
  • Best Miniatures Range A miniatures range for use in wargames or roleplaying games.
  • Best Miniatures Rules A rules system where the core part of the game is using miniature figures to fight out battles.
  • Best Party Game A game which is usually light and easy to play, with simple rules and designed for larger groups or a party
  • Best Children's Game A game which is specifically designed for younger children (10 years or below) to play with or without adult supervision but not a game adults would play on their own.
  • Best Family Game A game which is ideal for children (perhaps older children) and adults to play together and all enjoy equally. Something for parents and kids to have fun together with.
  • Best Abstract Game An abstract game is a game that minimises luck and does not rely on a theme. It typically focuses on strategy where skill and careful planning is the key.
  • Best New Accessory Anything gaming related not covered in the other areas e.g. game storage solutions, dice bags etc.


The winner in each category will be determined by a combined system of a public vote and the opinion of a Panel of Judges.

Firstly all games are rated by a panel of judges chosen by UK Games Expo. This process will produce short lists of the top games in each category where there are more than 3 entries. The short lists will be selected according to the judge's ratings and published on 15th July 2021.

At the UK Games Expo one of these 3 games will be chosen as the Judges' Award winner.

All games in the shortlist are eligible for a public vote at Virtually Expo to choose the Peoples Choice Award winner.

Both the Judges and the Popular Choice Awards will be announced on Sunday 1st August 2021 at 3pm.