A few months ago the nominees for the annual Spiel des Jahres (German for 'Game of the Year') were announced and we now have our winners! For those that don't know, the Spiel des Jahres awards are gaming awards that carry with them a lot of praise and clout. The award is given to tabletop games released in German-speaking countries, so understand not all games qualify for the award. Previous winners include Codenames, Colt Express and Camel Up to name a few (wow three games starting with 'C' in a row?).
The prize does not come with any money connected to it but winners are able to use the award in their publicity which has been a major selling point for many of the games that have recieved the award. The addition sales of games that are awarded game of the year typically reaches the hundreds of thousands. The awards come in three categories: The Spiel des Jahres (Game of the year), the Kennerspiel des Jahres (Connoisseur-gamer Game of the Year) and the Kinderspiel des Jahres (Childrens Game of the Year).
|Kingdomino||Bruno Cathala||Pegasus Spiele||Winner|
|Magic Maze||Kasper Lapp||Pegasus Spiele||Nominee|
|Wettlauf nach El Dorado||Reiner Knizia||Ravensburger||Nominee|
Kingdomino comes to us from legendary designer Bruno Cathala (Shadows Over Camelot, Five Tribes). The goal of the game is to seek new land and to expand your kingdom. The game is dominoes with a kingdom building twist.
|Exit: The Game||Inka Brand and Markus Brand||Kosmos||Winner|
|Raiders of the North Sea||Shem Philips||Garphill Games||Nominee|
|Terraforming Mars||Jakob Fryxelius||Stronghold Games||Nominee|
The Kennerspiel is aimed at games for players who are already familiar with the hobby. Exit: The Game comes in a variety of flavours, the first three of those being "The Abandoned Cabin", "The Pharaoh's Tomb" and "The Secret Lab". There are three more titles of the series already released in Germany and even more are slated for a release soon.
|Ice Cool||Brian Gomez||Amigo||Winner|
|Captain Silver||Wolfgang Dirscherl and Manfred Reindl||Queen Games||Nominee|
|Der Mysteriöse Wald||Carlo A. Rossi||Iello||Nominee|
This award is reserved for games targeted at younger audiences. This years winner is Ice Cool, a dexterity game where players flick penguins around the board. The game is innovative and has a beautiful design, both important features of any kids game.