Each year a jury of German-speaking board game critics (from Germany, Austria, Switzerland), review all the games released in Germany in the preceding twelve months. Their job is a really important one amongst gamers, because they award the coveted Spiel des Jahres, the German Game of the Year. There are also other awards including the Kinderspiel and Kennerspiel des Jahres (Childrens’ and Connoisseurs’ Games of the Year). These awards are highly lucrative for the winners as many German families look for the red logo when choosing games to buy at Christmas.
|– Image from spieldesjahres.de|
The criteria used by the judges include:
- game concept (originality, playability, game value),
- design (functionality, workmanship),
- layout (box, board, rules),
- rule structure (composition, clearness, comprehensibility).
The announcement of the Spiel and Kennerspiel des Jahres awards will be made early in July. Last year, the winner was Camel Up with Splendor as runner-up and Istanbul taking the Kennerspiel des Jahres award. The nominees for this year have just been announced and this year, unusually, we haven’t played any of them in the group yet. However, one of our more popular two-player games, Patchwork was included as a recommended game and we are planning to play one of the nominees, Machi Koro, this week.