Every year, in May, the nominees are announced for the most prestigious award in board gaming, the Spiel des Jahres. There are typically three categories, the Kinderspiel (children’s game) , the Kennerspiel (“expert’s” game) and the most desirable of all, the family award, the Spiel des Jahres. The nominees for this year’s award have been announced as:
Last year the group picked out the eventual winner, Azul, after playing it at Essen, but this year nobody really had much idea of what would be nominated. While we enjoyed the sequel to Azul, Stained Glass of Sintra, we felt it was not in the same league as its predecessor. This year the games generally seem to be light, almost party games. Our personal favourite for the “Red Poppel” was probably Echidna Shuffle, but we knew that was unlikely to make the cut for other reasons. Those who had played it felt that Teotihuacan: City of Gods was in with a shout for the Kennerspiel award, but in truth, that it was probably a little too complex. Wingspan was the only game from this year’s nominees that the group had really picked up on, and is planned as a “Feature Game” for later in the year.
Usually the Kennerspiel Prize winners are a good fit to our group, but this year they are also largely unknown to us, so there is clearly a lot to discover before the winners are announced in Berlin on 22nd July (Kinderspiel des Jahres winners will be announced a month earlier in Hamburg on 24th June).