The 2018 winner of the coveted German Game of the Year or Spiel des Jahres award is Azul. This has been a very popular game within the group and to us has been the stand-out game this year since Essen. It is very easy to teach with a surprising amount of depth and is beautifully produced, making it a game we are always happy to play. The Kennerspiel des Jahres was awarded at the same time. This honours more challenging games and this year was awarded to Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg. So far this has only been released in German, so we have not been able to play it yet. In addition, there was a special award for for Pandemic Legacy: Season 2, which the jury felt was the benchmark against which all other legacy games should be judged. The Kinderspiel des Jahres award was announced last month and went to Funkelschatz (aka Dragon’s Breath) which is dexterity gem collecting game.
Spiel des Jahres Azul by Michael Kiesling Luxor by Rüdiger Dorn The Mind by Wolfgang Warsch
Firstly, more than half of the nominees were designed by either Wolfgang Warsch, or Michael Kiesling, so huge congratulations to them. In our view, Azul richly deserves it’s nomination and it would be no surprise if it ultimately wins the award. Of the other two nominations for the “red pöppel”, The Mind has received quite a lot of attention, and is a bit like a cross between Hanabi and The Game (both of which have been acknowledged by the Jury in the past, in 2013 and 2015 respectively). Luxor has a good pedigree as it is designed by Rüdiger Dorn (also designer of The Traders of Genoa, Goa, Istanbul, and one of our group favourites, Las Vegas), but it is a bit more of an unknown as it has only just come out. 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 23rd July (Kinderspiel des Jahres winners will be announced in Hamburg on 11th June).