Tag Archives: Paleo

Spiel des Jahres Nominations 2022

The nominations for the three categories of Spiel des Jahres have been announced.  This is arguably the main award in board gaming and is the one everyone wants to win.  There are 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 awards have been announced as:

In recent years, there has been an increasing tendency by the committee to reward games that challenge the conventional idea of a game.  This was certainly true with Last year’s winner, MicroMacro: Crime City, which is very different to traditional games and arguably is more a cooperative crime-solving activity using the medium of “Where’s Wally?“.  The “game” is played on a large monochrome map, with a deck of cards. The cards ask questions with the answers to the questions on the map. In turn, these lead the players to the solution to each of the sixteen cases.

– Image by BGG contributor Hipopotam

The Kennerspiel des Jahres award which honours slightly more challenging games, went to Paleo and the Kinderspiel des Jahres award winner was Dragomino, a children’s version of Kingdomino (which won the main prize in 2017).  Paleo is a co-operative campaign game, where players try to keep the human beings in their care alive while completing challenges.  With the games honoured by the main award becoming lighter over the years, we have found the Kennerpiel des Jahres is generally a better fit to our tastes.  However, campaign and legacy games are not well suited to groups where the people playing games are different from week to week, and many people don’t like cooperative games too, so it will be interesting how this award changes in coming years.

– Image by from spiel-des-jahres.de

The judges will be meeting 17-19th June in Hamburg, with the Kinderspiel award announced on 20th June.  The Spiel and Kennerspiel des Jahres announcements are a month later on 16th July in Berlin.

Deutscher Spiele Preis – 2021

After last year, it has been refreshing to return to a semblance of normality with the announcement of the Deutscher Spiele Preis at Essen.  Unlike the Spiel des Jahres Award which is chosen by a committee with a list of strict criteria, the Deutscher Spiele Preis is the result of an open vote by games clubs, gamers and people in the industry.  Typically, slightly heavier games are rewarded, but it is a top ten list, so it caters for a range of tastes and complexities and the organisers are always keen to remind people that everyone who features is a winner.

– Image by BGG contributor Hipopotam

As usual, the games that feature in the Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres Awards also feature high on the list with the winners, MicroMacro: Crime City and Paleo occupying second and fourth on the Deutscher Spiele Preis list, respectively.  The Adventures of Robin Hood, Everdell and Praga Caput Regni also make the top ten, but unusually the winner is a game that did not feature at all in the previous awards list, and is a cooperative game for children called Dodo.

Dodo
– Image used with permission
of boardgamephotos

In Dodo, the feather-brained bird has laid its egg on the highest mountain peak and let it fall out of the nest, towards the cliff edge.  Players work as a team to try to ensure the rolling egg safely reaches the foot of the mountain by collecting the building material they need, hammers and nails, and attaching bridges to the sides of the mountain.  So far it has only had a German language release and very little has been written about the game online in English.  Therefore it may be that the game owes its success to the fact that few people were playing games face-to-face when the voting was carried out.  It sounds like it might be fun though and certainly deserves a look.

Deutscher Spiele Pries 2021
– Image from
spiel-messe.com

Essen 2021

Today is the first day of this year’s Internationale Spieltage.   Known to Gamers worldwide simply as “SPIEL” or “Essen”, this is the largest games fair in Europe (and arguably the world), and is held annually in Germany.  The fair runs from Thursday to Sunday in October every year, and is of particular significance as many new releases are timed to coincide with the event just in time for Christmas sales.

Essen 2021
– Image from spiel-messe.com

It is one of the biggest and most significant of all the boardgame conventions.  Last year, like so many things, it fell victim to the global pandemic, and instead was held online, in a format that was widely considered unsatisfactory (especially to those used to visiting in person).  This year, there will again be a “virtual” event, but this time held alongside the “Real Spiel”, an event with limited ticket numbers and virus control measures in place.  Safety concerns and worries about practicalities mean the show will be much, much smaller than usual with only 60% of the usual attendees and many exhibitors noticeable by their absence.

Essen 2019
– Image by boardGOATS

Absentees include, 2F-Spiele, Cwali, Splotter, BoardGameGeek, and even the mighty Asmodee and all their subsidiaries.  As a result, this year, Essen is likely to feel more like the smaller, more intimate event of years gone by.  There are still lots of games making their debut though, including Messina 1347, Golem, Boonlake, Llamaland, It’s a Wonderful Kingdom, Cascadia and expansions for Keyper (Keper at Sea) and the 2021 Kennerspiel-winning game Paleo (Ein neuer Anfang!).  Sadly, none of the boardGOATS will be there to see them though.  Maybe next year…

Essen 2021
– Image from spiel-messe.com

Spiel des Jahres Winners – 2021

The 2021 winner of the coveted German Game of the Year or Spiel des Jahres award has been announced as MicroMacro: Crime City.  This is an unusual choice in that it is very different to most traditional games and arguably is more a cooperative crime-solving activity using the medium of “Where’s Wally?“.  The “game” is played on a large monochrome map, with a deck of cards.  The cards ask questions with the answers to the questions on the map.  In turn, these lead the players to the solution to each of the sixteen cases.

– Image by BGG contributor Hipopotam

As a family challenge, MicroMacro: Crime City can certainly be a lot of fun, though it might not be seen as a game in the traditional sense.  There has been an increasing tendency by the committee to reward games that challenge the conventional idea of a game, with notable nominees including the 2018 Spiel des Jahres nominee The Mind, 2019 Kennerspiel nominee Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game, and the 2017 Kennerspiel winner, the Exit: Das Spiel series.  While this may make games more relevant to more people, it also means the Spiel des Jahres awards increasingly are less applicable to more traditional gamers.

– Image by BGG contributor kalchio

As usual, the Kennerspiel des Jahres was awarded at the same ceremony. This award honours slightly more challenging games and this year went to Paleo. This is a co-operative campaign game, where players try to keep the human beings in their care alive while completing challenges. The Kinderspiel des Jahres award winner was announced last month and went to Dragomino, a children’s version of Kingdomino where players are hunting dragon eggs.  As usual, congratulations to all the winners and nominees, in what has been a very difficult year for everyone.

MicroMacro: Crime City
– Image adapted by boardGOATS from the
live stream video on spiel-des-jahres.de

Spiel des Jahres Nominations 2021

The nominations for the Spiel des Jahres have been announced.  There are 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 awards have been announced as:

  • Kinderspiel des Jahres
    Kinderspiel des Jahres 2019Dragomino by Bruno Cathala, Marie Fort and Wilfried Fort
    Fabelwelten (aka Storytailors) by Wilfried Fort and Marie Fort
    Mia London by Antoine Bauza and Corentin Lebrat

Last year, the winner of the Spiel des Jahres was Pictures, a game where players model the picture on their card using the available components, e.g. shoelaces, coloured cubes, etc.; players get points for correctly guessing other players images and for other players guessing their image.  This is considerably lighter than some of the earlier winners, notably, Tikal and El Grande, or even some of the best known winners like The Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne or Ticket to Ride.  As the main award winners have become lighter over the years, we have found the Kennerpiel des Jahres better fits to our tastes.  The Kennerspiel nominees are not especially complex games, but are typically a step up from the light, family-friendly games of the main prize, the Spiel des Jahres.

– Image by from spiel-des-jahres.de

Last year the Kennerspiel award went to The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine a game we have still been unable to play thanks to the global pandemic.  The Crew beat our preferred choice, Cartographers.  In contrast to The Crew, as a “Roll and Write” game, we have played Cartographers a lot.  So far, we are unfamiliar with the nominees this year and likely won’t get the chance to play any of them until some time after the winners have been announced (19th July in Berlin for the Kennerpiel and Spiel des Jahres Awards; 14th June for the Kinderspiel des Jahres).

Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale
– Image by boardGOATS