Like every other sphere, boardgames also receive awards, the best known of which is probably the Spiel des Jahres. The Deutscher Spiele Preis, or German Game Prize, is slightly less well known, but arguably better reflects the slightly more advanced, “Gamers Games”. There is usually quite a lot of overlap with the recommendations, nominees and winners of the Spiel des Jahres Awards, but the Deutscher Spiele Preis typically rewards a slightly heavier game, often more in line with Kennerspiel des Jahres category. This is especially likely to be true this year as the family Spiel des Jahres award, or “Red Pöppel” nominees, are particularly light. The most recent winners of the Deutscher Spiele Preis include, Azul, Terraforming Mars, Mombasa, The Voyages of Marco Polo, Russian Railroads and Terra Mystica, with only Azul, last year’s winner, featuring strongly in the Spiel des Jahres awards (the first game to win both awards since Dominion in 2009).
|– Image by boardGOATS|
Game weight is not the only difference between the two awards: The Spiel des Jahres nominees and winners are selected by a committee with a clearly defined list of criteria, whereas the Deutscher Spiele Preis (which is awarded at the International Spieltage, in Essen), is selected by a general vote which is open to anyone, players, journalists and dealers alike. The incoming votes are evaluated by an independent institute and only votes with details of the full name and address are valid (any duplicates are removed). All votes are treated the same with games placed first receiving five points, those placed second receiving four and so on.
|– Image by boardGOATS|
Only new games from the previous year are included in the ranking, so this year that’s games released since May 2018. Thus anything new at Essen last year or the Spielwarenmesse (Nürnberg) this year, is eligible. This includes Architects of the West Kingdom, Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra (the sequel to last year’s winner Azul), Dice Settlers, Endeavor: Age of Sail, Everdell, Key Flow, Newton, Reykholt, Solenia, and Teotihuacan: City of Gods, as well all the nominees and recommendations for the Spiel des Jahres award, like L.A.M.A., Wingspan and Carpe Diem.
|– Image from spiel-messe.com|
Voting is open until 31st July and there are hundreds of free games and tickets for the International Gamedays at Essen to win. It’s not necessary to submit a full list, so why not take the opportunity to vote for your favourite release of the year?