While the worldwide board gaming community has plenty of awards ceremonies, arguably the most important is still the "Spiel des Jahres" (Game of the Year) award issued by German-speaking game critics from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.and more »
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EnlargeThinkstockWhile the worldwide board gaming community has plenty of awards ceremonies, arguably the most important is still the "Spiel des Jahres" (Game of the Year) award issued by German-speaking game critics from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Past winners have included everything from Catan to Qwirkle, and winningÂ ensures solid sales and (very occasionally) fame and fortune.
Nominees aren't necessarily guaranteed to be everyone's favorite games fromÂ the past year. ButÂ as far asÂ the influential German board gaming establishment is concerned, these are the best of the best when it comes to games that everyone can enjoy.Â We decided to put all six nomineesÂ to the test by rounding up some past coverage, adding some new reviews, and rolling the whole thing together into a massive one-stop shop for all thingsÂ SdJ.
This year, the nominees for theÂ main "Spiel des Jahres" prize, which focuses on family-friendly games, areÂ Imhotep, Karuba, and Codenames. Fighting for the top spot in the "Kennerspiel" category, which tackles slightly more complex games that are still accessible to a wide audience, areÂ Pandemic Legacy, T.I.M.E Stories, and Isle of Skye. If the prizes were handed out by popularity alone,Â CodenamesÂ andÂ Pandemic Legacy would be shoo-ins.
But you never can tell which way the Spiel des Jahres jury will go; we'll just have to wait and see when the winners areÂ announced on July 18. (The winner of the children's "Kinderspiel" category was already announced; the award went to the kiddieÂ version of the worker placement classicÂ Stone Age.Â LeoÂ andÂ Mmm!Â were the other finalists.)
If you're interested in digging deeper than the three finalists for each prize, the jury also released lists of additional "recommended" games for the Spiel des Jahres and the Kennerspiel. The Kennerspiel list in particular is full of games we love, includingÂ the Viking smash-'em-upÂ Blood Rage, which we reviewed earlier this year.
Note that all but one of theÂ games came out in 2015; to be considered for the award, aÂ game hasÂ to have been released in Germany within the past 12 months. Also, many of these games are hot commodities at the moment and are thus in short supply at many online retailers. Your best bet for out-of-stock games (and for games in general) is toÂ head to your local game store.
Enlarge / The 2016 Spiel des Jahres jury.Spiel des Jahres
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