The winners of the coveted Spiel des Jahres awards have finally been announced. The Spiel Des Jahres could be described as the Oscars of the board game world. As always, three awards were presented, with each category having three nominees.
For those who may not know, the Spiel des Jahres is a set of awards first introduced in 1978. It was introduced to award board and card games that demonstrate excellence in terms of design, while also promoting quality games within the German market. The awards have become more influential over the years, with many winners seeing an increase in sales.
The Spiel des Jahres is split into three awards each year. You have the Kinderspiel, Kennerspiel and Spiel des Jahres.
- The Kinderspiel des Jahres is awarded to children’s games.
- The Kennerspiel des Jahres is to recognise games favoured by the hobbyist.
- The Spiel Des Jahres is for family games.
Each award carries much the same weight and for both the nominees and winners, it shows the game is one that provides a rewarding and enjoyable gaming experience while also excelling in elements such as design.
Spiel des Jahres - Just One
Werewords, LAMA and Just One were all nominated with Just One taking the top prize. Just One was designed by Ludovic Roudy and Bruno Sautter, and published by Repos Productions. In Just One, players must work together to discover as many hidden, mystery words as possible. Each player can give their teammates a clue but be careful, as any identical clues will be cancelled out, making you job even harder!
Kennerspiel des Jahres - Wingspan
The winner of the Kennerspiel Des Jahres is Wingspan. This game was designed by Elizabeth Hargrave and published by Stonemaier Games. In Wingspan, players take on the role of bird enthusiasts, seeking to attract various different species of birds to your network of wildlife preserves. Using various actions throughout the game, players look to score the most points over four rounds.
This game took the hobby by storm this year and has been incredibly popular, selling out almost instantly when it retail earlier this year! I love this game, and have had a fantastic experience with it! A well deserving winner of the award! The other nominations for the award this year were Carpe Diem and Detective: A Modern Crime Game.
Kinderspiel des Jahres - Valley of the Vikings
Valley of the Vikings has taken the Kinderspiel Des Jahres award. This game is published by HABA and designed Marie Fort and Wilfried Fort. The game centres around a barrel bowling contest, with players having to utilise their courage, skill and risk-taking to knock down the right barrels to capture gold coins and win the competition.
This is a fantastic kids game and one that I have heard many a positive review of, so it is good to see it recognised with this year’s award! The other nominations for the award this year were Go Gecko Go by Jurgen Adams and Fabulantica by Marco Teubner.
Congratulations to the winners of each category. Of course, just being nominated is a fantastic achievement for any game, so congratulations to those nominations that did not manage to take away the top prize.