Spiel des Jahres

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The Spiel des Jahres (German for Game of the Year) is an award for board and card games, created in 1978 with the stated purpose of rewarding excellence in game design, and promoting top-quality games in the German market.[1] It is thought that the existence and popularity of the award is one of the major drivers of the quality of games coming out of Germany. A Spiel des Jahres nomination can increase the typical sales of a game from 500-3000 copies to around 10,000; and the winner can usually expect to sell 300,000 to 500,000 copies.[2]

Award criteria[edit]

The award is given by a jury of German-speaking board game critics (from Germany, Austria, Switzerland),[1] who review games released in Germany in the preceding twelve months. The games considered for the award are family-style games. War games, role-playing games, collectible card games, and other complicated, highly-competitive, or hobbyist games are outside the scope of the award. Since 1989, there has been a separate award for children's games.

On occasion, the jury has awarded a special prize for more complex games, such as Agricola in 2008 or World Without End in 2010. Prior to 2011, this award was an exceptional award, not necessarily awarded annually. In 2011, however, this practice was formalized when the jury created a new category for more complex games entitled "Kennerspiel des Jahres" (roughly "Connoisseur-Enthusiast Game of the Year"). Along with the nominations, the jury also gives a list of recommended games, and occasionally gives out special prizes for games which will not be considered for the main award.

The criteria on which a game is evaluated are,:[3]

  1. game concept (originality, playability, game value)
  2. rule structure (composition, clearness, comprehensibility)
  3. layout (box, board, rules),
  4. design (functionality, workmanship)

2014 awards[edit]

The nominations for the 2014 awards were announced on May 19, 2014. The Children's Game of the Year was announced on June 23, and the Game of the Year and Connoisseur's Game of the Year were announced on July 14.

Game of the Year
Game Designer Publisher Award
Camel Up Steffen Bogen Eggertspiele Winner
Concept Gaëtan Beaujannot and Alain Rivollet Repos Production Nominee
Splendor (board game) Marc Andre Space Cowboys Nominee
Connoisseur-gamer Game of the Year
Game Designer Publisher Award
Istanbul Rüdiger Dorn Pegasus Spiele Winner
Rococo Matthias Cramer, Louis Malt and Stefan Malz Eggertspiele Nominee
Concordia Mac Gerdts PD-Verlag Nominee
Children's Game of the Year
Game Designer Publisher Award
Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchmeister! Brian Yu Mattel Games Winner
Flizz & Miez Klemens Franz, Hanno Girke, Dale Yu Stadlbauer Nominee
Richard Ritterschlag Johannes Zirm Haba Nominee

2013 awards[edit]

The nominations for the 2013 awards were announced on May 21, 2013 and the Spiel and Kennerspiel winners were announced on July 8, 2013. The Kinderspiel (Children's) Game of the Year was announced on June 12, 2013.

Game of the Year
Game Designer Publisher Award
Hanabi Antoine Bauza Asmodée Éditions Winner
Augustus Paolo Mori Hurrican Nominee
Qwixx Steffan Benndorf GameFactory Nominee
Connoisseur-gamer Game of the Year
Game Designer Publisher Award
Legends of Andor Michael Menzel Fantasy Flight Games Winner
Bruges Stefan Feld Hans im Glück Nominee
The Palaces of Carrara Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer Hans im Glück Nominee
Children's Game of the Year
Game Designer Publisher Award
Der verzauberte Turm Inka and Markus Brand Schmidt Spiele Winner
Gold am Orinoko Bernhard Weber Haba Nominee
Mucca Pazza Iris Rossbach Zoch Nominee

2012 awards[edit]

The nominations for the 2012 awards were announced on May 21, 2012 and winners on July 9, 2012.

Game of the Year
Game Designer Publisher Award
Kingdom Builder Donald X. Vaccarino Queen Games Winner
Vegas Rüdiger Dorn Alea/Ravensburger Nominee
Eselsbrücke Stefan Dorra and Ralf zur Linde Schmidt Spiele Nominee
Connoisseur-gamer Game of the Year
Game Designer Publisher Award
Village Inka Brand and Markus Brand Pegasus Spiele Winner
K2 Adam Kaluza Heidelberger Spieleverlag Nominee
Targi Andreas Steiger Kosmos Nominee
Children's Game of the Year
Game Designer Publisher Award
Schnappt Hubi! Steffen Bogen Ravensburger Winner
Spinnengift und Krötenschleim Klaus Teuber Kosmos Nominee
Die kleinen Drachenritter Marco Teubner HUCH! & friends Nominee

2011 awards[edit]

The nominations for the 2011 awards were announced on May 23, 2011 and winners on June 27, 2011. This was the first year the Connoisseur-gamer Game of the Year award was given, an award for more complex games.

Game of the Year
Game Designer Publisher Award
Qwirkle Susan McKinley Ross Mindware Spiele Winner
Asara Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling Ravensburger Nominee
Forbidden Island Matt Leacock Schmidt Spiele Nominee
Connoisseur-gamer Game of the Year
Game Designer Publisher Award
7 Wonders Antoine Bauza Repos Production Winner
Strasbourg Stefan Feld Pegasus Spiele Nominee
Lancaster Matthias Cramer Queen Games Nominee

2010 awards[edit]

The nominations for the 2010 award were announced on May, 31 2010 and winner on June 28, 2010.

Game Of The Year
Game Designer Publisher Award
Dixit Jean-Louis Roubira Libellud Winner
Identik William P. Jacobson and Amanda A. Kohout Asmodee Nominee
A la Carte Karl-Heinz Schmiel Moskito/Heidelberger Nominee
Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age Matt Leacock Pegasus Spiele Nominee
Fresco Marco Ruskowski and Marcel Süßelbeck Queen Games Nominee

2009 awards[edit]

The nominations for the 2009 award were announced on May 24, 2009 and winner on June 29, 2009.

Game Of The Year
Game Designer Publisher Award
Dominion Donald X. Vaccarino Hans im Glück Winner
FITS Reiner Knizia Ravensburger Nominee
Finca Ralf zur Linde, Wolfgang Sentker Hans im Glück Nominee
Fauna Friedemann Friese HUCH & Friends Nominee
Pandemic Matt Leacock Pegasus Spiele Nominee
Special Prizes
Game Designer Publisher Award
Party game GiftTRAP Nick Kellet GiftTRAP Enterprises Party Game award
Space Alert Vlaada Chvatil Czech Games Edition New Game Worlds award

2008 awards[edit]

The nominations for the 2008 award were announced on May 25, 2008 and winner on June 30, 2008.

Game Of The Year
Game Designer Publisher Award
Keltis Reiner Knizia Kosmos Winner
Stone Age Michael Tummelhofer Hans im Glück Nominee
Witch's Brew Andreas Pelikan alea/Ravensburger Nominee
Blox Wolfgang Kramer, Jürgen P.K. Grunau, Hans Raggan Ravensburger Nominee
Suleika Dominique Ehrhard Zoch Spiele Nominee
Special Prize
Game Designer Publisher Award
Agricola Uwe Rosenberg Lookout Games Complex Game award

2007 awards[edit]

The nominations for the 2007 award were announced on May 20, 2007. The five games nominated were:

Zooloretto was announced as winner on June 25, 2007.

2006 awards[edit]

The nominations for the 2006 award were announced on May 28, 2006. The five games nominated were:

Thurn and Taxis was announced as winner on July 17, 2006.

Along with the nominations, the jury also assigned two special prizes for games which it felt were too demanding to count as 'family style' games.[4]

2005 awards[edit]

The nominations for the 2005 award were announced on May 8, 2005. The five games nominated were:

Niagara was announced to be the winner on June 27, 2005.

Previous winners[edit]

Game of the year[edit]

Year Winner Designer Publisher
2014 Camel Up Steffen Bogen Eggertspiele
2013 Hanabi Antoine Bauza Abacusspiele
2012 Kingdom Builder Donald X. Vaccarino Queen Games
2011 Qwirkle Susan McKinley Ross Mindware Spiele
2010 Dixit Jean-Louis Roubira Libellud
2009 Dominion Donald X. Vaccarino Rio Grande Games
2008 Keltis Reiner Knizia Kosmos
2007 Zooloretto Michael Schacht Abacus Spiele
2006 Thurn and Taxis Andreas Seyfarth and Karen Seyfarth Hans im Glück
2005 Niagara Thomas Liesching Zoch Verlag
2004 Ticket to Ride Alan R. Moon Days of Wonder
2003 Alhambra Dirk Henn Queen Games
2002 Villa Paletti Bill Payne Zoch Verlag
2001 Carcassonne Klaus-Jürgen Wrede Hans im Glück
2000 Torres Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling Ravensburger
1999 Tikal Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling Ravensburger
1998 Elfenland Alan R. Moon Amigo Spiele
1997 Mississippi Queen Werner Hodel Goldsieber
1996 El Grande Wolfgang Kramer and Richard Ulrich Hans im Glück
1995 The Settlers of Catan Klaus Teuber Kosmos
1994 Manhattan Andreas Seyfarth Hans im Glück
1993 Call my Bluff Richard Borg F.X. Schmid
1992 Um Reifenbreite Rob Bontenbal Jumbo
1991 Drunter und Drüber Klaus Teuber Hans im Glück
1990 Adel Verpflichtet Klaus Teuber F.X. Schmid
1989 Café International Rudi Hoffmann Mattel
1988 Barbarossa Klaus Teuber Altenburger und Stralsunder
1987 Auf Achse Wolfgang Kramer F.X. Schmid
1986 Top Secret Spies Wolfgang Kramer Ravensburger
1985 Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Raymond Edwards, Suzanne Goldberg and Gary Grady Kosmos
1984 Railway Rivals David Watts Schmidt Spiele
1983 Scotland Yard Werner Schlegel, Dorothy Garrels, Fritz Ifland, Manfred Burggraf, Werner Scheerer and Wolf Hoermann Ravensburger
1982 Enchanted Forest Alex Randolph and Michel Matschoss Ravensburger
1981 Focus Sid Sackson Parker
1980 Rummikub Ephraim Hertzano Intelli
1979 Hare and Tortoise David Parlett Ravensburger

Connoisseurs' game of the year[edit]

Year Winner Designer Publisher
2014 Istanbul Rüdiger Dorn Pegasus Spiele
2013 Legends of Andor Michael Menzel Fantasy Flight Games
2012 Village Inka Brand and Markus Brand eggertspiele and its partner Pegasus Spiele
2011 7 Wonders Antoine Bauza Repos Production

Children's game of the year[edit]

Year Winner Designer Publisher
2014 Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchmeister! Brian Yu Mattel Games
2013 Der verzauberte Turm Inka and Markus Brand Schmidt/Marke Drei Magier Spiele
2012 Schnappt Hubi! Steffen Bogen Ravensburger
2011 Da ist der Wurm drin Carmen Kleinert Zoch
2010 Diego Drachenzahn Manfred Ludwig HABA
2009 Das magische Labyrinth Dirk Baumann Drei Magier Spiele
2008 Wer war's? Reiner Knizia Ravensburger
2007 Beppo der Bock Peter Schackert Huch & Friends
2006 Der Schwarze Pirat Guido Hoffmann Habermaaß
2005 Das Kleine Gespenst Kai Haferkamp Kosmos
2004 Spooky Stairs
(German title: Geistertreppe)
Michelle Schanen Drei Magier Spiele
2003 Viva Topo! Manfred Ludwig Selecta
2002 The Ladybug's Costume Party
(German title: Maskenball der Käfer)
Peter-Paul Joopen Selecta
2001 Klondike Christian Wolf and Stefanie Rohner Habermaaß
2000 Arbos Armin Müller and Martin Arnold M+A Spiel
1999 Kayanak Peter-Paul Joopen Habermaaß
1998 Chicken Cha Cha Cha Klaus Zoch Zoch Verlag
1997 Leinen Los! Alex Randolph Habermaaß
1996 Noah's Park
(German title: Vier zu Mir)
Heike Baum Altenburger und Stralsunder
1995 Karambolage Heinz Meister Habermaaß
1994 Loopin' Louie Carol Wiseley Milton Bradley
1993 Ringel Rangel Geni Wyss Habermaaß
1992 Galloping Pigs
(German title: Schweinsgalopp)
Heinz Meister Ravensburger
1991 Corsaro - Irrfahrt im Piratenmeer Wolfgang Kramer Herder
1990 My Haunted Castle
(German title: Das Geisterschloss)
Virginia Charves F.X. Schmid
1989 Gute Freunde Alex Randolph Selecta

Special awards[edit]

Year Prize Winner Designer Publisher
2010 Game Of The Year plus World Without End Michael Rieneck and Stefan Stadler Kosmos
2009 Party game Gift Trap Nick Kellet GiftTRAP Enterprises
New game worlds Space Alert Vlaada Chvátil Czech Games Edition
2008 Complex game Agricola Uwe Rosenberg Lookout Games
2007 no special prizes awarded
2006 Complex game Caylus William Attia Ẏstari Games
Fantasy game Shadows Over Camelot Serge Laget and Bruno Cathala Days of Wonder
2005 no special prizes awarded
2004 no special prizes awarded
2003 no special prizes awarded
2002 no special prizes awarded
2001 Historical game Troia Thomas Fackler Zeitstein Spiele
Literary game Lord of the Rings Reiner Knizia Kosmos
2000 no special prizes awarded
1999 no special prizes awarded
1998 no special prizes awarded
1997 Dexterity game Husarengolf Torsten Marold Abacus
Beautiful game Aztec Niek Neuwahl Zoch Spiele
1996 Dexterity game Carabande Jean du Poel Goldsieber
Beautiful game Venice Connection Alex Randolph Drei Magier Spiele
1995 Puzzle 3D Krimi-Puzzle no specific designer Milton Bradley
Beautiful game Tri-Ba-Lance Michael Sohre Theta Promotions
1994 Beautiful game Doctor Faust Reinhold Wittig Blatz Spiele
1993 Beautiful game Kula Kula Reinhold Wittig Blatz Spiele
1992 no special prizes awarded
1991 Beautiful game Master Labyrinth Max Kobbert Ravensburger
1990 Beautiful game Life Style no specific designer Ravensburger
1989 Beautiful game Henne Berta Geni Wyss Habermaaß
1988 Cooperative family game Sauerbaum Johannes Tranelis Herder
Beautiful game Inkognito Alex Randolph and Leo Colovini Milton Bradley
1987 Beautiful game Tatort Nachtexpress Jeff Smets Jumbo
1986 Beautiful game Müller & Sohn Reinhold Wittig Kosmos
1985 Beautiful game Die drei Magier Johann Rüttinger Drei Magier Spiele
1984 Beautiful game Uisge Roland Siegers Hexagames
1983 Beautiful game Wir füttern die kleinen Nilpferde Reinhold Wittig Edition Perlhuhn
1982 Beautiful game Skript Henri Sala Jumbo
1981 Beautiful game Ra Marco Donadoni International Team
1980 Solitaire Rubik's Cube Ernő Rubik Arxon
Beautiful game Spiel Reinhold Wittig Edition Perlhuhn
1979 Beautiful game Seti no specific designer Bütehorn

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dale Yu. "Interview with Tom Werneck, Spiel des Jahres jury member - Part 1 of 3". The Opinionated Gamers. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  2. ^ Scott Tepper cited in Stewart Woods (2012). Eurogames: The Design, Culture and Play of Modern European Board Games. McFarland. p. 221. ISBN 978-0-7864-9065-3. 
  3. ^ http://www.spiel-des-jahres.com/cms/front_content.php?idcat=123&changelang=4
  4. ^ "Boardgame News article". Retrieved 2006-05-30. 

External links[edit]