The Spiel des Jahres is a prestigious tabletop game award from Germany—these are basically like the board game equivalent of “Best Picture.” It comes in three flavors: the Kinderspiel is for kids’ games, the Kennerspiel is for “hobbyist” games, and the Spiel des Jahres is for family games. (After the introduction of the Kennerspiel, the focus of the SdJ shifted a little more toward games for the whole family, including non-gamers.)
We posted about this year’s nominees back in May, and the winners were announced today.
The Kinderspiel des Jahres was awarded to Valley of the Vikings (Tal der Wikinger), designed by Marie Fort and Wilfried Fort, and published by HABA Games. I wasn’t familiar with this one myself, but it’s a dexterity game that involves bowling over barrels with a giant wooden ball (and also trying to get your Vikings onto the best spaces on the dock).
The Spiel des Jarhes was awarded to Just One, designed by Ludovic Roudy and Bruno Sautter, and published by Repos Production. It’s a cooperative word game that has been very popular at conventions lately. The idea is that one person must guess a word from a card, and everyone else provides clues. The catch is that each clue may only be a single word, and any duplicate clues are erased before presenting them to the guesser. Choosing clues that are obvious enough for the guesser but not so obvious that somebody else would choose the same clue is where the fun (and the frustration!) comes in.
Finally, the Kennerspiel des Jahres was awarded to Wingspan, designed by Elizabeth Hargrave and published by Stonemaier Games. I was particularly excited for this one, which earned a GeekDad Approved seal when Dave Banks reviewed it earlier this year. Wingspan is an engine-building game, but the theme is about collecting and spotting birds and placing them into their corresponding habitats.
Congratulations to all the nominees and the winners!