We’re a little late to the party, but the announcements for the Spiel des Jahres came out a while ago and there’s some great Australian news wrapped up in it.
For those that don’t know, the Spiel des Jahres (which translates to Game of the Year, but we’ll call SdJ from here on in) is an award given to the best game of the last year that was released in Germany as decided by the German gaming press. Boardgame reviews appear in lots of print mediums in Germany somewhat like movie reviews appear here in the press.
There’s actually three awards, the SdJ (which tends to focus on family games), the Kennerspiel des Jahres (the game for those in the know… or the more complicated game) and the Kinderspiel des Jahres (the game of the year for kids). The winner for the Kinderspiel has been announced already, but the Kennerspiel and SdJ get announced on July 6.
Because of the ‘released in Germany’ in the last year, you get odd nominations and recommendations for games that have been out elsewhere in the world, such as this year, Machi Koro which was originally published in 2012 in Japan, but has taken a while to get translated to German.
So the two games which we’re excited about in our jingoistic way are
- Elysium by ex-pat Matthew Dunstan (now living in the UK, also designed Relic Runners) and UK designer Brett J. Gilbert. Elysium is nominated for the Kennerspiel.
- Cacao by NSW’s Philip Walker-Harding (who also designed Sushi Go, Pack of Heroes, Archeology and more). Cacao is a SdJ recommendation.