Spiel des Jahres Nominees for 2020 announced

May 18, 2020 - 1:52pm

The nominations for the illustrious Spiel des Jahres awards have just been announced from Germany. Spiel des Jahres, formed in 1978, gives three awards each year, plus a variable number of recognitions, recommendations, and special awards. These awards are generally considered the most respected in board games.

The original Spiel des Jahres is an award for the best family weight game, first given in 1979 to Hare and Tortoise by David Parlett. Recommendations for 2020 were Color Brain by Tristan Williams, The Fox in the Forest by Joshua Buergel, Draftosaurus by Antoine BauzaCorentin LebratLudovic Maublanc, and Théo Rivière, Little Town by Shun and Aya Taguchi, Kitchen Rush by Vangelis Bagiartakis and Dávid Turczi, and Spicy by Győri Zoltán Gábor. This year’s three nominations include:

My City by Doctor Reiner Knizia, a city building, tile-laying, legacy board game. In My City, 2-4 players work over the course of 24 games manipulating their landscape board, placing building tiles of varied shapes and colors, following a deck of drawn cards.

Nova Luna by Uwe Rosenberg and Corné van Moorsel, is a tile-laying game with a twist for 1-4 players. Each tile has its both own color, and achievements for placing neighboring colors. Once players attach the required colors, they place one of their disks on the achievement; the first to use all of their disks wins.  

Pictures by Christian and Daniela Stöhr is a party game for 3-5 players. In Pictures, players try to copy a picture using blocks, sticks, stones, icons, cubes and rope. After their homage is presented, the correct picture must be identified from a tableau of 16 candidates.

The Kennerspiel des Jahres, or Connoisseur/Expert Game of the year, was a category started in 2011, first won by Antoine Bauza’s masterpiece 7 Wonders. Recommendations this year were Res Arcana by Thomas Lehmann, Paladins of the West Kingdom by Shem Phillips and S J Macdonald, and Underwater Cities by Vladimír Suchý. The three nominations for 2020 include:

Cartographers: A Roll Player’s Tale by Jordy Adan, a roll and write game for 1-100, wherein players draw different terrains on their map sheet, trying to meet certain criteria for points each season. Other players can draw monsters on your sheet, disrupting your carefully laid plans.

The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine by Thomas Sing, a cooperative trick taking card game for 3-5 players. In The Crew, players use standard trick taking skills and limited communication to complete 50 different challenges.

The King’s Dilemma by Hjalmar Hach and Lorenzo Silva, a story telling, legacy board game for 3-5 players. In the Kings Dilemma, players take on the role of advisors to the failing king, making difficult ethical decisions to advance their power at court.

The Kinderspiel des Jahres is the award for outstanding children’s games, first started in 1989, when it was won by Alex Randolph’s Gute Freunde. This years nominees were Foto Fish by Michael Kallauch, Speedy Roll (Hedgehog Roll) by Urtis Šulinskas, and Wir Sind Die Roboter by Reinhard Staupe.

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