The Spiel des Jahres jury announced their nominees and recommendations this morning. Congratulations to the nominees!
We’ve listed them below, but we’ve only put in the names of the German publishers (or what we assume is the German publisher). Links are to our past reviews.
One important bit of news from this morning (assuming a correct translation): some games released in March 2020 will be eligible next year, as they couldn’t be played enough due to the pandemic. Also out this morning, Essen Spiel ’20 is cancelled.
Spiel des Jahres:
My City, Designed by Reiner Knizia, Published by Kosmos
Nova Luna, Designed by Uwe Rosenberg and Corné van Moorsel, Published by Edition Spielwiese and Pegasus Spiele
Pictures, Designed by Christian Stöhr and Daniela Stöhr, Published by PD Verlag
Recommendations went to Color Brain, Draftosaurus, The Fox in the Forest, Kitchen Rush, Little Town, and Spicy.
Kennerspiel des Jahres:
Cartographers, Designed by Jordy Adan, Published by Pegasus
The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine, Designed by Thomas Sing, Published by Kosmos
The King’s Dilemma, Designed by Hjalmar Hach and Lorenzo Silva, Published by Horrible Guild and HeidelBÄR Games
Recommendations went to Paladins of the West Kingdom, Res Arcana, and Underwater Cities.
Kinderspiel des Jahres:
Foto Fish, Designed by Michael Kallauch, Published by LOGIS
Speedy Roll, Designed by Urtis Šulinskas, Published by Piatnik
Wir sind die Roboter, Designed by Reinhard Staupe, Published by NSV
Recommendations can be found here.
More information is available on the jury’s website. The winners will be announced on July 20 for the Spiel and Kennerspiel. The Kinderspiel winner will be announced June 15.
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The City and The Crew seem like obvious choices. At least they get my votes.
I’m with you on that. Pictures feels like underproduced Dixit. I liked Nova Luna, but it gets a bit “same-y” after about 10 plays. I have not played The King’s Dilemma, but I’d have a hard time seeing it beat The Crew.
I’ve spotted an error in the SdJ recommendations list – it was Little Town that got a recommendation, not Tiny Towns.
Fixed. Thanks! I originally had that, then saw Tiny Towns elsewhere and fixed it. I should have trusted what I saw on the stream this morning!
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KdJ list is kinda ridiculous. Not even a single “boardgame” in the nominated games. Then the recommended games swing the pendulum all the way to the other extreme with the very long Underwater Cities and Paladins of the West Kingdom. This category has a major identity crisis.
That’s a fair criticism, Curt, and one that the OGer’s have been discussing among ourselves quite a bit today. I hadn’t really picked up that none of the KdJ nominees are truly “boardgames”, but it’s true, as is the contrast with the fairly meaty Underwater Cities and Paladins. Suffice it to say that the KdJ appears to be a moving target that seems to shift from year to year (remember, Terraforming Mars got a nomination only 3 years ago). Hopefully, good games will be recognized, but rest assured that you’re not the only person who is puzzled by exactly what the KdJ’s are supposed to represent.
To add to that (and I’m going to say this again in a post later today):
Having Cartographers and My City in different categories makes practically no sense to me. I’ve written enough words on the history of the Spiel des Jahres to literally fill a book, but in the awards 40+ year history, I can’t think of anything as confusing as this. They’re very much the same central mechanic: you flip a card with a different polyomino on it. In My City you place it, in Cartographers, you fill it in. In Cartographers, the rules are the same game to game, but scoring changes. In My City, scoring AND the rules change. I guess it probably takes an extra minute to learn Cartographers, but in the end, I just don’t see My City as simpler than Cartographers, especially for the later games of the My City campaign.
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I wonder if KdJ should just really rebrand themselves as an award for games in the mid-weight category. If you look at their past winners starting from 2011, only one game: Village weighted more than “3” on the BGG complexity scale while DSP has 6.
Even though some games like Terraforming Mars have been nominated, they don’t win.
Really, what the jury is selecting are mid-weight level Euros.
On some level, perhaps the Jury are indeed more slanted toward family gaming, even for KdJ and hence the distinction from DSP (which I assume are more gamers?)
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