Lost Ruins of Arnak Wins DSP Award!

The second of the major Game of the Year awards has been announced.  The winner of Germany’s Deutscher Spiele Preis (DSP) is Lost Ruins of ArnakArnak, which lost out to Paleo for the Kennerspiel award, this time bested both it and SdJ winner MicroMacro to take the DSP.  Arnak was designed by the husband and wife team of Min and Elwen (aka Michaela Stachova and Michal Stach).  It was published by Czech Games Edition and, remarkably, is the first DSP winner for that acclaimed publisher.

The DSP has been trending toward lighter titles lately.  Once, it was considered the heavier of Germany’s two major gaming awards (with winners like Terra Mystica, Russian Railroads, and Voyages of Marco Polo).  But these days, it’s been going to games comparable in weight to the Kennerspiel (the three previous winners were Azul, Wingspan, and The Crew), so Arnak fits in very nicely with those other middleweights.

The award for Best Children’s Game went to Dodo, by Marco Teubner and Frank Bebenroth and published by Kosmos.

Here are the top ten vote getters for the DSP, together with their designers.  Congratulations to the creative team behind Arnak, along with all the other nominated games!

  1. Lost Ruins of Arnak  (Michaela Stachova, Michal Stach)
  2. MicroMacro: Crime City  (Johannes Sich)
  3. The Adventures of Robin Hood  (Michael Menzel)
  4. Paleo  (Peter Rustemeyer)
  5. Aeon’s End  (Kevin Riley)
  6. Everdell  (James Wilson)
  7. Fantastic Realms  (Bruce Glassco)
  8. Anno 1800  (Martin Wallace)
  9. Praga Caput Regni  (Vladimir Suchy)
  10. Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion  (Isaac Childres)
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2 Responses to Lost Ruins of Arnak Wins DSP Award!

  1. Jacob Lee says:

    Sorry to those who like MM but I totally agree with Arnak being the better of the two games.

  2. huzonfirst says:

    Back in May, the BGG voters decided to honor both games for the Golden Geek awards; MM was chosen Best Light game, while they selected Arnak as their Best Mediumweight game. Seems appropriate.

    What I find interesting here is that the DSP voters chose Arnak over Paleo (two games of similar weight), while the Kennerspiel did things the other way. Perhaps Arnak’s slightly more involved mechanics were less of an issue for the DSP crowd.

    The influence of the SdJ nominations was really strong this year. The top four games were all SdJ/KdJ nominees, which isn’t typical at all. And the emphasis on middleweight/light games was huge: you have to go down to the 8th ranked game, Anno, to find something that I would characterize as at all heavy. Again, very unusual for the DSP. Even in recent years, when middleweights were taking the top spot, the top 10 was still dominated by heavier titles. But that’s not the case here at all. It remains to be seen if both of those effects are due to the unusual circumstances of the pandemic or if the DSP voters are truly moving towards lighter games and leaning heavily on the recommendations of the SdJ jury.

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