The results of the Deutscher Spiele Preis (DSP), Germany’s second most important gaming award, were recently announced. The winner is Ark Nova, Mathias Wigge’s first published design, which beat out the SdJ-winning Cascadia for the honor. This isn’t a particularly surprising result. Unlike the SdJ, the DSP award tends to reward meatier games, such as Ark Nova, and the design has been quite the sensation (it’s risen extraordinarily quickly to be the Geek’s fourth ranked game and appears to be extremely popular with gamers of all kinds). The year’s SdJ winner almost always does well in the DSP and with Cascadia being slightly heavier than the typical recent SdJ winners, it figured to do well in the election. So given the quality of these two designs, a 1-2 finish feels quite appropriate.
Ark Nova continues to accumulate significant gaming awards. Prior to this, it won an IGA award (for best 2-player experience), a Golden Geek (best Heavy game), and one of the three Meeples Choice Awards. It, and Cascadia, are clearly the most honored games from the last 12 months (with Cascadia also earning IGA, GG, and Meeples Choice wins, together with its SdJ citation).
The DSP also awards a Best Children’s game every year and the winner is Quacks & Co., Wolfgang Warsch’s simplified version of his own KdJ winning Quacks of Quedlinburg from 2018. Warsch maintains his status as the darling of the game awards. After an explosion of releases in the 2018-2019 timeframe, many of which received award wins or nominations, Warsch has, perhaps predictably, been much less productive during the past three years. But there’s obviously still a good deal of quality there and he manages to snag a major award win with one of his few 2022 titles. Well done, Wolfgang!
Here are the top 10 games in the DSP voting, together with their designers and publishers. Congratulations to all!
- Ark Nova (Mathias Wigge) – Feuerland
- Cascadia (Randy Flynn) – Flatout
- Dune Imperium (Paul Dennen) – Dire Wolf
- Living Forest (Aske Christiansen) – Pegasus
- The Red Cathedral (Sheila Santos, Israel Cendrero) – Kosmos
- Witchstone (Reiner Knizia, Martino Chiacchiera) – R&R Games
- Beyond the Sun (Dennis Chan) – Rio Grande
- Scout (Kei Kajino) – Oink Games
- Golem (Simone Luciani, Virginio Gigli, Flaminia Brasini) – Cranio Creations
- Terraforming Mars – Ares Expedition (Jacob Fryxelius, Nick Little, Sydney Engelstein) – FryxGames/Stronghold Games