The nominees for one of, if not the most, prestigious awards in the Board Gaming world – the Spiel des Jahres – have just been announced. The Spiel des Jahres are the board gaming equivalent of the Oscars, but significantly less glamorous as the prizes are awarded to cardboard and plastic!
The awards have been running since 1978 and focus on finding the best and most creative in family gaming fun amongst games released in the previous 12 months in the German market. The awards are serious business and provide an incredible boost to sales for all games on the short-list. Nominees for the Spiel des Jahres tend to see games sales increase from 500-3,000 copies to over 10,000 while the winners generally enjoy sales of anywhere between 300,000 to 500,000 copies!
The nominees for the awards were announced on Monday evening and there is fierce debate among the board gaming community about who will scoop the grand prize. The 3 nominees are:
Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their CODENAMES.
In Codenames, two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right colour while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin.
Codenames: Win or lose, it’s fun to figure out the clues.
In Imhotep, the players become builders in Egypt who want to emulate the first and best-known architect there, namely Imhotep.
Over six rounds, they move wooden stones by boat to create five seminal monuments, and on a turn, a player chooses one of four actions: Procure new stones, load stones on a boat, bring a boat to a monument, or play an action card. While this sounds easy, naturally the other players constantly thwart your building plans by carrying out plans of their own. Only those with the best timing — and the stones to back up their plans — will prove to be Egypt’s best builder.
This is a tile-laying race game with players starting with boards that are identical, and one player drawing tiles that they all will use. They race to get their explorers to temples first and earn points. Along the way they can collect additional points by collecting items off the paths they create.
Over the coming weeks, we will be doing a feature spotlight on each of these games and giving you our own thoughts on who might be the winner. There will also be a Spiel des Jahres competition for all of our lovely followers in which one lucky person will win a copy of this year’s winner! More details on that to follow…
In the meantime, keep on gaming and watch this space for more information about this year’s Spiel des Jahres nominees!