Spiel des Jahres: Nominees for 2011

“Spiel des Jahres” is German for “Game of the Year,” and it’s the most prestigious award in board gaming. A select group of German game critics puts forth various nominees in several different categories, and the winners (and even the nominees) can always expect a considerable spike in sales.

The Game of Year nominees are:

  • Qwirkle (an old MindWare title that was just released in Germany this year: it’s on sale for 57% off at Amazon)
  • Forbidden Island (Matt Leacock’s family friendly version of Pandemic)
  • Asara (Rio Grande Games)

A new category called “Kennerspiel des Jahres” was introduced this year for more complex games. Those nominees are:

  • 7 Wonders (Asmodee)
  • Strasbourg (Pegasus Spiele)
  • Lancaster (Queen Games)

A third category, “Kinderspiel des Jahres,” nominates children’s games. This year, the nominees are

  • Das ist der Wyrm drin (Zoch)
  • Magician’s Kitchen (Playroom)
  • Monster-Falle (Kosmos)
I believe only four of these games are easily available in the US right now. Those are:

Who Are The Associated Gamers?

Some of you may have noticed the little “Associated Gamers” brand in the corner. AG is the brainchild of the Kevin Schlabach, of Seize Your Turn and Play in Public fame. It’s essentially a broadcast channel where a  group of Eurogame bloggers can share their links in one handy place. Although I’m not strictly a Eurogame blogger, Kevin was kind enough to ask me to participate, and I think it’s a great place to get links to all your news and reviews in one place.

This is probably a good moment to reiterate what State of Play is and isn’t. This is a personal blog focused on games of all types in order to bring interesting items (news, games, puzzles, reviews) to a mainstream readership. There are a number of people covering Eurogames far better than I. Writers and podcasters like W. Eric Martin, Tom Vasel, Dice Hate Me, Board Games Reviews by Josh, the members of Associated Gamers, and many others do a terrific job. And, of course, there are always the BoardGameGeek forums for the brave or foolhardy. I do cover Eurogames, but I don’t single them out as the only “good” kind of game. I’m just as likely to write about chess or playing cards or videogames. (In fact, my playing card posts–particularly playing card art–get far, far more hits than anything else here.)

Associated Gamers is also helping to create a sense of community among various game bloggers, which brings me to the most important part of this post. Through the AG messages on Posterous, I’ve been able to exchange comments with a number of different writers, including Josh Edwards of Board Game Reviews by Josh. Josh lives in Joplin, Missouri. He writes on Twitter: “I and my family are all safe. Unfortunately, my house (and boardgames) were completely lost. So… Yeah… Don’t really know what to say.”

Someone on BGG has already started a thread to help Josh and his family as they try to rebuild their lives. As I learn more, I’ll report it in a future post. Our prayers are with them all.