Spiel Des Jahres Nominees 2016!!!

Arguably the most important award in the board gaming world is the German game of the year: the Spiel Des Jahres!    These nominees are intended to introduce new people to the hobby, and they pick the 3 games they think are the best to bring interest to newbies.

There are three Categories:

First is the Spiel Des Jahres, which typically contain light/medium weight family games.

The second is the Kennerspiel which contains more complex games (but still easy to teach and understand).

And the last is the Kinderspiel which is the kid game award.

I have been following the Spiel since I first started getting into gaming.  In fact, because of their list of nominees over the past nearly 4 decades, I was able to find some great games to start my collection off with.  I seek these games out.  I haven’t played a bad game yet.

I’m pretty excited over these new nominees, which include both 2015 and 2016 games.  All of the Kennerspiel nominees have been released in North America, while we’re still waiting for one Spiel Des Jahres nominee to be released, and 2 of the Kinderspiel games to be released.

Here are the nominees!

Spiel Des Jahres (family game)


CODENAMES (2015) – Everyone expected for this popular word party game to be nominated, and is also the favorite to win.  But if you have been paying attention to these awards previously, then you know that nothing is set in stone.


IMHOTEP (2016) – This one will be released in North America in June!  From what I’ve seen, I think this looks great!  Building structures out of cubes, and I love the ancient Egypt theme!


KARUBA (2016) – I haven’t played this tile-laying game from the designer of ISTANBUL yet,  but it’s available and definitely at the top of my list to purchase!  Have heard nothing but good things!

Honorable mentions that didn’t make the cut were: ANIMALS ON BOARD, DIE FIESEN 7, KRAZY WORDZ, QWINTO, and SPYFALL.


Nominees for the Kennerspiel (complex game)


ISLE OF SKYE (2015) – Great tile laying, auction game!


PANDEMIC LEGACY SEASON 1 (2015) – Excellent game that is the favorite to win, though I wouldn’t place all my bets on this one.


T.I.M.E. STORIES (2015) – One of the most immersive games I’ve ever played, I have the feeling that this could win, because out of these nominees, I can see this one getting non-gamers excited more than the others, and that is the sole purpose of these awards.

Honorable mentions that didn’t make the cut are: 7 WONDERS DUEL, BLOOD RAGE and MOMBASA.  All of those are great games as well.


The nominees for the Kinderspiel (kid game)


LEO (not yet released in North America) – This one has kids working together to get the lion to the barber on time.  Watched an overview of it, and it seems like a really neat introduction to heavier Co-op games like T.I.M.E. Stories.


MMM! (not yet released in North America) – Another Co-op game that has kids taking on the roles of mice trying to eat all of the food in the kitchen before the cat catches you.


MY FIRST STONE AGE (2016) – A kids version of the popular worker placement game (and former Spiel Des Jahres nominee) STONE AGE.  This looks like a great intro game for kids.

Honorable mentions that didn’t make the cut: Dschungelbande, Flutterstone Castle, Harry Hopper, Mein Schatz, The Mysterious Dragon Cave, Sleepy Castle, Time’s Up: Kids.


I will be picking up Karuba and Imhotep the first chance I get.  I also plan on playing the children’s nominees this year.  I have never done that, and they look really interesting this year too, so I’m looking forward to that.  I will post my thoughts on all 9 of the nominees as soon as I get a chance to play them all!

Thanks for reading!  Now get back to gaming!




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