Spiel des Jahres

The Spiel des Jahres (German for Game of the Year) is a prestigious award for board and card games.

The award was created in 1978 to reward excellence in game design, and to promote top-quality games in the German market. It is thought that the existence and popularity of the award is one of the major drivers of the quality of games coming out of Germany. A Spiel des Jahres nomination can increase the typical sales of a game from 500-3000 copies to around 10,000; and the winner can usually expect to sell 300,000 to 500,000 copies.

Award criteria

The award is given by a jury of German boardgame critics, who review games released in Germany in the preceding twelve months. The games considered for the award are family-style games; wargames, role-playing games, collectible card games, and other complicated, highly-competitive, or hobbyist games are outside the scope of the award. Since 1989, there has been a separate award for children's games. Along with the nominations, the jury also gives a list of recommended games, and occasionally gives out special prizes for games which will not be considered for the main award.

The criteria on which a game will be evaluated are, generally speaking:

  1. Game idea & originality
  2. Rule structure & clarity
  3. Presentation (art and parts)
  4. Game mechanics

2008 awards

The nominations for the 2008 award were released on 25 May 2008. The five games nominated were:

Keltis was announced as winner on 30 June, 2008.

Along with the nominations, the jury also awarded a special prize:

2007 awards

The nominations for the 2007 award were released on 20 May 2007. The five games nominated were:

Zooloretto was announced as winner on 25 June, 2007.

2006 awards

The nominations for the 2006 award were released on 28 May, 2006. The five games nominated were:

Thurn and Taxis was announced as winner on 17 July, 2006.

Along with the nominations, the jury also assigned two special prizes for games which it felt were too demanding to count as 'family style' games.

2005 awards

The nominations for the 2005 award were released on 8 May, 2005. The five games nominated were:

Niagara was announced to be the winner on 27 June, 2005.

Previous winners

Game of the year

Year Winner Designer Publisher
2008 Keltis Reiner Knizia Kosmos
2007 Zooloretto Michael Schacht Abacus Spiele
2006 Thurn and Taxis Andreas Seyfarth and Karen Seyfarth Hans im Glück
2005 Niagara Thomas Liesching Zoch Verlag
2004 Ticket to Ride Alan R. Moon Days of Wonder
2003 Alhambra Dirk Henn Queen Games
2002 Villa Paletti Bill Payne Zoch Verlag
2001 Carcassonne Klaus-Jürgen Wrede Hans im Glück
2000 Torres Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling Ravensburger
1999 Tikal Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling Ravensburger
1998 Elfenland Alan R. Moon Amigo Spiele
1997 Mississippi Queen Werner Hodel Goldsieber
1996 El Grande Wolfgang Kramer and Richard Ulrich Hans im Glück
1995 The Settlers of Catan Klaus Teuber Kosmos
1994 Manhattan Andreas Seyfarth Hans im Glück
1993 Call My Bluff Richard Borg F.X. Schmid
1992 Um Reifenbreite Rob Bontenbal Jumbo
1991 Drunter und Drüber Klaus Teuber Hans im Glück
1990 Hoity Toity Klaus Teuber F.X. Schmid
1989 Café International Rudi Hoffmann Mattel
1988 Barbarossa Klaus Teuber Altenburger und Stralsunder
1987 Auf Achse Wolfgang Kramer F.X. Schmid
1986 Top Secret Spies Wolfgang Kramer Ravensburger
1985 Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Raymond Edwards, Suzanne Goldberg and Gary Grady Kosmos
1984 Railway Rivals David Watts Schmidt Spiele
1983 Scotland Yard Werner Schlegel, Dorothy Garrels, Fritz Ifland, Manfred Burggraf, Werner Scheerer and Wolf Hoermann Ravensburger
1982 Enchanted Forest Alex Randolph and Michel Matschoss Ravensburger
1981 Focus Sid Sackson Parker
1980 Rummikub Ephraim Hertzano Intelli
1979 Hare and Tortoise David Parlett Ravensburger

Children's game of the year

Year Winner Designer Publisher
2008 Wer war's? Reiner Knizia Ravensburger
2007 Beppo der Bock Peter Schackert Huch & Friends
2006 Der Schwarze Pirat Guido Hoffmann Habermaaß
2005 Das Kleine Gespenst Kai Haferkamp Kosmos
2004 Spooky Stairs
(German title: Geistertreppe)
Michelle Schanen Drei Magier Spiele
2003 Viva Topo! Manfred Ludwig Selecta
2002 The Ladybug's Costume Party
(German title: Maskenball der Käfer)
Peter-Paul Joopen Selecta
2001 Klondike Christian Wolf and Stefanie Rohner Habermaaß
2000 Arbos Armin Müller and Martin Arnold M+A Spiel
1999 Kayanak Peter-Paul Joopen Habermaaß
1998 Chicken Cha Cha Cha Klaus Zoch Zoch Verlag
1997 Leinen Los! Alex Randolph Habermaaß
1996 Noah's Park
(German title: Vier zu Mier)
Heike Baum Altenburger und Stralsunder
1995 Karambolage Heinz Meister Habermaaß
1994 Loopin' Louie Carol Wiseley Milton Bradley
1993 Ringel Rangel Geni Wyss Habermaaß
1992 Galloping Pigs
(German title: Schweinsgalopp)
Heinz Meister Ravensburger
1991 Corsaro - Irrfahrt im Piratenmeer Wolfgang Kramer Herder
1990 My Haunted Castle
(German title: Das Geisterschloss)
Virginia Charves F.X. Schmid
1989 Gute Freunde Alex Randolph Selecta

Special awards

Year Prize Winner Designer Publisher
2008 Best complex game Agricola Uwe Rosenberg Lookout Games
2007 no special prizes awarded
2006 Best complex game Caylus William Attia Ẏstari Games
Best fantasy game Shadows Over Camelot Serge Laget and Bruno Cathala Days of Wonder
2005 no special prizes awarded
2004 no special prizes awarded
2003 no special prizes awarded
2002 no special prizes awarded
2001 Best use of history in a game Troia Thomas Fackler Zeitstein Spiele
Best use of literature in a game Lord of the Rings Reiner Knizia Kosmos
2000 no special prizes awarded
1999 no special prizes awarded
1998 no special prizes awarded
1997 Best game of skill Husarengolf Torsten Marold Abacus
Most beautiful game Aztec Niek Neuwahl Zoch Spiele
1996 Best game of skill Carabande Jean du Poel Goldsieber
Most beautiful game Venice Connection Alex Randolph Drei Magier Spiele
1995 Best puzzle 3D Krimi-Puzzle no specific designer Milton Bradley
Most beautiful game Tri-Ba-Lance Michael Sohre Theta Promotions
1994 Most beautiful game Doctor Faust Reinhold Wittig Blatz Spiele
1993 Most beautiful game Kula Kula Reinhold Wittig Blatz Spiele
1992 no special prizes awarded
1991 Most beautiful game Master Labyrinth Max Kobbert Ravensburger
1990 Most beautiful game Life Style no specific designer Ravensburger
1989 Most beautiful game Henne Berta Geni Wyss Habermaaß
1988 Best cooperative game Sauerbaum Johannes Tranelis Herder
Most beautiful game Inkognito Alex Randolph and Leo Colovini Milton Bradley
1987 Most beautiful game Tatort Nachtexpress Jeff Smets Jumbo
1986 Most beautiful game Müller & Sohn Reinhold Wittig Kosmos
1985 Most beautiful game Die drei Magier Johann Rüttinger Drei Magier Spiele
1984 Most beautiful game Uisge Roland Siegers Hexagames
1983 Most beautiful game Wir füttern die kleinen Nilpferde Reinhold Wittig Edition Perlhuhn
1982 Most beautiful game Skript Henri Sala Jumbo
1981 Most beautiful game Ra Marco Donadoni International Team
1980 Best puzzle Rubik's cube Ernő Rubik Arxon
Most beautiful game Spiel Reinhold Wittig Edition Perlhuhn
1979 Most beautiful game Seti no specific designer Bütehorn

See also


External links

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