It’s that time of year! The nominees have been announced for this year’s Spiel des Jahres, and there are some great titles we can vouch for in the list.

For those less familiar, the Spiel des Jahres is Germany’s Game of the Year award, arguably the most prestigious award in the tabletop gaming industry, akin to the Oscars in Hollywood (although without half of the glitz and drama). although primarily aimed at the more family-oriented gamer, the main Spiel des Jahres award winners are often universally praised in the industry for using engaging mechanics and great designs.

See below for our favourite picks from the list. If you would like to see the full list of nominees for all categories, you can check out the german press release here (the press release is yet to arrive on the English page…fresh news!)

Azul

We have so many great things to say about Azul, so much so that it has been sitting in our top 5 games-of-the-year since we first tried it!

This abstract gem takes inspiration from the decadent patterns of Portuguese tiling, and uses it to create a clever and addictive drafting game for 2-4 players. There is a lot of satisfaction to be had during this game, whether it be from the vibrant colours, the crisp clinking of the game’s tiles, or the wave of joy as you place that one tile into place which brings on the BIG score of the game. With a 30 minute play time and simple-but-strategic rules, this is a family-friendly gem we recommend for all ages.

(you can grab a copy of Azul for yourself now, either online or in store)

 

The Mind

Even though The Mind is still on its way to Australia with an August release date, we are still very excited about this cooperative-driven card game. Taking some cues from other classics like Hanabi and The Game, The Mind is focused on achieving non-verbal synchronization between players as they work towards a common goal. In this case, players are attempting to place their numbered cards into a single pile in ascending order, without communicating any details to each other. This leads to interesting behaviours among players, especially as the game becomes progressively more difficult due to a clever level system. if you are looking for unusual gaming experiences, this is a title to keep an eye out for.

 

The official winner of this years award will be announced on Monday July 23rd.

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