What? Spill the Jars?

by Steve L on July 17, 2015

No, its not a game about creating a mess. Nor is it a game about preventing one either. Actually, it's not a game at all.

If you've dabbled into the world of table top games (beyond those found at the gaming aisle of big box stores), you may have heard of the term "Spiel Des Jahres". Or while browsing for games online, you may have seen an image of a token, wrapped with a ribbon marked with the same term. To put it simply, "Spiel des Jahres", in German, means "Game of The Year". It is an award which has been bestowed annually since 1978, to the best game released that year in the German marketplace.

Why the big fuss about Germany? Well, the country is considered by many, to be the centre of the board gaming world. The "Spiel" is like it's Oscars. The award is judged by a committee of game critics, who review games released in Germany for the year. In 1989, a separate award for children's games was created, known as the "Kinderspiel des Jahres".

While the "Spiel" tended to focus on family-friendly games, the committee would occasionally make special recognitions and awards for more complex games, like Agricola (back in 2008). In 2011, this was formalized into the "Kennerspiel des Jahres" (roughly translated to "Connoisseur-Enthusiast Game of the Year").

Winning any of these prestigious awards can quickly raise the game's awareness (and sales). Even just being nominated has its attraction.

If you're starting your board game collection (or looking to add to your extensive one), check out Colt Express (2015 "Spiel" winner), Broom Service (2015 "Kennerspiel" winner) and other past winners of these prizes. Even the nominees are pretty good!

Spiel des Jahres Nominees Winners
Kinderspiel des Jahres Nominees Winners
Kennerspiel des Jahres Nominees Winners

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