Every year, the boardgaming world waits with expectantly for Germany’s annual game of the year awards (the Spiel des Jahres). These are the most influential awards in the boardgaming world and generally boost the sales of all of the given nominees. This year’s batch of nominees is a unique set of games that are fairly different from previous nominees:

  • Dixit – Dixit is s very popular party game that has a been difficult to get hold of in the US due its surprising popularity. Think Apples to Apples crossed with Once Upon a Time and you’ve got the basic idea of this one – combine with clever artwork and you’ve got many people’s pick for this year’s winner.
  • Portrayal (Identik) – Another very light game, Identik (as it is known in Germany), is a bit like Pictionary, but with the artist not knowing what parts of the picture are actually important.
  • Fresco – The only traditional Euro in this year’s nominations, Fresco is a medium-complexity worker placement game that has been meeting with mixed reviews and would be a surprise win given the level of complexity.
  • Roll Through the Ages – Yahtzee++ as some refer to it, Roll Through the Ages is another light game, though with definite Euro influences.
  • A la Carte – A light game of food preparation, a la Carte is a game of light tactics with players seeking to create the perfect meal.

In addition to being a non-traditional set in terms of game mechanics, this lineup is also noteworthy because three of the nominees are games that debuted outside of Germany (there were two last year, including the winner, Dominion).