The 2012 Spiel des Jahres—German Game of the Year—was awarded Monday to Kingdom Builder from Queen Games. This is the second SdJ for American designer Donald X. Vaccarino, whose previous win was for Dominion.
For the main Spiel des Jahres award, the jury of German journalists selects a game that it considers outstanding for “gaming amongst family and friends,” in other words, a game that works well for people who are not dedicated hobby gamers. The Kennerspiel des Jahres, or Expert Game of the Year, award was given to Village from eggertspiele. The jury had also earlier awarded the Kinderspiel des Jahres, Children’s Game of the Year, to Schnappt Hubi from Ravensburger.
In a statement accompanying the announcement, the chairman of the jury, Tom Felber, expressed his concern that many of the games reviewed this year were “not fully developed in all areas.”
Here’s the Google Translate English translation of Felber’s statement:
Red-Blue-Anthracite. This is since last year, the tricolor of “Game of the Year.” The three colors represent the different target groups of the three prizes. The red pawn is to prepare people as possible all fun. Blue stands for the “Children’s Game of the Year” and anthracite is designed for more experienced players who play for quite some time and the “Game of the Year” no longer feel challenged. In the highly complex demands of the actual “game freaks” is aimed anthracite but not consciously. This year the jury has been nominated in all three categories, each with three games.
New is the recommendation list was clearly divided into the areas of red and anthracite. After several days of retreat, the jury recommended a red eight games, has added to the list. Complement the more demanding games at the three titles nominated. This is because the audience is smaller for these games. The dividing line between “Game of the Year” and “expert game of the year” mainly goes through the effort that is necessary to enter the game world can be.
Exciting game world full of wonders and surprises were created by the authors and editors, in turn, multipack. The jury expressed no difficulty in finding enough games for the recommendation lists. On the contrary: As in past years had many excellent games that also deserves a mention would have had to be sacrificed in the fight for the courts, because their number is limited simply to the recommendation list. For every claim and every taste is on the German gaming market something available and present on the recommendation list. Not even an abstract atmospheric solitaire game that is a pure single-player game is 2012 on the list here.
It was the year of the cube. Incredible number of small fast-paced dice game, some of which are variants of already known games have been thrown out of the Schüttelbechern the manufacturer on the market and enrich the program, nearly all publishers. A dice game has even fallen on the nomination list. Anyway, it was this year compared to once a huge number of easily manageable, fun games, which focus on joy, fun and laughter in the foreground. A “Game of the Year” wins the prize but still in the future, not because it is simple and has an easy start, but still, because it is especially good.
Strikingly, unfortunately, is the clear increase in the number of games that are at the time of publication not yet fully developed in all details. Increasingly be made rule changes, material and design improvements based on responses from customers and critics on the first edition. This work considerably more difficult by the jury. The jury would often wish that the editors could invest more time in the development of individual games, so that great ideas come at once and for validity. In this context, this year’s nomination of “mnemonic” is shown. It is the revised edition has been taken after the first edition had been reported last year are still shortcomings, the gameplay noticeably dimmed.
The nomination of the three titles for the “connoisseur Game of the Year” and the “Game of the Year”, the jury has determined that the death is a natural part of life and to play. It may be that the road to fame and glory in a rural family saga about the perpetuation of the protagonists to their death in the village chronicle leads. Be it that you will suddenly stuck in the middle of a mountain climber in a drama-eight thousand in the Himalayas, the outcome is uncertain. The icy mountain peaks are a stark contrast to the dry Wüstengefilden nominated third game, where Tuaregs deal with dates, salt and pepper. This has made it a pure two-person game on the nomination list. Among the nominees for the “Game of the Year” is proven to make that gamble in Las Vegas with no money and invent stories with a memory like a hellish fun. The third game takes in a medieval land of almost limitless possibilities, its scary game system variables reveals only in the course of several parts of his game real depth.
The answer to the question of the winners of “Game of the Year” and “expert game of the year” for the time being only the wind knows. Is lifted and carried out into the world the secret of the awards ceremony on 9 July in Berlin. Which two games it will be all six nominated games have the genes and the potential for different people, whether in the family, for friends, but also in the tourist district, again and again bring together a creative and meaningful way to an exciting experience, to which one each time will be long remember.