The winners of the Spiel del Jahres tabletop game awards were announced over the weekend. Cascadia, a nature-themed tile-laying game designed by Randy Flynn and published by Flatout Games, won the Spiel del Jahres (Game of the Year) award. Meanwhile, Magic Mountain, a marble game involving witches lurking in a magic forest designed by Jens-Peter Schliemann and Bernhard Weber and published by Amigo, won the Kinderspiel des Jahres (Children's Game of the Year) award. Finally, Living Forest, a territory-building game by Aske Christiansen and published by Pegasus Spiele, won the Kennerspiel del Jahres (Connoisseur-gamer Game of the Year) award.
Although Spiel del Jahres focuses on German language titles, many of the top board games of all time have either won or been nominated for the award. Past winners include Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Shadows Over Camelot, Dominion, and Dixit. In recent years, the award has expanded from a single award focused on a single game to special awards for more challenging games and eventually three separate award categories to allow for a broader consideration of tabletop games beyond those intended for family play. The award is credited for helping expand awareness of Euro-style board games, and winners often see increased sales as a result of the award.
Spiel del Jahres is the closest that the tabletop game industry has to an Oscar or Eisner Award, although categories are still relatively limited. Origins Game Fair (which is run by trade organization GAMA) has its own award voted on by attendees, while the popular game site/database Board Game Geek has an annual "Golden Geek Award" with a number of different categories. In 2018, the American Tabletop Awards were founded by a group of tabletop game reviewers and writers. None have quite the prestige of the Spiel del Jahres, though, although some of growing in acclaim.
Congratulations to the winners of this year's awards.0comments