So, Spiel des Jahres nominations are announced today, actually in an hour or so. In the past decade or so I had time and the possibility to try many of the new games before this time so I had some good guesses on which games could have a shot at winning. This year my experience is way more limited, partly because of a very busy year behind, and partly because of the last few months spent in lockdown.
Still, I make some last minute predictions or just list some I'd-love-to-see-them-in-the-list games as this awards still seems to be the most important (not necessarily for us, gamers, but the industry itself) of all. Also even with my limited experience I found last year to be much better for SdJ/KdJ category games than the year before...
Legacy and/or campaign might be the keyword as two seemingly really good games hit the market for families. Die Crew is said to be a great introduction to trick-taking games while My City is said to be a perfect translation of legacy games (built on a simple tile-placement mechanism) for families. Though both are said to become more complex with further and further games, this concept is really the best way to introduce non-gamers to gaming concepts, learning complexity step by step (instead of letting them face complexity right when they meet the rulebook first). While I haven't played either, both seem to be fine games that I'm eager to try (my copy of The Crew arrived just a few days ago and am waiting for My City to be available soon).
While there is always at least one SdJ nominee I haven't even heard about, I do make a guess on the third game as well, although it might get only a recommendation. Even so, I do thinkg Wavelength is a great party game sparking interesting discussions, and it would mark a nice comeback to the awards for co-designer Wolfgang Warsch after he appeared out of nowhere and had 3 of the 6 (SdJ+KdJ) nominations 2 years ago.
As I visited FLGS less than ever, it's hard to name the game that could get a Kennerspiel nomination, although Res Arcana would definitely deserve at least a recommendation (maybe more, had the rules been written in a more reader-friendly fashion). Maybe Rune Stones can also grab a recommendation: it's by KdJ winner and multiple-nominee Rüdiger Dorn, it looks nice, it adds some twist to deck-building like Quest for El Dorado did a few years back, so I wouldn't be surprised to see it listed somewhere.
Also, who knows, maybe Tajuto and Mandala can get at least a recommendation in any of the categories - the former because of its 'touch' element (and, whatever Tom Vasel says, its interesting tactical/strategic possibilities) while the latter seems to be a nice 2-player game in the tradition of the old Kosmos 2-player game series so it might fit the German taste of gaming.
Also, a few more titles I know about nothing about - nothing but that they might have a chance so I should read more about them: Maracaibo (KdJ), Paladins of the West Kingdom (KdJ, just like Raiders was), Pictures, Palm Island, Divvy Dice... it seems they all should get a recommendation. We'll see
But, of course, I don't know nearly enough. So I'm eagerly waiting to know more about which games I should learn (and introduce my family to) soon.
edit: see the nominees in the comments. Rooting for The Crew and My City now.
Knizia. Spiel des Jahres. Some other thoughts, but only rarely. I'm not that much of a big thinker, you know - but I love games.
- [+] Dice rolls