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Spiel des Jahres Nominations for 2023: Dorfromantik: The Board Game, Fun Facts, and Next Station: London

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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The nominees for the 2023 Spiel des Jahres — Germany's "game of the year" award — have been announced, along with nominees for the Kinderspiel des Jahres (KidJ) for children's game of the year and the Kennerspiel des Jahres (KedJ) for enthusiast's game of the year.

Spiel des Jahres jury chairman Harald Schrapers and Kinderspiel des Jahres jury chairman Christoph Schlewinski announced the nominees, along with other recommended titles, on YouTube, with these three titles being nominated for Spiel des Jahres 2023:

Dorfromantik: The Board Game, from Michael Palm, Lukas Zach, and Pegasus Spiele
Fun Facts, from Kasper Lapp and Repos Production
Next Station: London, from Matthew Dunstan and Blue Orange Games (and in Germany from HCM Kinzel)

Aside from these nominations, the SdJ jury recommended the following seven titles: Akropolis, HITSTER, KuZOOka, MANTIS, QE, Sea Salt & Paper, and That's Not a Hat.

Note that the Spiel des Jahres award is primarily aimed at family gamers, i.e., those who play games but aren't heavily into the gaming scene.

Board Game: Dorfromantik: The Board Game
Board Game: Fun Facts
Board Game: Next Station: London

Nominations for the Kennerspiel des Jahres 2023 went to:

Challengers!, from Johannes Krenner, Markus Slawitscheck, and 1 More Time Games and Z-Man Games
Iki, from Koota Yamada and Sorry We Are French (and in Germany from Giant Roc)
Planet Unknown, from Ryan Lambert, Adam Rehberg, and Adam's Apple Games (and in Germany from Strohmann Games)

The SdJ jury recommended two other titles at the Kennerspiel level: Council of Shadows and Mindbug. The Kennerspiel des Jahres award is intended for those already comfortable with learning and playing new games.

Board Game: Challengers!
Board Game: IKI
Board Game: Planet Unknown

The titles nominated for Kinderspiel des Jahres 2023 are:

Carla Caramel, from Sara Zarian and LOKI
Gigamon, from Karim Aouidad, Johann Roussel, and Elemon Games (and in Germany from Mirakulus)
Mysterium Kids: Captain Echo's Treasure, from Antonin Boccara, Yves Hirschfeld, Libellud, and Space Cow

The Kinderspiel des Jahres jury, which differs from the SdJ/KedJ jury, also recommended three-ish other titles: Douzanimo, Rutsch & flutsch!, and the My First Adventure game series, which currently consists of seven titles, with the first being My First Adventure: Finding the Dragon from Roméo Hennion and Game Flow. German publisher Board Game Box has released all seven of these titles in German.

The winners for all three awards will be announced in Berlin, Germany on July 16, 2023.

Board Game: Carla Caramel
Board Game: Gigamons
Board Game: Mysterium Kids: Captain Echo's Treasure

During the presentation, Schrapers pointed out that only one of the nominees came from a female designer — Carla Caramel from Sara Zarian — and he said that from the nearly 290 games that the jury considered for Spiel and Kennerspiel des Jahres, only eight of those were from female designers. Altogether, the two juries considered about 440 games, which was 10% more than in 2022.

The jury also presented two special awards — Sonderpreis — to Unlock!: Game Adventures from Cyril Demaegd, Mathieu Casnin, Thomas Cauët, Jeremy Koch, and Space Cowboys, and to Unlock! Kids: Detective Stories from Demaegd, Marie Fort, Wilfried Fort, and Space Cow.

Board Game: Unlock!: Game Adventures
Board Game: Unlock! Kids: Detective Stories

Congratulations to all the nominated designers and publishers!
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