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.
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Spiel des Jahres (also Kenner- and Kinderspiel des Jahres) nominees announced

Laszlo Molnar
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Damn. I didn't know the list of Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres nominees was coming so fast. So I could not make my predictions, even though (I know it's easy to say now) I would have guessed two right.

Spiel des Jahres

Board Game: Kingdomino
Board Game: The Quest for El Dorado
Board Game: Magic Maze

I would have definitely voted for Kingdomino being a nominee. It's got the Spiel des Jahres miracle quality - rule explanation takes 3 minutes (if you're dealing with beginners) and you can already play; it's based on some known mechanism but is still new, it's colorful and family-friendly.

I also guessed The Quest for El Dorado (from Reiner Knizia who hadn't been nominated since (2009's FITS) would make it; I just wasn't sure about the category. The game might be slightly too complex for the simple SdJ award and a bit too simple for the Kennerspiel (which might stop it from winning; I'm still rooting for this one now). (See my review here.)

And as usual, I don't know anything about the third nominee (there is always one like this), but I hope I can try Magic Maze before the winners are announced.

As for the recommendations list, I only know Fabled Fruit which is fun and simple while still special with this kind-of-but-not-really legacy concept; a good choice.

Kennerspiel des Jahres

Board Game: Exit: The Game – The Secret Lab
Board Game: Raiders of the North Sea
Board Game: Terraforming Mars

As last year's novelty was a good number of escape room board games I guessed one of them could get nominated but I haven't played any of them so could not guess which one. It is EXIT: Das Spiel (which seems to be a collection of a few). Also right now it seems unlikely that any of these would win but who knows...

Raiders of the North Sea, a part of a Viking-themed trilogy originally published via Kickstarter shows how Kickstarter is getting stronger, and while until now I didn't feel like I really want to try this trilogy, I think it has changed my mind now.

And of course there is Terraforming Mars, the current hot game, already ranked 8th at BGG so it should not come as a surprise; I hope I can try it this week or the next one...

On the recommended list there is of course Great Western Trail, but what surprises me is The Grizzled which is a fine little game but is, I think, easier to explain than Wettlauf nach El Dorado. (And checking the - not that trustworthy - BGGweight ratings it seems The Grizzled is 1.9 while Wettlauf nach El Dorado is 2.17...). Is it only because of the war theme? I'd guess so.

Kinderspiel des Jahres

Board Game: Captain Silver
Board Game: The Mysterious Forest
Board Game: ICECOOL

While I haven't played any of these (Captain Silver, The Mysterious Forest, Ice Cool), it comes as a little surprise that each of the three nominees are recommended for age 6+ so none of them are for the really little ones. It can be a result of gamers choosing the Kinderspiel des Jahres but I hope it's only because this year these games were the best, most innovative, most fun ones for kids.

Congrats to the nominees, I'm looking forward to learning some of them - and see who wins!
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