Spiel des Jahres eV has announced its nominations for the Jura awards Game of the Year 2022, Kennerspiel des Jahres 2022 and Kinderspiel des Jahres 2022. The selection reflects the quality of the vintage, but is sometimes surprising. Who will win the race in each category at the end? It doesn't matter, you'll have fun with all the nominees.

The awards ceremony are annual highlights that die-hard board gamers look forward to. But before that can happen, games must first be nominated for the final race. That has happened in the meantime: the association “Spiel des Jahres” has occupied the nomination lists and the so-called recommendation lists for the red, blue and gray pawns.

Game of the year 2022: The nominees

Club chairman Harald Schrapers and the coordinator of the Kinderspiel jury, Christoph Schlewinski, welcomed the fans in the stream. The duo stood at the black magic table in front of the colorful pawn wall and behind a not entirely crease-free tablecloth, which was nicely decorated with light-emitting diodes. The event sometimes seems as if it had somehow been catapulted from the past into the Internet age – but that shouldn't hide the fact that authors and publishers have a lot at stake. The former are happy about fame and new orders, the latter can make a lot of money with a prize win, a nomination or a place on one of the recommendation lists. The award of the game of the year eV ensures sales.

A good ten percent more new releases compared to last year is Harald Schrapers' summary of the titles in the Game of the Year and Kennerspiel des Jahres categories. The opposite development was noticeable in the children's play area. Law coordinator Schlewinski gives possible reasons: he suspects that the children's games have finally been caught up by the pandemic. He attributes this to a lack of testing options due to the corona situation. Schlewinski speaks of an “unusually small vintage” for the Spiel des Jahres eV. There are a little more than 60 titles.

A lot was played during the pandemic, Harald Schrapers clarifies. He draws conclusions from the increased sales figures of the publishers. The chairman of the club sees the global triumph of the former "German games" as a good development - it is now international, ideas come from all over the world. Especially this year: Schrapers sees no recognizable trend due to the large number of different concepts. There is something great for every situation, says Schrapers. The range of lengths of the games also makes this clear: Magic Rabbit lasts two and a half minutes, an hourglass ensures that. Arche Nova, on the other hand, lasts many hours. Above all, the list position of Michael Wigge's zoo board game is surprising - the expert board game doesn't fit in with the competition at all, should sometimes overwhelm even connoisseurs or at least challenge it with the need for intensive training. Apparently the Game of the Year jury couldn't escape the hype surrounding the board game with the most beautiful stock photos of the scene. Harald Schrapers circumnavigates it like this: The thematic implementation is brilliant, the board game is an "absolute recommendation" despite being "above" in the key game category. This undermines decision criteria, but the nomination for a place on the list is still understandable due to the outstanding gaming experience in the end. In any case, the Spiel des Jahres eV has prepared a larger market for the board game.

Even the decision for the nomination place of Dune: Empire one could criticize the quite noticeable degree of challenge - although this is not as pronounced as in Arche Nova, the board game for the blockbuster does not seem to be a realistic candidate for actually winning the anthracite-colored pawn.

Will the game line-up remain so international? Uncertain. Schrapers: “Maybe it's just a snapshot. It could be different again next year.” Wolfgang Warsch – now an established author and no longer just a hyped shooting star – celebrates a national success with his double success after a double success. With “Quacks & Co nach Quedlinburg” and “Auch schon clever”, Warsch placed two works on the nomination list with which he was already successful as an adult version in 2018.

What the experts noticed about the current year is the frequent use of fantasy worlds, "especially in the area of ​​connoisseur games," sums up Harald Schrapers. "It doesn't have to be fundamentally bad," Schrapers continued. "That can also be a good fit." However, there is one but: The suspicion is that authors and publishers prefer to hide the real topics so that they no longer “take the risk of being exposed to criticism to the extent”, Schrapers suspects and may have landed a hit with it. In view of the constant criticism of some board games that are still historically questionable or superficially treated, it is possible to make things easy for yourself - perhaps too easy against the background of board games as a cultural asset. Schraper's criticism goes in this direction: Access is made more difficult if games only show the beautiful and the good - or the bad from the fantastic (Schraper: "That doesn't matter."). He wishes for more courage and sensitivity in dealing with real-life issues.

After all, the selection is pleasing and accurately reflects what the market has to offer players in the three categories. Who wins in the end? The answers are almost irrelevant, because you will have many hours of fun with each of the nominated board games. If we had to guess who wins in the end:

  • Children's game of the year 2022: Already clever
  • Game of the Year 2022: Cascadia
  • Kennerspiel des Jahres 2022: Cryptid


Last updated on 29.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API