The Spiel des Jahres eV announced the nominated board games in the three well-known categories in a livestream event. Three titles each are now shortlisted for the awards Game of 2020, Kennerspiel of 2020 and Children's Game of 2020. After the nominations, authors, publishers and fans are now eagerly awaiting the award ceremonies, which will take place in June and July. 

You could say “same procedure as every year”. Also this year, the jury of the Spiel des Jahres eV announced their nominations for the coveted "Pöppel" during a live broadcast "ceremony". A total of 25 titles, the so-called longlist, were shortlisted for this, in each of the three categories three of them have now made it to the even shortlist.

Game of the year 2020 in “exciting times”

Jury chairman Harald Schrapers and Kinderspiel coordinator Christoph Schlewinski presented the nominations as part of a live stream talk. "Corona" was also an issue, of course in these times. The virus pandemic has also determined the lives of the players, says Schrapers. It is a time of renunciation: there are no game groups. Big events anyway. The game is also affected! in Duisburg and now the main event of the year, the SPIEL in Essen.

Because external events had to be canceled in Corona times, the focus is on playing within families. This year's selection for the games of the year 2020 is "perhaps one of the most important ones that we have ever created," says Harald Schrapers, referring to the need for entertainment and occupation in the four walls at home during the noticeable restrictions of everyday social life .

The jury's procedure was only restricted in the area of ​​children's games. There some of the games could not be shortlisted because the contact restrictions prevented group games with children. For the areas of Kennerspiel des Jahres and Spiel des Jahres, the coronavirus did not play a role, at least with regard to the selection process.

There are also trends this year. Board games with campaign modes are on the rise, and legacy games are also popular in the current gaming season. "There is a representative for legacy in every category," says Schrapers. This year even at the children's games. "For the first time," adds Christoph Schlewinski. What you don't find are board games with dice mechanics. "Cubes hardly play a role," summarizes Harald Schrapers. They are "out of fashion". Instead, card concepts would replace the dice factor, such as with The Crew from Verlag Kosmos. 

Board games nominated for Game of the Year 2020

The nominations for the game of the year 2020 have been made and the colorful selection is quite impressive. Overall, Harald Schrapers speaks of a "round offer" that is "extraordinarily varied". From draft to communication everything is there, cards anyway.

The following three board games have been nominated for the Game of the Year 2020:

  • My city, by Reiner Knizia, Kosmos
  • Nova Luna, Uwe Rosenberg and Corné van Moorsel, Edition Spielwiese and Pegasus Spiele
  • Pictures, Daniela and Christian Stöhr, PD-Verlag

As every year, there will be more titles on the jury's list of recommendations in 2020. The games narrowly missed a nomination, but should still be fun - even without a chance of the coveted trophy.

The jury of the Spiel des Jahres eV also recommends this year

  • ColorBrain
  • The fox in the forest
  • draftosaurus
  • Kitchen rush
  • littletown
  • Spicy

Low entry barriers and above-average game quality are the criteria that apply to these alternatives. Board games like Draftosaurus is or Little Town are common topics in community talk. 

 The “Spiel des Jahres” and “Kennerspiel des Jahres” awards will be presented on July 20th. The framework in which the award ceremony can take place will probably be decided in June.

Nominated for the Kennerspiel des Jahres 2020

Because the “Game of the Year” award is geared more towards the family game category, Spiel des Jahres eV also awards a prize for more challenging board games. This is called the connoisseur game.

The following titles have been nominated for the Kennerspiel des Jahres 2020:

  • The cartographer, Jordy Adan, Pegasus
  • The crew, Thomas Sing, Cosmos
  • King's dilemma, Lorenzo Silva, Hjalmar Hach, Heidelbär Games

Overall, the selection is not surprising. However, this is often the case with the expert games, because the selection list contains more top-class titles that are worthy of an award. In the end, only one board game received the coveted award, but all the titles listed are recommended for upscale family games or even experts – this year more than ever. The classification into the categories can be discussed in detail with some titles - like almost every year. The cartographer and King's Dilemma hardly go together in terms of their complexity, here a little more sensitivity on the part of the jury could have promoted the cartographer to the "Game of the Year" segment.

The three board games on the “Long List” for Kennerspiel des Jahres 2019 are:

  • Paladins of the west of France
  • Res Arcana
  • Underwater cities

In particular, board games such as Paladins of Western France or Underwater Cities are increasingly being showered with praise. Res Arcana hardly has to hide there. 

The nominees for the children's game of the year 2020

Game ideas suitable for children are also highlighted every year. Authors and publishers are then given the Children's Game of the Year award. The selection in 2020 is coherent and reflects different age groups. That's not always like that. "The areas for four and five years are particularly well represented," explains jury coordinator Christoph Schlewinski. The games are also "incredibly innovative" this year. 

The jury has called these titles for the children's game of the year 2020:

  • Photo fish, Michael Kallauch, Logis
  • speedy roll, Urtis Šulinskas, Piatnik
  • We are the robots, Reinhard Staupe, NSV

There are also seven other children's board games on the recommendation list:

  • go slowly
  • Hans in hapiness
  • Magic School
  • Puzzle memo
  • Slide Quest
  • Zombie kids evolution
  • zoo run
The award ceremony for the children's game of the year 2020 will take place on July 15 - this time as an online event. Play rounds with children are indispensable for the selection process in the area of ​​children's games. The jury is joined by expert judges, such as teachers or educators. Spiel des Jahres eV is always looking for support in order to be able to use the game rounds with children as an "assessment instrument". "Playing with children is a privilege that is often underestimated," says Schlewinski.
Further information on the Spiel des Jahres eV is available at www.spiel-des-
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