Every year the Spiel des Jahres eV awards the awards for the best board game of a season. The Game of the Year and Kennerspiel des Jahres critics' awards are among the most important awards of the year for authors and publishers. And consumers also see the award as a recommendation - and thus a clear signal to buy. A little jubilee mood arises at the awarding of the meanwhile 40th game of the year, abbreviated soberly as SdJ by connoisseurs. Azul by Michael Kiesling is the game of the year 2018. The Kennspiel des Jahres 2018, however, comes from Wolfgang Warsch and is called Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg. Both titles are outstanding. Azul in particular was showered with hymns of praise by the jury of the Spiel des Jahres eV.

Azul is the game of the year 2018

You don't have to be particularly skilled in your handcraft to play the tactical placement game Blue To have fun. A penchant for aesthetics, on the other hand, is enormously helpful. With the in-depth tiler, the experienced game designer Michael Kiesling has received the significant critic's award for the third time - even if the last award was around 18 years ago. As you can see: Michael Kiesling has been in the business for a long time.

With Blue he has now created a “masterpiece”. At least that is what the critics of the Spiel des Jahres eV, which held the award ceremony for the first time in 1979, say to the board game rabbit and Hedgehog from Ravensburger. It became apparent early on that Azul will definitely be one of the selected games. Critics and players were enthusiastic about the simple game mechanism with the enormously high replay value. The fact that the board game from the German-Canadian publisher Plan B Games ultimately received the award is a consistent decision on the part of the jury, which once again shows that the average board player has a good feel for what really defines quality. 

Game of the year 2018 and connoisseur game of the year 2018

Blue is a modern classic that does not reinvent the principle of a tactical laying board game, but revolutionizes it in its own way. Already optically unfolded Blue a tremendous attraction for all those players for whom external values ​​are important in a board game. Grace and beauty are attributes that fit perfectly with many arrangements of the “azulejos” (the Portuguese name for a colorful tile image). Sales of over 300.000 copies show how popular Azul is among gamers. The puzzle, which has already won the French equivalent of the game of the year (As d'Or), has been translated into 25 languages. 

Thematically, everything revolves around the ornate tile paintings that the Moors once brought to the Iberian Peninsula. The Portuguese King Manuel I hired the best craftsmen to decorate his palace with tile pictures and the race for valuable points began.

Blue had to prevail against strong competitors. On the one hand against the card game The Mind by Wolfgang Warsch, on the other hand against the running-heavy collecting game Luxor by Rüdiger Dorn. All three titles would have been worthy winners. Things are looking even better for Azul for the coming Christmas business.

Game of the year 2018: the jury's reasoning

If you follow the justification of the jury of the Spiel des Jahres eV, you are dealing with a supposedly contradicting game mechanism at Azul. On one side there is that "Almost sober functionality of the game board"; on the other hand, the beautiful tile images bring a successful contrast to the gaming table, which underpins the successful look of Azul. Azul uses a comparatively simple selection mechanism that provides depth that noticeably increases the replay value. 

Azul, the 2018 Game of the Year, has a sack of entertainment for board players. The tactical placement game relies on aesthetics and a comparatively simple gameplay.
Azul, the 2018 Game of the Year, has a sack of entertainment for board players. The tactical placement game relies on aesthetics and a comparatively simple gameplay.

In the opinion of the jury of critics, this is exactly what the game designer Michael Kiesling is doing "Masterpiece" succeded. The haptically convincing tiles, which reinforce the valuable impression and make the material a pleasure, have an additional charm. The tactical board game, which is distributed by Pegasus Spiele in this country, more than lives up to all of its advance praise. The award of the Game of the Year 2018 award ultimately confirms what players have been saying for months: Azul has what it takes to become a real evergreen.

The Quacksalber von QUedlinburg is the connoisseur's game of the year 2018

The corks must have popped in the office of the traditional German publisher Schmidt Spiele: The quacks of Quendlinburg is the Kennerspiel des Jahres 2018. The board game with the name comes from Wolfgang Warsch, who is with The Mind (NSV) and Pretty clever (Schmidt Spiele) was able to place two more titles on the nomination lists of the Jury of the Game of the Year eV. Even without an award, 2018 could have been described as a successful year for Wolfgang Warsch. If you look at the names of the competition, Warsch is more of an underdog. He has not had any publications worth mentioning so far - apart from some research results from his “two career” as molecular biology. After all: the subject of alchemy runs in Warsch's blood. And probably also in the heart. There is no other way of explaining the attention to detail he has with The quacks of Quedlinburg has shown. Measured against Warsch's previous game ideas, the Kennerspiel des Jahres 2018 is completely out of the ordinary. 

Review of Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg, Kennerspiel des Jahres 2018
Review of Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg, Kennerspiel des Jahres 2018

The Quacks from Quedlinburg scores with a substantial alchemical basic equipment that gives players an idea of ​​the tactical finesse they could expect. At random, players pull their ingredients from a bag in order to make new potions over and over again. What at first sounds like a pure game of chance turns out to be an exciting tactic board game in which budding alchemists enjoy a lot of freedom in refining their “cooking skills”. Profitable compositions lead to gushing income on the player side, which can be invested in the acquisition of new ingredients. 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, are included The quacks of Quedlinburg, the worthy connoisseur game of 2018, entertained at a high level.

Kennerspiel des Jahres 2018: The jury's reasoning

The jury of the Spiel des Jahres eV speaks The quacks of Quedlinburg of a game idea whose "Bag soup is a tasty dish for game lovers" power. What sounds cryptic should actually mean: This tactical board game is damn good!

The quacks of Quedlinburg takes care of players for "Taste explosions and a firework of emotions". Flowery words of praise for a board game that got its flowery name only in the course of the editorial process. What is now set in a German low mountain range was originally planned as a Western board game. In a board game, the title alone doesn't matter. The quacks of Quedlinburg convinces with his despite your bag mechanics "Tactical freedoms" and the emergence of emotional outbursts in quick succession.

Game of the year 2018 and connoisseur game of the year 2018
The dream of many frequent gamers: a well-equipped alchemy kit for the home. With the board game by Wolfgang Warsch, players' dreams come true.

The jury of critics describes the board game by Wolfgang Warsch as "High-risk tile drawing"that is more than just a game of chance. It is above all the crackling peas that give the alchemical cooking process the necessary moments of tension. It's like in real life: lots of peas lead to lots of explosions. 

Those who skillfully use their tactical possibilities and always weigh up their risks have a good chance of winning the competition for the most profitable alchemist's room.

The Quacksalber von Quedlinburg has stood out in the evaluation against the competitors The Mind (also by Wolfgang Warsch) and Heaven & Ale (Queen Games) by Michael Kiesling and Andreas Schmidt.