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” in a live broadcast “ceremony”. A total of 25 titles, the so-called longlist, were shortlisted, three of which have now made it into the shortlist in each of the three categories.

Game of the year 2020 in "exciting times"

Jury chairman Harald Schrapers and children's game coordinator Christoph Schlewinski presented the nominations in a livestream talk. “Corona” was also an issue, of course in these times. The virus pandemic has also shaped the lives of gamers, 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 2020 is “perhaps one of the most important we have ever created,” says Harald Schrapers, referring to the need for entertainment and activity in the 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, legacy games are also popular in the current game season. “There is a legacy representative in each category,” says Schrapers. This year even at the children's games. “For the first time”, adds Christoph Schlewinski. What you won't find, however, are board games with dice mechanics. “Dice hardly play a role,” summarizes Harald Schrapers. They are “out of style”. Instead, card concepts would replace the dice factor, for example with The Crew from Kosmos. 

Board games nominated for Game of the Year 2020

The nominations for the game of the year 2020 have been determined and the colorful selection is definitely impressive. Overall, Harald Schrapers speaks of a “complete offer” that is “exceptionally varied”. From draft to communication, everything is included, 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
  • Little Town
  • 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 awards “Game of the Year” and “Kennerspiel des Jahres” will be given on July 20th. The framework in which the award ceremony can take place is expected to be decided in June.

Nominated for the Kennerspiel des Jahres 2020

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

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 hardly surprising. However, this is often the case with the Kennerspiele, because the selection list as a whole increasingly contains top-class and therefore award-winning titles. In the end, only one board game receives the coveted award, but without exception all the titles listed are recommended for upscale family games or even experts - this year more than ever. As with almost every year, you can discuss in detail the classification into the categories of some titles. The cartographer and King's Dilemma hardly fit together in terms of their complexity, a little more sensitivity on the part of the jury should have promoted the cartographer into the “Game of the Year” segment.

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

  • 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

Every year child-friendly game ideas are highlighted. Authors and publishers are then given the Children's Game of the Year award. The selection in 2020 is consistent and shows different age groups. That's not always like that. “The area for four and five years is 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 2020 will take place on July 15 - this time as an online event. For the selection process in the field of children's games, games with children are indispensable. Expert assessors, such as educators and educators, join the jury. The Spiel des Jahres eV is always looking for support in order to be able to use the game rounds with children as an “evaluation instrument”. “Playing with children is an often underestimated privilege,” says Schlewinski.
Further information on the Spiel des Jahres eV is available at www.spiel-des- Jahres.de.
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