The nominations for the Spiel des Jahres, the most prestigious game design award in Germany, have been released, along with nominations for the Kennerspiel des Jahres and Kinderspiel des Jahres.

The top award is the Spiel des Jahres (or “Game of the Year”) itself, and the three nominees for this award are Christophe Raimbault’s Colt Express (available through Asmodee in the US—see “‘Colt Express’”), Masao Suganuma’s Machi Koro (from IDW Games—see “Hit Japanese Game ‘Machi Koro’ Due Here in July”), and Steffen Benndorf’s The Game (no US publisher).

For somewhat “heavier” games intended for experienced game players, the jury awards the Kennerspiel des Jahres (or “Enthusiast Game of the Year”).  This year’s three nominees are Andreas Pelikan and Alexander Pfister’s Broom Service (No US publisher), Brett Gilbert and Matthew Dunstan’s Elysium (Asmodee—see “‘Nations:  Dice,’ ‘Elysium,’ ‘Formula D’ Expansion, More”), and Reiner Stockhausen’s Orleans (Tasty Minstrel).

The last category is the Kinderspiel des Jahres (or “Children’s Game of the Year”), and the nominees here are Wolfgang Dirscherl and Manfred Reindl’s Push a Monster (Queen Games), Karin Hetling’s Schatz-Rabatz (no US publisher), and Roberto Fraga’s Spinderella (no US publisher).

Author Stewart Woods described the importance of a Spiel des Jahres nomination in his book Eurogames:  The Design, Culture and Play of Modern European Board Games.  According to his research, simply being nominated can boost the expected sales of a game from 500 – 3000 copies up to around 10,000.  Actually winning the award can translate into sales of 300,000 to 500,000 copies.

Last year’s winner was Pegasus Spiele’s Camel Up (see “‘Spiel des Jahres 2014’ Winner Announced”).

The Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres winners will be announced in July. For the last two years, the Kinderspiel des Jahres was announced a few weeks earlier in June.