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, the Spiel des Jahres ("Game of the Year") nominees include:

  • King Domino by Bruno Cathala (Pegasus Spiele) (U.S. Distribution by Blue Orange)
  • Magic Maze by Kasper Lapp (Publisher: Sit Down!, Distribution: Pegasus Spiele)
  • Race to El Dorado by Reiner Knizia (Ravensburger)

The Kennerspiel des Jahres (“Enthusiast Game of the Year”) is for somewhat “heavier” games intended for more experienced game players. The nominees for this year are:

  • Exit – The Game by Inka Brand and Markus Brand (Kosmos) (U.S. Distribution by Thames & Kosmos)
  • Raiders of the North Sea by Shem Phillips (Schwerkraft-Verlag)
  • Terraforming Mars by Jacob Fryxelius (Schwekraft-Verlag) (U.S. Distribution by Stronghold Games)

The Kinderspiel des Jahres (“Children’s Game of the Year) nominees are:

  • Captain Silver by Wolfgang Dirscherl & Manfred Reindl (Queen Games)
  • ICE COOL by Brian Gomez (Amigo) (U.S. Distribution by Brain Games)
  • The Mysterious Forest by Carlo A. Rossi (Iello, Vertrieb, Yikes! & Friends)

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 Codenames (see "'Spiel des Jahres' 2016 Winner Announced").

The winner of the Spiel and Kennerspiel will be announced on July 17 in Berlin.  The winner of the Kinderspiel will be announced on June 19 in Hamburg.