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:

  • Code Names designed by Vladimir Chvatil  (Czech Game Edition)
  • Imhotep designed by Phil Walker-Harding (Kosmos) (U.S. Distribution by Thames and Kosmos)
  • Karuba designed by Dorn Rudiger (Haba) (U.S. Distribution by Haba USA)

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

  • Isle of Skye designed by Alexander Pfister and Andreas Pelikan (Lookout Games)
  • Pandemic Legacy - Season 1 designed by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau (Z-Man Games)
  • Time Stories designed by Manuel Rozoy (Space Cowboys) ((U.S. Distribution by Asmodee NA)

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

  • Leo Muss Zum Friseur (Leo goes to the Barber) by Leo Colovini (Abacausspiele) (no U.S. Distribution)
  • MMM! Reiner Knizia (Pegasus Games) (no U.S. Distribution)
  • Stone Age Junior by Marco Teubner (Hans im Gluck) (no U.S. Distribution)

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 Christopher Raimbault’s Colt Express (see “'Spiel des Jahres' 2015 Winner Announced”).

The winner of the Spiel and Kennerspiel  will be announced on July 18. The winner of the Kinderspiel will be announced on June 20.