24 May 2016
Codenames among the titles vying for the prestigious award
The nominations have been unveiled for the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year), Kinderspiel des Jahres (Children’s Game of the Year) and Kennerspiel des Jahres (Expert Game of the Year).
We’ll start with the most important - the Spiel des Jahres, an award that has been given to such prestigious titles as Colt Express, Camel Up, Hanabi and Dixit. First on the list is the absolutely brilliant Codenames by designer Vlaada Chvátil and published by Czech Games Edition… seriously if you have not played this, then close your computer or drop whatever device you’re reading this on and go and try it. Tried it? Great, so you’ll understand why we love this simple word association game that’s been given a secret agent makeover.
Next is Imhotep by Phil Walker-Harding and published by Thames & Kosmos. We’ve actually reviewed Imhotep in the next issue and loved the theme of being a builder in ancient Egypt who must compete against your fellow builders to make the best structures and score the most points. Initially it may seem a bit dry but the gameplay is incredibly solid.
Finally there’s Karuba by Rüdiger Dorn and published by Haba. Here all the players have their own game board and must try to solve a puzzle to lead their explorer to a temple full of treasure, collecting gems along the way. If it was up to us, we’d most definitely pick Codenames, but we do really like Imhotep too… it’s a good job we’re not deciding.
For the Children’s Game of the Year (last year won by the excellent Broom Service), the judges must choose from Leo Muss Zum Friseur by Leo Colovini, MMM! from Reiner Knizia and Stone Age Junior by Marco Teubner.
The last category is kind of like the Critic’s Choice and includes slightly more advanced games for the more experienced player. In this selection you’ll find Isle of Syke by Alexander Pfister und Andreas Pelikan, Pandemic Legacy: Season One by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau and T.I.M.E. Stores from Manuel Rozoy.
The winners of the Game of the Year and Expert Game of the Year will be unveiled on 18th July, while the Children’s Game of the Year is announced on 20th June.