Spiel des Jahres 2023 - Game of the Year

16 July 2023
Germany’s prestigious Spiel des Jahres award goes to Dorfromantik: The Board Game. Here's a full rundown of the winner and the runner ups from Spiel des Jahres 2023

It was a big night for game designers across the world on Sunday 16th, as many designers, publishers and press were present at the nhow Berlin conference centre to find out who was the winners of the Spiel Des Jahres 2023 awards

If you're new here, the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) is, of course, a prestigious award for board and card games, first created back in 1978 with the purpose of rewarding family-friendly game design, and promoting excellent games. Though it started predominately to celebrate games within the German market, it has since grown and is recognised as an achievement across the tabletop gaming community internationally.

Spiel des Jahres 2023 game of the year

After a moving opening video celebrating the life of Catan designer Klaus Teuber, it was announced that the Kinderspiel (or children’s game) winner this year was spooky mystery co-op Mysterium: Kids, Kennerspiel (hobbyist game) winner was card battling delight Challengers! And the final and biggest award, the ‘Game of the Year’ 2023 went to the charming village builder Dorfromantik: The Board Game.

This win marks two firsts for a Spiel Des Jahres winner: the first winner which was an adaptation of a video game as well as the first winner which also has legacy components that add new elements to the game which offer new challenges. As a lot of pundits around the world have spoken out about the relevancy of this award in modern board game culture, it’s interesting to see this year’s big winner not only including one of the more revelatory new mechanics in board games, but also an idea that has come from outside of tabletop gaming, showing the broadening cultural connection that tabletop games are now offering to players across the world.

The night also saw a special award given to game series Unlock! For its contributions to exploring new fields of tabletop gaming with its series of co-operative ‘Escape the Room’ style games.

The full list of Spiel des Jahres 2023 winners and runner-ups

Dorfromantik – Das Brettspiel (Dorfromantik – The Boardgame) by Michael Palm and Lukas Zach
Pegasus Spiele
Illustrations: Paul Riebe
Idyllic tile-laying game for 2 to 6 people aged 8 and over

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Nominated for Spiel des Jahres 2023

Fun Facts by Kaspar Lapp
Repos Productions
Illustrations: Repos Productions
Enlightening self-assessment for 4 to 8 people aged 8 and over

Next Station London by Matthew Dunstan
/ HCM Kinzel / Blue Orange
Illustrations: Maxime Morin
Colourful on the move in London’s underground for 1 to 4 people aged 8 and over

Recommendation list

Akropolis by Jules Messaud (Kobold Spieleverlag / Gigamic)
Hitster (Jumbo)
Kuzooka by Leo Colovini (Pegasus Spiele)
Mantis by Ken Gruhl and Jeremy Posner (Exploding Kittens)
QE by Gavin Birnbaum (Strohmann Games / Boardgametables.com)
Sea Salt & Paper by Bruno Cathala and Theo Rivière (MM Spiele/ Bombyx)
That’s Not a Hat by Kasper Lapp (Ravensburger)

Kinderspiel des Jahres 2023

Mysterium Kids by Antonin Boccara and Yves Hirschfeld
Libellud / Space Cow
Illustrations: Olivier Danchin
Acoustic association game for 2 to 6 children aged 6 and over

Nominated for Kinderspiel des Jahres 2023

Carla Caramel by Sara Zarian
Illustrations: Apolline Etienne
A cooperative ice cream parlour for 1 to 6 children aged 4 and over

Gigamons by Johann Roussel and Karim Aouidad
Mirakulus / Studio H
Illustrations: Marie-Anne Bonneterre
Memorable monster collecting full of special effects for 2 to 4 people aged 5 and over

Recommendation list Kinderspiel

Douzanimo by Sébastien Decad (Djeco)
Mein erstes Abenteuer (My first adventure) Books 1 to 7 by Roméo Hennion, Mathilde Malburet, Jean Philippe Sahut und Arnaud Boutle (Board Game Box / Game Flow)
Rutsch & Flutsch (Turtle Splash!) by Joel Escalante and Rafael Escalante (Gigamic/ Game Factory)


Kennerspiel des Jahres 2023

Challengers! by Johannes Krenner and Markus Slawitscheck
1 More Time Games / Z-Man Games

Illustrations: Jeff Harvey
Turbulent tournament game for 1 to 8 people aged 8 and over

You can see our review of Challengers! here

Nominated for Kennerspiel des Jahres 2023

Iki by Koota Yamada
Giant Roc / Sorry We Are French

Illustrations: Dommiy, David Sitbon, Koota Yamada
Trading race through historic Tokyo for 2 to 4 people aged 14 and over

Planet Unknown by Ryan Lambert and Adam Rehberg
Strohmann Games / Adam’s Apple Games
Illustrations: Yorgo Manis
Productive planet puzzle for 1 to 6 people aged 10 and over

Recommendation list Kennerspiel

Council of Shadows by Martin Kallenborn and Jochen Scherer (Alea)
Mindbug by Marvin Hegen, Christian Kudahl, Skaff Elias and Richard Garfield, (Nerdlab)



Special Award

Unlock! Game Adventures – Zug um Zug · Mysterium · Pandemic
by Cyril Demaegd, Mathieu Casnin, Thomas Cauët, Jeremy Koch
Space Cowboys
Illustrations: Atha Kanaani, Martin Mottet, Jérôme Pélissier, Chris Quilliams

Unlock! Kids: Detektivgeschichten (Unlock! Kids: Detective Stories) –Auf dem Bauernhof •  Die Burg von McUnlockMac • Chaos im Park
by Cyril Demaegd, Wilfried Fort, Marie Fort
Space Cow
Illustrations: Maud Chalmel, Olivier Danchin


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