The German Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) is perhaps the world's most prestigious game award. Founded in 1978 by a group of German game critics to promote awareness and to increase the cultural value of games, the award recognizes outstanding games based on originality, playability, and educational value of the game idea; organization, clarity and understandability of rules; packing and layout of the gameboard and the game rules; and functionality and overall quality of the game materials included.
Popular Spiel des Jahres Winners
Spiel des Jahres Winners, By Year
2011 Spiel des Jahres Awardees
- Asara — Asara, the land of a thousand towers has opened its gates to you! Use your tactical sense to stay ahead of the other players and become the greatest architect of the country.
- Blockers — A minute of rules, then a lifetime of fun for the whole family. See the numbers, letters and symbols? You have one tile for each type of space on the board. Play your tiles strategically to form the fewest clusters of your color on the board AND to block and capture your rivals.
- Forbidden Island — Dare to discover Forbidden Island! Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of this perilous paradise. Race to collect the treasures and make a triumphant escape before you are swallowed into the watery abyss!
- Luna: In the Domain of the Moon Priestess — The Regency of the Moon Priestess is nigh. Her successor will be chosen among the memebers of the mightiest Order of the Moon Cult - that is why they are competing to gain the most influence.
- Magician's Kitchen — Kaboom! A colorful cloud of smoke billows out of the cauldron in the old Magician's Kitchen, where the magician's little apprentices are learning the art of cooking up magic potions.
- Qwirkle — Qwirkle is as simple as matching colors and shapes, but it's also a game that requires tactical maneuvers and well-planned strategy. Easy-to-learn rules mean you'll be having fun in no time!
- Safranito — Saffron, curry and cardamom -- in the bazaar everyone will be haggling over these precious spices. Players try as quickly as possible to get the right spices together for the meals they'll serve to the Maharajah.
- Skull And Roses — Think you can reveal the most Rose cards without ever discovering a Skull card? Think you have nerves of steel? Play your Skull at the right time, force your opponents to overbid, and bluff like you've never bluffed before!
- Sun Sea and Sand — In SUN SEA and SAND each player starts a resort on a tourist island. Manage your money and time -- it's all in your hands!
2010 Spiel des Jahres Awardees
- Dixit — Storytelling is the name of the game in Dixit.
- Fresko — Players slip into the role of the fresco painters in this colorful family game and have to prove their abilities.
- Roll Through The Ages — Build a thriving civilization -- in under an hour!
2009 Spiel des Jahres Awardees
- Bakers Dozen — Sort the different kinds of donuts to form a Baker's Dozen, but don't let the total value go over 13!
- Cities — Cities is a fast, tactical placing and positioning game.
- Dominion — You assume the role of a monarch, as your parents before you.
- Fauna — Show what you know (and what you have no clue) about animals.
- Finca — Mallorca. Island of the wind. A place of golden beaches and a light-blue sea.
- Fits — Fits is basically multi-player board game version of the popular video game Tetris. One to four players try to skillfully fill in the spaces using shapes that are made up of three, four, or five blocks.
- Mow — Become farmers that round up cows in the field and form them into herds.
- Pack and Stack — It's moving day! Pack & Stack is a fast and funny, wild and crazy game about moving stuff on all sorts of odd trucks.
- Pandemic — As skilled members of a disease-fighting team in Pandemic, you and your companions must do battle against four lethal diseases. You'll need to work feverishly to find the cures in time or kiss humanity as we know it goodbye!
- Poison — The mad doctor has cooked up something evil in Reiner Knizias Poison, a clever strategy card game for three players.
- Space Alert — A team survival game set on a crew of space explorers.
- Valdora — Hidden far away from our time lies a valley full of unimaginable riches. Adventurers from all over the world set off to try to make their fortune in Valdora.
2008 Spiel des Jahres Awardees
- Galaxy Trucker — Build your own space ship, and you just might find yourself among the 10 billion richest people in the Galaxy!
- In the Year of the Dragon — Taking on the role of a Chinese prince, In the Year of the Dragon challenges players to build wealth.
- Lascaux: Exploring Ancestral Art — Fabulous caves containing the artistic legacy or our ancient ancestors were discovered in a cave complex at Lascaux.
- Linq — 4 Cards... 1 Pair... 100 reasons why you SHOULD be right. The only problem is... you don't know who your partner is!
- Marrakech — The bazaar is bustling: it's the big day of the rug market! Each player is a salesperson that tries to outwit the others.
- Metropolys — The awe-inspiring Metropolys is in effervescence! The player with the most prestige is the winner.
- Stone Age — The times were hard indeed. Our ancestors worked with their legs and backs straining against wooden plows in the stony earth.
- The Hanging Gardens — The hanging gardens were one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, as all history courses teach. But, did they actually exist?
- Witch's Brew — Whether it is the druid, the witch, or the wizard, who will make the best witch's brew?
2007 Spiel des Jahres Awardees
- Zooloretto — Each player uses small, large, wild and exotic animals and their young to try and attract as many visitors as possible to their zoo.
- Alchemist — The most talented Adepts of the mystical arts come from around the world to compete for the title of Supreme Adept!
- The Pillars of the Earth — Players join together to help build Kingsbridge Cathedral in this strategy game based on Ken Follett's best-selling novel.
- Yspahan — 1598. Yspahan the Fair becomes the capital of the Persian Empire in this marketplace strategy game.
2006 Spiel des Jahres Awardees
- Shadows Over Camelot — a unique collaborative game where you join forces with the Knights of the Round Table in an attempt to protect Camelot.
- Thurn and Taxis — Players take turns building connecting routes of postal stagecoaches across Germany.
2005 Spiel des Jahres Awardees
- Jambo — You're a trader competing to sell tea, hide, fruits, salt, silk, and trinkets.
- Niagara — In the wild rapids of the Niagara River, fearless canoers battle the water and each other to collect gems along the riverbank.
- Power Grid — An energetic economic game where the object is to supply the most cities with efficient and reliable power.
2004 Spiel des Jahres Awardees
- Ingenious — Players place colored tiles on the hexagonal board, blocking opponents and trying to protect themselves.
- Saint Petersburg — A tactical game for Russian tycoons - build baroque palaces, wide boulevards, and elegant bridges.
- Carcassonne: The Castle — An exciting tile-laying competition between two players to expand the castle.
2003 Spiel des Jahres Awardees
- Coloretto — Like a Chameleon, a player must change his color many times during this game.
- The Werewolves of Millers Hollow — Who among the villagers of Millers Hollow are werewolves?
2002 Spiel des Jahres Awardees
- Dvonn — A challenging stacking game with very simple rules - control as many pieces as possible by building stacks.
2001 Spiel des Jahres Awardees
- Carcassonne — Develop the area around the southern French city of Caracassonne by placing land tiles.
2000 Spiel des Jahres Awardees
- Carolus Magnus — Try to gain the Emperor's favor - and perhaps the right of succession - in the court of Charlemagne.
- La Citta — Each player is an Italian prince and must earn the support of his people.
- Torres — Build the tallest and largest castles to earn the throne.
See Also: Other Award-Winning Board Games