Episode 213: Spiel des Jahres 2015 - Part 2

Release Date: June 29, 2015

Running Time:   123 min.

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There can be only one... Game of the Year, that is. 

The Spiel des Jahres is considered the highest honor in the world of board and card games. Founded in 1979 and awarded in Germany each year, the trophy goes to the best game for families - a game that's easy to learn, fun to play and one kids and parents will want to return to again and again. 

Part 2 of our coverage features a full review of the third and final nominee, The Game, a cooperative card game where table talk (of a sort) is allowed. After our review, we see how it stacks up against the jury's criteria.

We hear from three listeners with their predictions and then we put our necks on the line and try to predict this year's winner.

Spiel des Jahres Nominees: The Game, Machi Koro, Colt Express

News & Notes: Origins Awards winners, GW Sales, Booty, Star Trek: Five Year Mission, Istanbul Expansion, Ascension Expansion, Terra from Bezier, FTC vs Kickstarter

Crowdfunding: Gallerist, Argonauts

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 212: Kinderspiel des Jahres 2015

Release Date: June 8, 2015

Running Time:   125 min.

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For kids. And kids at heart.

We review Spinderella, Treasure Trouble and Push-a-Monster, the three nominees for the Kinderspiel des Jahres, the best Children's Game of the Year, and try to predict the winner. 

From magnetic spiders, wooden monsters and pirate chests full of booty, each nominated game highlights spatial awareness and concentration skills in vastly different ways.

Spinderella features magnetic spiders swooping down from a 3-D board to pick up ants. In Push-a-Monster, players slide wooden creatures onto a mini-table trying not to knock others off. Treasure Trouble puts players in charge of cramming a chest full of oddly shaped loot as fast as they can. 

Tune in to learn about each game and see which one we think will walk away with the trophy this year!

Kinderspiel des Jahres Nominees: Spinderella, Treasure Trouble, Push-a-Monster

Recommended Games List: Schau Mal, Was Ist Anders?, Fröschlein aufgepasst!, Joe's Zoo, Fliegenschmaus, Honigbienchen, Der Verdrehte Sprch-Zoo, Chef Alfredo

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 211: Spiel des Jahres 2015 - Part 1

Release Date: May 25, 2015

Running Time:   125 min.

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The Jury is in session. So are we!

The Spiel des Jahres is Germany's Game of the Year. It's an award for the best family game. And it is the most prestigious award in the board game world, spawning satellite awards for kid's games (Kinderspiel) and strategy games (Kennerspiel).

Over the next four episodes, we will review games nominated for the Kinder, Kenner and Spiel des Jahres, see how they stack up against the jury's criteria, and try to predict the winners.

Part 1 of our Spiel des Jahres coverage includes reviews of two nominated games, Machi Koro and Colt Express, plus a look at the recommended games list.

Spiel des Jahres Nominees: Machi Koro, Colt Express, The Game
Recommended Games List: One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Cacao, Loony Quest, Ugo, Patchwork, Simsala Boom

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 210: Sondry Folk

Release Date: May 4, 2015

Running Time:   161 min.

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That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde.

We delve into the history and literary legacy of one of England's most famous cities by exploring two board games: Canterbury and The Road to Canterbury.

In Canterbury, players are Saxon lords in the Dark Ages building the city district by district. In The Road to Canterbury, players are pardoners accompanying Chaucer's pilgrims, tempting them into sins which only you can absolve... for a price.

News & Notes: Origins Awards, Kniziathon, Stalingrad, Rattle Battle & Grab the Loot
The List: Canterbury, The Road to Canterbury
Game Sommelier: 5 up-and-coming designers that could be the next Stefan Feld.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 209: Point Salad

Release Date: Apr. 13, 2015

Running Time:   175 min.

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Hold the croutons. 

Point Salad is a term most often applied to the games of Stefan Feld. To do well at Feld's games, you cannot pursue a single path to victory. His games push you to score in a variety of ways. Whether geared for kids or the high strategy crowd, each Feld game is a "point salad" and the fun and challenge comes from creating the best mix.

We celebrate 9 years of The Spiel with an episode showcasing the work Stefan Feld. We explore his 10 year career and then review his two latest games: La Isla and Aquasphere.

La Isla is a card driven board game where explorers search for extinct species. Aquasphere is an intricate worker placement game where players conduct research in an underwater lab programming robots and fending off the dreaded octopods.

News & Notes: One More Roll, GTG & Dice Hate Me, GenCon does the right thing
Crowdfunding Round-Up: Knot Dice, Dice boxes, Dice poppers, Titan series
Back Shelf Spotlight: Feld Ludography
The List: La Isla, Aquasphere
Game Sommelier: 5 co-designers for Stefan Feld

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 208: Captains of Industry

Release Date: Mar. 23, 2015

Running Time:    min.

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Blood, sweat & gears. We clock in and review Kanban and Factory Fun, two very challenging but very different games built around an industrial theme. Kanban is a many-layered simulation of a Japanese auto factory. Factory fun is an abstract puzzle where players are rewarded for making crazy, convoluted machines. 

We also learn about Knock Down Barns from designer Greg Burhop. This game is made from reclaimed barn wood and involves building and destroying barns with tiny foam marshmallows.

News & Notes: Nippon, Les Poilus
Crowdfunding Round-Up: Far Space Foundry, Wizards of the Wild, Thunderbirds
The List: Kanban, Factory Fun
Truckloads of Goober: Knock Down Barns

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 207: Cubism

Release Date: Mar. 2, 2015

Running Time:   173 min.

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Roll over Picasso. We review Waggle Dance, Praetor and Dice Brewing. Each game uses dice in a fun, creative way: to make honey, to build Hadrian's wall and to make beer. We also receive a visit from listener Jay Bartelt for a special in-person Game Sommelier segment. 

News & Notes: The Next Great American Game, Quebec Hassles Game Store Owner
Crowdfunding Round-Up: Floating Market, Renaissance Wars, Tao of Peg, Brewin' USA, Cypress Inheritance
The List: Waggle Dance, Praetor, Dice Brewing
The Game Sommelier: 5 games to pair with a 5 course gourmet meal

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 206: Old School

Release Date: Feb. 9, 2015

Running Time:   150 min.

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Back in the day... We review Murano and Royals, two new titles that call back to the first generation of "euros" that sparked the Renaissance in modern board games. Murano is a tile laying game about Italian glass makers that features a communal rondel of actions. Royals is a card driven area control game about rival families vying for titles across Europe. Both games are have an easy-to-learn elegance which allows players to discover greater depth and strategy without having to fight the rules. These games aren't retro. They've simply returned to their roots.

News & Notes: Holiday Game Sales Report, Mattel's CEO resigns, Marco Polo, DC Crisis #2, Asmodee buys Ystari and Pearl 
Crowdfunding Round-Up: Pencil Dice, M-80, Trickerion
The List: Murano, Royals
Back Shelf Spotlight: Richelieu
The Game Sommelier: 5 old school games that don't get enough love

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

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