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2010 Spiel des Jahres Nominees

By sconway - Posted on 31 May 2010

The five nominees for the 2010 Spiel des Jahres are...

Our special two part Spiel des Jahres coverage will begin next week. We play and review each nominee and try to predict the winner. Stay tuned!

Dixit  Official Site | BGG

Identik (Portrayal) Official Site | BGG


Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age Official Site | BGG

a la Carte  Official Site | BGG

Fresco  Official Site | BGG


sconway's picture

The Spiel des Jahre Jury also posts the short list of recommended titles. Think of these like semi-finalists for the award.

Level X
Don Quixote
Jager und Sammler
Hansa Teutonica

scooterb23's picture

Wow, this is the first time I can honestly say I've played three of the nominees before the awards are actually announced.

I find it interesting that two of the games have been out for at least a couple years (Portrayal and a la Carte), but if I recall correctly, the Spiel des Jahres isn't necessarily always about new games.

I haven't played Fresco or Dixit yet.  I suspect Dixit has the inside track to win the award, although of the three I've played, Roll Through the Ages is my favorite (especcially with the Late Bronze Age "expansion").


countzero's picture

Dixit would get my vote. Its a beautiful game that gets people talking around the table instead of taking turns to just roll dice or perform actions.

The artwork works really well, some of the pieces would make great prints and with Dixit 2 quickly following its got to be a sure win.

I have not played any but Roll Through the Ages (thanks guys) and loved it.  I was pretty shocked to see it nominated.  It is worth it.

Last year, people wondered whether Dominion would be nominated or considered too complex. Once it was nominated, most assumed that it was a shoe-in for the award... and it was.


This year, the scuttlebutt was that Tobago was a shoe-in for a nomination. The scuttlebutt was wrong. I've already got two of the nominees (Roll Through the Ages and A la Carte - both are very good) and have had my eye on two of the others (Fresco and Dixit). Portrayal/Identik is the real surprise for me this year (besides Tobago not getting a nomination, that is...). I hope to get a play in of all of the nominees before the announcement of the winner, but doubt that I will be able to do it. Dixit appears to be sold out everywhere, and the nomination is not going to help.


Handicapping right now, I would lean towards Fresco, while hoping for the long-shot of Roll Through the Ages winning. Have fun playing them all - I'm curious to hear your thoughts on all of them!

sconway's picture

To me, the most striking thing about the list is how many titles were published first in other countries (notably the US) before being published in Germany.

There was a time when the world looked to Europe and specifically Germany for all the best that the world of games had to offer. I think it is cool that we have come full circle and the rest of the world is now having a significant impact on gaming in Germany.

I'll save my specific thoughts for the upcoming shows. We record Part 1 of the Spiel des Schpiel tomorrow!

Not sure this is an entirely new phenomenon-  the SdJ has been won in the past by, among others, the British (David Parlett- the very first winner, David Watts), the Israeli (Ephraim Hertzano), the Americans (the original 3M masterminds Sid Sackson and Alex Randolph, the team behind Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, the seemingly ubiquitous Alan Moon). Not sure where the guy behind Dominion hails from- not sure it matters. I remember at this time last year getting into a minor fracas with someone who refused to believe that Matt Leacock was not German. Pandemic was a good game, therefore it had to be German. (Then again, I've seen Acquire referred to as a German game.) The publishing requirement does probably narrow things down though.

Dixit should and will.

sconway's picture

Historical perspective is always important to keep in mind. Glad you're Johnny on the spot, Gregory, to remind us.

I wasn't trying to imply there haven't been non-German SdJ winners. My point is more about the scale of influence non-German games are having on the SdJ. It seems to me it is increasing - that the game market is really a much more global entity that ever before. There are so many more good games being produced outside Germany (and Europe) that fit the SdJ criteria. What's the appropriate cliche? A rising tide raises all ships? I find it encouraging to see the German game publishers (and the SdJ jury!) are taking notice of this.

You know it makes me wonder why the SdJs aren't live-streamed somewhere these days, complete with a gala dinner, dramatically torn envelopes and choked-up acceptance speeches. I'd probably tune in to that!

Actually, I'd be equally curious from the other direction- with the possible exception of Scotland Yard and a few other games lifted by their SdJ status, my familiarity with the games of Germany doesn't reach much farther back than Modern Art, the first thing I remember noticing in translation from Mayfair. I think that was before they broke Settlers in the states. Either way they had staggeringly fortunate timing as Magic: The Gathering's initially meteoric phenomenon began to cool a bit, leaving a void for the next new (and non-collectible) thing. That might make for some interesting if largely academic Backshelf segments- what were the Germans playing in the 70's and 80's before Knizia and Kramer showed up? And did European audiences ever impatiently await translations of titles from English?



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