Episode 129: Spiel des Schpiel 2011

Release Date: June 6, 2011

Running Time:  142 min.

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There can be only one. Winner, that is. We review the nominees for the most prestigious award in gaming, The Spiel des Jahres, and try to predict the winner.

The Nominees: Qwirkle, Forbidden Island, Asara
Recommended List: 
Geistesblitz, Blockers, Uluru, Mondo, Skull & Roses, Sun Sea & Sand, Freeze, Safranito
Predictions:  Our favorite, our pick, who will win

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Recommended Games List

Geistesblitz Official Site | BGG


Flip cards and try to grab the right object pictured before the other players. The catch: most of the cards don't match the objects exacty!

Blockers   Official Site | BGG


Sudoku-like abstract tile laying game where  players try to form the fewest number of groups on the board.

Uluru  Official Site | BGG

A simultaneous puzzle solving game where Australian dreambirds want to land at specific locations to fulfill specific conditions.

Mondo Official Site | BGG

Build a world using tiles on your board in 7 minutes or less!

Skull & Roses   Official Site | BGG


Biker-themed variant on the classic game Liar's Dice.

Sun, Sea & Sand   Official Site | BGG


Manage a family owned resort to gain the most notoriety over the Summer.

Freeze   Official Site | BGG


Improv acting game where you must guess the importance of each person in the scene.

Safranito   Official Site | BGG


Dexterity/trading/economics game where players toss poker chips to determine the market each turn.

The Nominees

Qwirkle Official Site | BGG  |  Buy It   Starlit | BG Guy

Play blocks to match color or shape, score points based on the lines you add to. Deceptively simple but strategic abstract game.

Forbidden Island Official Site | BGG  |  Buy It   Starlit | BG Guy


Co-op game that pits your team of adventurers against a rapidly sinking island, Try to recover 4 treasures and escape before drowning.

Asara Official Site | BGG  |  Buy It   Starlit | BG Guy


Build the most or the tallest towers in different colors by placing your worker cards in different areas of the city.

Pledge Drive 2011

Show your financial support for The Spiel. Help us reach our goal of inspiring 25% of our audience to make a contribution.  Click here to contribute.


Music credits include:

Alright, OK, You Win  by The Slush Puppies  |  Buy the track

You Can't Win  by James Hunter  |  Buy the track

You Win Again  by Hank Williams Sr.  |  Buy the track

How Can You Win  by Parrish Hall  |  Buy the track

Here's to the Losers  by James Darren  |  Buy the track

Win or Lose  by Lew Lewis  |  Buy the track

Winning  by Santana  |  Buy the track

You Got to Lose  by George Thorogood & The Destroyers |  Buy the track

Loser  by Richard Cheese  |  Buy the track


I'm sure there are some goofs in there somewhere. Let us know if (when?) you find one!

Sponsored Links: Starlit Citadel

Sobek  Buy It


Sponsored Links: Board Game Guy

Dixit 3: Odyssey  Buy It 


Sponsored Links: Fair Game   Link


Another great episode guys. While listening to Dave's talk on Uluru, my kids were going to town however on his pronunciation, and asked me to let you know:

It's OOOH - LA - ROO, not OOO - LOO - ROO

No need for a correction! Keep up the great work.

Mark "Powderkeg" Rickards, on behalf of Toby "The Mad Monk" and Will "The Grail Seeker".

That's pretty funny!

Leave it to us to mispronounce a 3 syllable word. :)

Tell Toby and Will thanks for the correction. Glad we could provide a few laughs even if they were unintentional.

 I know you cover a LOT of material for your shows but I'm not sure where you got the idea that Skull & Roses is a retheme of Liars Dice. The two are about as similar as San Juan and Citadels.  Furthermore Skull & Roses is a better game than Liars Dice.

I hope you'll actually take 2 minutes to read the rules and give the game a try. It's EXCELLENT.

I do think it sounds like a fun game and would play it gladly.

Having read the rules before we recorded this episode, I'll stick to my earlier statement. It seems very similar to Liar's Dice to me.

There's plenty of room for variants to stand on their own feet as engaging and fun and from what you say it sound like Skull & Roses succeeds very well. Nanuk is another example of a game that is a variant but retains its own identity. Liar's Dice and its variants are always a great choice when we have parties or a group of non-gamers at the table.

Spiel des Jahres Winner 2011: Qwirkle!

Congrats to Susan McKinley Ross, Mindware and Schmidt Spiele!