Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) is the Oscars for board games.
It's like the Golden Globes, MTV Music Awards, and People's Choice all rolled into one, except better because Kanye West can't interrupt anyone (although I wouldn't be surprised if he tried).
Every year since 1978, a bunch of Germany's best game critics get together and vote on which games from that year deserve a shiny sticker on the box. Previous winners have included Camel Up, Colt Express, and Hanabi.
So, which board games made the cut for 2016? The list of finalists has been released, and the winners will be picked on July 18th - do you own any? Do you want to? Let us know!
Spiel des Jahres 2016 finalists
I'm biased, I admit it: I REALLY LIKE CODENAMES. Spy games give me a thrill, but Codenames includes enough bumbling tomfoolery to mean you can't take it too seriously. Think heist movie that goes badly wrong... Throw clues to your team and hope they select the right words to uncover the your team's secret agents but avoid the deadly assassin.
Imhotep jumped on to our radar just last week at the UK Games Expo. Ian loved it and ordered a batch for the shop immediately, so you might not own this one (yet). Playing a game as an Egyptian builder already sounds fun, and with the 'other players can mercilessly attack you and thwart your plans' edge, we predict big things for this game.
In the brand new Karuba, a tile-laying race game, players engage in a battle of speed through the jungle to get to the temples first and earn points. Players create their own paths through the trees and undergrowth, but there are dead ends to avoid and quicker routes to find...
Kennerspiel des Jahres 2016 finalists
The Kennerspiel award is for more complex or advanced games. Own any of these? Give yourselves a pat on the back...
Isle of Sky: From Chieftain to King
Ahh, the classic tale of a man and his attempt to become King. What's different about Isle of Skye? You're not brutally murdering your way to the top... you're selling products! Price your items well, and you can sell off enough to get points. Price them too high, and you'll have to buy back your unsold items and be one step backwards in your quest to be King.
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
If Pandemic wasn't bad enough, imagine playing a version where all your actions are irreversible and the consequences may devastate an entire planet. That's pretty much Pandemic Legacy. Not for the faint hearted.
You ever see the Jake Gyllenhaal film, 'Source Code'? Yep. This is it, game-style! In T.I.M.E Stories, you and your squad will be sent into the bodies of beings from different worlds or realities to successfully complete the objectives given to you. Failure is not an issue, as you will be able to go back in time again and again untill you mission is complete.
The Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel awards will be given out on July 18th 2016. I'll be there with a man-sized butterfly net - you can never be too sure when Kanye West might suddenly appear...
Like this post? Some more recent articles:
- Brand new games we loved at UK Games Expo 2016
- The funniest board games to play at a picnic
- Board games for cat lovers