The biggest and most prestigious board game awards have just revealed their nominees for 2023.
The Spiel des Jahres season has officially kicked off via the YouTube announcement of this year’s nominees. Harald Schrapers and Christoph Schlewinski, SDJ jury chairman, read the announcements for the nominees in three categories alongside various recommended board games that just didn’t make the cut into the finals.
For Spiel des Jahres, the game of the year award, the nominees are:
- Dorfromantik: The Board Game (Pegasus Spiele)
- Fun Facts (Repos Production)
- Next Station London (Blue Orange Games)
These games mostly fall into the category of lighter titles aimed at beginner board gamers and families. The jury has recommended these titles as exemplary games from the past year: Akropolis, HITSTER, KuZOOka, MANTIS, QE, Sea Salt & Paper, and That’s Not a Hat.
As for the “serious games” in the Kennerspiel des Jahres category, the games nominated for the award are:
- Challengers (1More Time Games)
- Iki (Sorry We Are French)
- Planet Unknown (Adam’s Apple Games)
Finally, the nominees in the Kinderspiel des Jahres category – games for younger players and children – are:
- Carla Caramel (LOKI)
- Gigamon (Elemon Games)
- Mysterium Kids: Captain Echo’s Treasure (Libellud)
This year, a new award called the Sonderpreis was introduced. It went to two games by Space Cowboys – Unlock!: Game Adventures and Unlock! Kids: Detective Stories.
The Spiel des Jahres Awards show has been running since 1978. Even though it has always been aimed at the German board game market, it has had a massive impact on our hobby globally. This means that, if the game wins an SDJ award, everyone and their dog will be trying to get that game to the table. Some notable winners from past years include Codenames, Ticket to Ride, and the brilliant puzzler Azul.
As for our predictions? The Boar Gamer team believes these games will take the award this year:
- Spiel des Jahres: Next Station London
- Kennerspiel des Jahres: Planet Unknown
- Kinderspiel des Jahres: Mysterium Kids
Whether we were right or wrong, we’ll find out soon – the winners of the Spiel des Jahres awards will be revealed on July 16th at a gala show.