One of the most important awards in boardgame industry is Spiel des Jahres – a praise dating to the late 70s, awarded by German critics and acting as clear indicator what were the best games (usually EURO-games) in last year.

The nominations are done in four categories:

  • Spiel des Jahres – Game of the Year
  • Kennerspiel des Jahres – Complex Game of the Year
  • Kinderspiel des Jahres – Game for Children
  • Sonderpreis – special praise, for a game which was not classified in any of above but is worth mentioning

And here are the results!

Spiel des Jahres 2018 – Azul

As per developers description:
In the tactical tile-laying game Azul, the Portuguese King Manuel I commissions craftsmen to decorate the walls of his palace with beautiful mosaics. They can’t just use any old tiles: they need the so-called ‘Azulejos’. Beneath the simple action of laying tiles burns a fierce competition to pick the best tiles from the factories at just the right time. Each turn players have to take all tiles of the same type from one factory. Depending on the position in the mosaic, sometimes the craftsmen need a lot of tiles of one type to expand the mosaic, sometimes fewer. Whoever over-speculates and takes too many tiles will receive minus points. You can earn a lot, however, by tiling connected parts of the mosaic and by having completed rows and columns at the end of the game.
More about the game: BGG, REVIEW, STRATEGIES.

2018 Kennerspiel des Jahres – Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg

As per developers description:
Mandrake root, ghost breath and toadstool. As quack doctors, players brew up new potions out of all sorts of unusual ingredients. These potions aren’t prepared according to some strict recipe but rather through pure chance: each player gradually draws ingredients out of their own mixed up bag of supplies. Most of the ingredients have positive effects. But caution is advised when adding the cherry bombs, as too many of these can cause a cauldron explosion. With the profit made from brewed elixirs you can purchase new ingredients and therefore produce higher quality potions. The player who can best weigh up the risk of an explosion and make good use of the game’s tactical possibilities has a good chance of winning this competition of the quacks.
More about the game: BGG

2018 Kinderspiel des Jahres – Dragon’s Breath 

As per developers description:
The dragon children have stumbled across a hoard of brightly-coloured sparkling jewels. But these are frozen solid in a thick column of ice. Luckily, Dragon Dad has come along and can use his fiery breath to melt the ice so that the children can collect the sparkling jewels. Players stack the nine plastic rings into a column and fill it up to the top with the colourful jewels. At the start of each round, each player chooses a colour of jewel tile. The start player carefully removes the top ring and everyone collects the jewels in their colour that have tumbled out of the ice. The end of this unusual collection game occurs once the last ice ring is taken off the board and the winner is the player who uses their dexterity, as well as a little tactics and luck, to collect the most jewels.
More about the game: BGG

2018 Sonderpreis – Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 

As per developers description:
The co-operative “Pandemic Legacy – Season 2” continues the story of the fantastic Season 1 in just the same quality. 71 years after the apocalyptic plague outbreak, from sea-going havens we provide supplies to the last survivors on dry land. But what lies beyond the coastal cities? Every decision has consequences for each of the following games (up to a total of 24). Our characters learn new skills or suffer scars. New cities add to the grid of the known world. Stickers are added to the map, rules are expanded, spaces are scratched off, components are added or destroyed. Legacy cards drive the story forwards. The game principles continue from Season 1 but this time the ingenious Pandemic mechanic is used to deliver supplies to survivors rather than simulate the spread of disease. Will we save the world this time?
More about the game: BGG