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Spiel des Jahres Games of the Years

The Spiel des Jahres is a prestigious and longstanding award for board and card games. As you may have guessed, the name is German and means Game of the Year. It's been going since 1978 with the purpose of rewarding family-friendly game design, and promoting excellent games in the German market.

It's a really useful way of finding some amazing games for your family, whether they are new or released many years ago. They include awards in the following categories that increase in complexity:

  • Children's Game of the Year
  • Game of the Year
  • Connoisseur Game of the Year

This list includes 21 games from the last 27 years, with 66 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play award winning board games.


 

Colt Express

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2014, updated in 2019

Genres: Fighting, Sequencing and Traversal

Pieces: Cards, Figures and Tokens

Developer: Asmodee (@Asmodee)

Players: You can play with 2 to 6 players in the same room

Colt Express is a traversal game where you move a bandit along an express train in the Old West to collect the most loot. Each player pre-selects moves, attacks and pick-ups that then play out together. Unusually, play becomes about planning, predicting...

Carcassonne

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 27/06/2007

Genres: Creative, Strategy and World Building

Pieces: Bag, Figures, Placeables and Tokens

Developer: Z Man Games (@ZManGames_)

Players: You can play with 2 to 5 players in the same room

Carcassonne is a strategy game where you lay tiles to create a medieval landscape of farms, rivers and cities. Each new tile must match the roads, rivers, farms and cities of those around it. As you place it you can claim one of these elements that...

Catan

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/1995, updated in 2013

Price: 34% off

Genres: Collecting, Communication, Strategy and World Building

Pieces: Bag, Cards, Dice, Figures, Placeables, Score Pad and Tokens

Developer: Asmodee USA (@Asmodee_USA)

Players: You can play with 3 to 4 players in the same room

Catan is a strategy game set on an uninhabited island where you accumulate, spend and trade resources to build the biggest kingdom. Players must compete for space, resources and ultimately for ten victory points to be crowned the winner. What starts as...

Kingdomino

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/03/2017

Price: 15% off

Genres: Collecting, Sequencing and World Building

Pieces: Figures and Placeables

Developer: Blue Orange Games (@BlueOrangeGames)

Players: You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room

Kingdomino is a kingdom-building game where you place domino tiles to match terrain types and score points. As you play, you build a territory in a grid that requires careful consideration of where dominos are placed to maximise points. What makes this...

Ticket To Ride (Series)

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2004, updated in 2020

Price: 8% off

Genres: Strategy

Pieces: Board, Cards and Figures

Developer: Days Of Wonder (@Days_Of_Wonder)

Players: You can play with 2 to 5 players in the same room

Ticket to Ride is a railway-themed strategy board game where players compete to earn the most points by collecting cards, placing trains and completing journeys. It is an easy to learn game that can be gently competitive and has become a popular classic.

Ice Cool (Series)

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 30/05/2016

Genres: Dexterity, Push-Your-Luck and Traversal

Pieces: Board, Cards and Figures

Developer: Brain Games Int (@BrainGames_Int)

Players: You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room

Ice Cool, and the follow-up Ice Cool 2, is an action game where you flick plastic Penguins around cardboard school rooms to collect points and avoid the Catcher. Like a cross between Subbuteo and Cluedo, you slide, jump and barrel your penguin through...

MicroMacro: Crime City

Skill Rating: 8-16 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2020, updated in 2021

Genres: Brain Game, Narrative, Puzzle and Sequencing

Pieces: Board and Cards

Developer: Spiel Wiese (@SpielWiese)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room

MicroMacro: Crime City is a puzzle brain game where you are solving crimes by discovering clues hidden in black and white pictures. You solve a series of cases that relate to different large pictures you lay out on the table between all the players. The...

Azul

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2017

Genres: Brain Game, Collecting, Sequencing and Strategy

Accessibility: 26 features

Players: You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room

Azul is a tile laying collection and sequencing game where you help the king decorate their palace with Portuguese tiles. You aim to gain tiles on your game card that form patterns to score the most points. What makes it unique is it's balance between...

Camel Up

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2014, updated in 2018

Genres: Push-Your-Luck and Race

Pieces: Board, Dice, Figures and Tokens

Developer: Pegasus Spiele (@PegasusSpiele)

Players: You can play with 3 to 8 players in the same room

Camel Up is a crazy push-your-luck game where you bet on and influence camel races. Each turn you can move the camels, bet on which will win or place tokens to slow or speed things up. It's clever because it rewards players who make bets early and it's...

Dixit

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2008

Genres: Communication and Push-Your-Luck

Pieces: Board, Cards, Figures and Tokens

Developer: Asmodee (@Asmodee)

Players: You can play with 3 to 6 players in the same room

Dixit is a communication game where you guess which Picture cards related to someone's clue. Each round you each pick a card to match the Storyteller player's clue and then try and guess which one was the Storytellers. It's clever because of the scoring...

Dragomino

Skill Rating: 4-9 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2020

Genres: Collecting, Sequencing and World Building

Pieces: Cards, Figures and Tokens

Developer: Blue Orange Games (@BlueOrangeGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Dragomino is a matching and collecting tile game similar to Kingdomino but tuned for really young players. You take turns to pick and add a domino Land card to your growing grid, and earn dragon eggs. It works for youngsters with...

Just One

Skill Rating: 8-11 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2018

Genres: Brain Game, Communication, Push-Your-Luck and Puzzle

Pieces: Cards and Pen and Pad

Developer: Repos Production (@ReposProduction)

Players: You can play with 3 to 7 players in the same room

Just One is a communication party game where you guess words based on one word clues from the group. You work together to help the guesser by writing one word clues on the wipeable easels. Unusually, if the clues are the same they are removed before the...

Qwirkle

Skill Rating: 5-16 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2006

Genres: Brain Game, Puzzle, Sequencing and Strategy

Pieces: Placeables

Players: You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room

Qwirkle is an abstract sequencing puzzle game where you compete to create rows of matching (or series of) colours and shapes. You score more points by matching multiple directions, but need to be careful not to leave points for other players to...

Codenames

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2015

Genres: Collecting, Communication and Push-Your-Luck

Pieces: Cards

Players: You can play with 2 to 12 players in the same room

Codenames is a team communication game where you play two competing spy networks. One player in each team gives clues to help them find the cards that are their agents without hitting the assassin. It's a novel combination of push-your-luck, clue giving...

Dominion

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2008

Genres: Collecting, Fighting, Push-Your-Luck, Sequencing and Strategy

Pieces: Cards

Players: You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room

Dominion is a medieval theme strategic card game where you collect and refine a hand of cards to build the most powerful kingdom. The goal is to gain the most victory points and to avoid curses. It stands out for the wide variety of strategies and play...

Hanabi

Skill Rating: 8-10 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2010

Genres: Collecting, Communication and Push-Your-Luck

Pieces: Cards and Tokens

Players: You can play with 2 to 5 players in the same room

Hanabi is a cooperative game where you create a firework show by placing the cards in the right order. Your goal is to organise all the suits of cards in ascending order like Solitaire. The twist is that only other players can see your cards and you...

Kingdom Builder

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2011

Genres: Strategy and World Building

Accessibility: 20 features

Pieces: Board, Dice, Placeables, Score Pad and Tokens

Developer: Real Queen Games (@Real_QueenGames)

Players: You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room

Kingdom Builder is a strategy world-building game where you create a kingdom by placing settlers' houses. You work to build settlements with positions and orientations that meet three specific criteria chosen at the start. This, along with special...

Pictures

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2020

Genres: Communication and Creative

Pieces: Bag, Cards, Placeables and Score Pad

Developer: Rio Grande Games (@RioGrandeGames)

Players: You can play with 3 to 5 players in the same room

Pictures is a puzzle game about recreating pictures with everyday objects. You are assigned a picture from a grid of cards on the table and given a set of materials (cubes, sticks and stones, cards) to make it with. How well you do is determined by how...

Speedy Roll

Skill Rating: 3-7 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2019

Genres: Action, Dexterity, Sequencing and Traversal

Pieces: Board, Figures, Placeables and Tokens

Players: You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room

Speedy Roll (also known as Hedgehog Roll) is an action dexterity game where you roll the hedgehog (a fuzzy tennis ball with eyes) to collect woodland items that stick to it. This determines which path you can take through the forest to get back home...

The Magic Labyrinth

Skill Rating: 4-7 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2009

Genres: Brain Game, Push-Your-Luck, Puzzle, Race, Sequencing and Traversal

Accessibility: 23 features

Pieces: Bag, Board, Figures and Tokens

Players: You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room

The Magic Labyrinth (also known as The Magic Maze) is a traversal puzzle game where magician apprentices retrieve magic objects from their master's maze. However, there are invisible walls in the maze that you have to avoid. The walls are setup under...

Valley of the Vikings

Skill Rating: 5-10 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2019

Genres: Dexterity, Sequencing and Traversal

Pieces: Board, Figures, Placeables and Tokens

Developer: HABA USA (@HABA_USA)

Players: You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room

Valley of the Vikings is a dexterity traversal game where real barrel bowling fuels a race for gold. Along with the fun of knocking the barrels over is a looping scoring track where sequence is all important and strategy abound. It's a great balance of...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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