And your Spiel des Jahres 2019 nominees are…

It’s awards time again!

It’s time for the Spiel des Jahres again.  On Monday the 20th, the nominees for this year’s award were announced.

What does this mean for you?  If you have the game, not much except the knowledge you have a game recognised as a quality experience. If you have been on the fence, it means you need to go shopping now, because all of these games are about to be snapped up by gamers looking to add some great games to their collections!

Without further delay, below are the final nominees for this year’s awards.

Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) 2019 nominees

Just One

A cooperative party game where you must discover as many words as possible with the assistance of everyone around you.  The catch?  The clue you are given to help you guess is made of Just One word!

I am a little surprised that Just One has made it into the list.  Not because the game isn’t fun – far from it, it’s great! I am surprised because it was originally a game called ‘We are the Word’.  Obviously, the panel thinks that the changes are sufficient to warrant being considered.  If you haven’t played it, give it a go – it’s a heap of fun!

If your group enjoys wordplay, Just One is a great party choice
I haven't heard of Lama before now, but hey it's a Reiner Knizia game!


I haven’t heard of this game until now, but it’s a Reiner Knizia game.  There isn’t much that the good Doctor has made that I don’t enjoy so I will need to keep an eye on this one.

It looks like a simple card counting game, where you want to play all of your hand of cards.  Playing the cards is just playing one card higher than is what is on the discard pile.  What could be easier than that?

A lot of things could be easier.  Really, a whole lot of things 🙂


A game I haven’t been able to get to the table like I want to, I back Werewords Deluxe just over a year ago.  There was also a bit of controversy with Oink Games accusing Bezier Games of copying the game Insider.

Werewords is an interesting mix of hidden role and word elimination.  There is a word that the group must guess, but can only ask questions that can be answered “Yes” or “No”.  There is a Seer that knows the word, but they must be careful not to be found by the Werewolf!  Likewise, if the group (the ‘village’) can’t guess the word, they can still find the Werewolf for a win.

A clever twist on the 'One Night' formula that should appeal to a wider group of players

Kinderspiel des Jahres (Children’s Game of the Year) 2019 nominees


Another nominee I haven’t heard of – that’s one thing I really enjoy about these awards, you get to hear about games that you wouldn’t have otherwise!

Described on Board Game Geek as ‘a fairy-tale memory game with a catchy travel mechanism’, it looks like you mix good old Memory with movement cards adding a layer of strategy over the old favorite.

I will have to see if I can talk Alpal into giving it a whirl with me sometime…

It's a Pegasus Spiele game. Like HABA, it's a good indication of a fun little time 🙂
Go Gecko Go! Looks like an interesting puzzle, but I don't think I will try for this one

Go Gecko Go!

Another game I haven’t heard of, Go Gecko Go! looks like it could have some appeal, but I don’t think I will look at hunting this one down.

A simple Roll and Move, players have to get their animals (a crocodile, turtle, frog, and gecko) from one bank to another Frogger-style.

The catch?  While bigger creatures can give smaller ones a lift, there are also bridges that will knock off animals that are stacked too high!

I can see where it would be a lot of fun, but I think I will stick with some Roll and Writes for similar problem solving.

Valley of the Vikings (Tal der Wikinger)

And once again, a game I have heard absolutely nothing about – and it’s a HABA game!

I am pretty sure I will be playing this with Alpal at some point.  There are a number of pegs that need to be knocked down for the annual barrel bowling contest.  That’s right – it’s a dexterity game!

Knocking the correct barrels will give you coin, but it also looks like there is a bit of worker placement like shenanigans as well.  If you fall in the water though, you will be out!

A fun little dexterity game. I can see this one being on the order list, as long as it makes it out this far!

Kennerspiel des Jahres (Connoisseur/Expert Game of the Year) 2019 nominees

Carpe Diem

I have heard of Carpe Diem, but I kind of wandered by it as a complicated Lords of Waterdeep type game.  I am thinking I may have misjudged it, and I will need to take a closer look.

Players do play Lords of a sort – this time, it’s Roman Patricians that are trying to build up their sections of Rome.  Based on Card Trading and Tile Placement, you are trying to build up combinations to score as many points as possible for yourself.

I don’t know if I will go out of my way to get a copy, but I will definitely find a couple of hours to pour over the rules and give it a more thorough look.

I might have to have a much better look at Carpe Diem
It's a beautiful game to be sure, but I still don't think it has what I am looking for


I don’t think anyone with a partial interest in Board Games and/or Birds hasn’t heard of Wingspan.

But after watching and reading up on Wingspan for the last few months, I think I have come to the decision that I won’t be playing it.  Not unless someone has it and invites me to play.

It’s not that I don’t think Wingspan has then foundations of a good game, it’s just that I have a lot of deck builders with themes that really interest me already that I don’t play as often as I would like.  But that’s just my position – Wingspan from everything I have seen and heard is a strong contender for the Kennerspiel this year.

Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game

The game I know most of the three of these games though I have already talked about on the site.

Taking the Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Base and bringing it well and truly into the modern age, the AR based narrative story is deep, intriguing and wonderfully put together.

For this category, Detective is a fine nomination and a fun (if brain-busting) time to be had.  It does make me a little sad that Chronicles of Crime didn’t make it into the Spiel des Jahres category though.

If you like detective stories and want layers upon layers in your game, stop now and go grab Detective – the first expansion L.A. Crimes is available as well!

If you like deep investigations with a great story, grab yourself Detective

So there you go – a lot of fine games up for nomination, as well as plenty of suggestions for games you can play!

Who do you think will take out the awards this year?  Let me know in the comments, or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until next time,

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