Damn. I didn't know the list of Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres nominees was coming so fast. So I could not make my predictions, even though (I know it's easy to say now) I would have guessed two right.
Spiel des Jahres
I would have definitely voted for Kingdomino being a nominee. It's got the Spiel des Jahres miracle quality - rule explanation takes 3 minutes (if you're dealing with beginners) and you can already play; it's based on some known mechanism but is still new, it's colorful and family-friendly.
I also guessed The Quest for El Dorado (from Reiner Knizia who hadn't been nominated since (2009's FITS) would make it; I just wasn't sure about the category. The game might be slightly too complex for the simple SdJ award and a bit too simple for the Kennerspiel (which might stop it from winning; I'm still rooting for this one now). (See my review here.)
And as usual, I don't know anything about the third nominee (there is always one like this), but I hope I can try Magic Maze before the winners are announced.
As for the recommendations list, I only know Fabled Fruit which is fun and simple while still special with this kind-of-but-not-really legacy concept; a good choice.
Kennerspiel des Jahres
As last year's novelty was a good number of escape room board games I guessed one of them could get nominated but I haven't played any of them so could not guess which one. It is EXIT: Das Spiel (which seems to be a collection of a few). Also right now it seems unlikely that any of these would win but who knows...
Raiders of the North Sea, a part of a Viking-themed trilogy originally published via Kickstarter shows how Kickstarter is getting stronger, and while until now I didn't feel like I really want to try this trilogy, I think it has changed my mind now.
And of course there is Terraforming Mars, the current hot game, already ranked 8th at BGG so it should not come as a surprise; I hope I can try it this week or the next one...
On the recommended list there is of course Great Western Trail, but what surprises me is The Grizzled which is a fine little game but is, I think, easier to explain than Wettlauf nach El Dorado. (And checking the - not that trustworthy - BGGweight ratings it seems The Grizzled is 1.9 while Wettlauf nach El Dorado is 2.17...). Is it only because of the war theme? I'd guess so.
Kinderspiel des Jahres
While I haven't played any of these (Captain Silver, The Mysterious Forest, Ice Cool), it comes as a little surprise that each of the three nominees are recommended for age 6+ so none of them are for the really little ones. It can be a result of gamers choosing the Kinderspiel des Jahres but I hope it's only because this year these games were the best, most innovative, most fun ones for kids.
Congrats to the nominees, I'm looking forward to learning some of them - and see who wins!
Knizia. Spiel des Jahres. Some other thoughts, but only rarely. I'm not that much of a big thinker, you know - but I love games.
- [+] Dice rolls