Thursday, May 27, 2004

2004 Spiele des Jahres Nominees

The nominees for Spiele des Jahres for this year came out a little while ago. They are:

  • Dawn Under (Dicke Luft in der Gruft)
  • Einfach Genial
  • Raja
  • Saint Petersburg
  • Zug um Zug (Ticket To Ride)

A lot of the online discussion seems to favor Ticket To Ride for the
win. Ticket To Ride is certainly a good game, but I'm not convinced
that isn't because it's the only of the list that's been widely
available in the US. I'm not convinced I have any special isnight
into the like selection of the Jury so instead I'll just comment on
the four out of five that I've played:

  • Dawn Under: This is a good memory game,
    especially beautifully produced, but I wouldn't give it any special
    credit. It's got a few interesting twists that make it a bit more
    than simply a memory game. While I've played many memory games that
    are more than kid's games, I would put this one squarely in the
    good-with-children category.

  • Einfach Genial: This is a light, entertaining and
    approachable multi-player abstract. I've only played it a few times,
    but it's been fairly universally well received. It seems like there
    is room for deeper tactical play, but it also lends itself well to a
    more casual analysis. It also is very nicely produced.

  • Raja: Haven't played it yet.

  • Saint Petersburg: I've played this one several times now
    and I'm no good at it. It doesn't feel especially novel, but the
    mechanics go together very nicely. With only a few plays, it already
    seems that there are several effective paths to victory, which bodes
    well for the games continued value. Despite all that, I'm not sure
    how it will hold up in the long run, but it seems it will continue to
    be enjoyed.

  • Ticket To Ride: I like Ticket To Ride, but I'm not ga-ga
    over it the way many people seem to be. It seems composed of
    reasonably standard mechanics and lucky selection of route cards seems
    it might overly dominate the game. Certainly it's no TransAmerica
    killer, as some have claimed. All that said, it's a good medium
    weight game which is nicely designed.

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