Spiel des Jahres 2024 nominations

Nominations are out! The jury selected a total of sixteen games for their longlist, nine for Spiel des Jahres and seven for Kennerspiel des Jahres. Out of these games, three games each are nominated for the two awards and can hope to get the coveted meeple added to their covers on July 21. Let’s dive straight into the nominations and recommendations, before we discuss how good (or bad) my predictions were and if the agreed with our Kennerspiel score. [Read More]

Spiel des Jahres 2024 predictions

Spiel des Jahres 2024 is around the corner! As in the previous four years, I’ll try to predict what games have the best shot at ending up on the longlist (aka recommendations) and the shortlist (aka nominations) when the jury announces their picks on June 11th. As every year, I’ll let the algorithms speak, but I’ve added something new this year: I tried to track the jury members’ reviews of all eligible1 games, in particular when they publish scores (such as in the magazine Spielbox), and fed those into the predictions. [Read More]

Game Designer Hall of Fame

The best board game designers of all times – according to Spiel des Jahres

Spiel des Jahres 2024 nominations are just around the corner (watch this space for our annual predictions), but I wanted to take this opportunity for a look back over the history of the award. Specifically, I wanted to see which designers have been most successful at the Spiel, Kennerspiel and Kinderspiel des Jahres awards. The first red meeple was given out in 1979. Since 1989, the jury also awarded the Kinderspiel des Jahres for children’s games, initially as an annual special award, and from 2001 as its own award with the blue meeple. [Read More]

A brief introduction to Collaborative Filtering

Recommend.Games explained, part 1: how we recommend games to you

What is a good recommendation? Collaborative filtering is the workhorse powering the recommendations by Recommend.Games. Over the years, I’ve been asked every now and then how it works. So, I thought it’s high time I outlined the basic ideas behind our recommendation engine. Let’s first take a step back and talk about recommendations in general. What is it we’re trying to achieve? The answer to this question is far from trivial, and it gets harder when you want to formalise its goals. [Read More]

The world of board games

Board game rankings by country

BoardGameGeek (BGG) users can select their country of residence in their profile. The main purpose is to find other users in your region to play face to face or maybe trade games, but but over here at Recommend.Games we obviously cannot help ourselves but to use this information for some interesting statistics. 🤓 Let’s start with the usual disclaimer: We will have to rely on whatever information BGG provides. In particular, users can freely choose their country. [Read More]

Has board game rating inequality increased over the years?

Applying the Gini coefficient to BoardGameGeek ratings

The number of ratings per game Perhaps one of the most controversial choices of the Shut Up & Sit Down Effect article was using the number of ratings1 on BoardGameGeek (BGG) as proxy for “attention” to a game. So let’s double down on that! 😈 If lots of ratings mean a lots of eyes on a game, we can ask questions like: What games get most of the attention? Do few games steal the spotlight? [Read More]

Measuring the Shut Up & Sit Down effect

Using synthetic control to make up our own counterfactual world

Shut Up & Sit Down Shut Up & Sit Down (SU&SD) is arguably the largest (at over 400k subscribers) and most influential YouTube channel in board gaming. A video with a glowing recommendation by them can lead to a game sell out overnight. Or at least that’s how the anecdotes go. There’s been previous attempts at quantifying the effect, but over here at Recommend.Games is where board games and data science meet, so obviously, we have to dig a little deeper. [Read More]

How long is a game of High Society?

High Society is a classic bidding game by classic designer Dr Reiner Knizia, most recently released by Osprey Games with a wonderfully classic look: The general concept is quite simple: the players are members of said “high society” and are trying to outdo each other in showing off their wealth. The game is played over a series of rounds, and in each round, a card is revealed from a deck of 16 cards. [Read More]

Child's play: How hard is Orchard?

Orchard is a beloved children’s game classic which is so old – it’s as old as myself. 👴 As one might expect from a children’s game, it’s really simple: roll a die, pick a fruit of the corresponding color, and put it in the basket. If you roll the raven, the raven moves one step closer to the orchard. If you manage to pick all the fruit before the raven reaches the orchard, you win together. [Read More]

Recommend.Games is back!

Request to have your collection added to the database now

The hiatus is over! Already since April 2023 the recommendation engine at Recommend.Games has been back online, albeit with reduced functionality. In order to cut down serving costs, I made the recommendation model much more lightweight (this deserves its own article) and removed rarely used features as well as a bunch of bloat from the database. Most of the database was filled with users’ collection items, i.e., games they rated, owned, have played etc. [Read More]