Spiel des Jahres 2024 predictions

Spiel des Jahres

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. The other major contributor are the “recommendendations to the jury”. Our very own Kennerspiel score is then used to sort those into their respective list of the top 10 contenders for either award. You can find the detailed analysis here and complete results here.

This is quite a curious year. Usually, I’ve had quite clear favourites for the nominations or even the winners, but would find lots of surprises on the longlist. This year, however, there’s been a large number of games with a really warm reception by the jury, which I believe we will see on the longlist, but not really any game that stands out as a clear favourite for the nominations.

The jury chairman, Harald Schrapers, already spoke some time ago of the year of the card games, so prepare for lots of small but original card games in the predictions, which might be one reason why there’s no clear favourite.

But without further ado, here are the favourite games to win Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres 2024.

Candidates for Spiel des Jahres 2024

Spiel des Jahres 2024

#1: The Same Game

3–6 players, 30–45 minutes, 10+ years, light (1.0), 100% Spiel

The Same Game

Discuss how completely different objects might share something in common.

A cooperative party game by Wolfgang WarschThe Same Game is a game to watch!

#2: FTW?!

2–6 players, 25–40 minutes, 8+ years, 90% Spiel


Play your cards cleverly to be the 1337 in FTW?!

FTW?!, an UNO variant, could be Friedemann Friese’s first nomination in over a decade.

#3: 5 Towers

2–5 players, 15–30 minutes, 7+ years, 79% Spiel

5 Towers

Get the most cards and build fantastic towers!

Kasper Lapp strikes again with 5 Towers!

#4: Mycelia

1–4 players, 45 minutes, 9+ years, medium light (2.0), 62% Spiel


Attract help from forest dwellers to remove dewdrops from your field.

One of two games called Mycelia from last year – what a sign if there ever was one that we’ve had enough nature kitsch!

#5: Sides

2–9 players, 30–60 minutes, 10+ years, medium light (2.0), 74% Spiel


Team members work together to have two of them guessing hidden word.

Sides looks a bit like a game generated by an AI that was trained on previous Spiel des Jahres winners. Make of that what you will.

#6: Trekking Through History

2–4 players, 30–60 minutes, 10+ years, medium light (1.8), 93% Spiel

Trekking Through History

Time travel to some of the greatest moments in human history.

Trekking Through History used to have a beautiful cover. What has happened to it?

#7: Block and Key

1–4 players, 20–40 minutes, 8+ years, medium light (1.7), 97% Spiel

Block and Key

Cleverly place 3D blocks in a shared space to unlock the key to victory points.

#8: Trio

3–5 players, 15 minutes, 6+ years, light (1.0), 99% Spiel


Reveal anyone’s lowest or highest card and keep going until there’re three of a kind!

Trio has won this year’s As d’Or, France’s answer to the Spiel des Jahres, so is definitely one to consider.

#9: Phantom Ink

4–8 players, 10–15 minutes, 13+ years, light (1.1), 99% Spiel

Phantom Ink

Spirits race to get their medium teammates to guess a secret object.

Phantom Ink is another word guessing party game, but one with a lot of atmosphere. Its chances might be drastically improved by its much better German title.

#10: Comet

2–4 players, 45–75 minutes, 12+ years, medium light (2.0), 70% Spiel


Save extinct and endangered species from their deadly fate by the threatening comet!

Candidates for Kennerspiel des Jahres 2024

Kennerspiel des Jahres 2024

#1: Ticket to Ride Legacy: Legends of the West

2–5 players, 20–90 minutes, 10+ years, medium (2.5), 94% Kennerspiel

Ticket to Ride Legacy: Legends of the West

Build train lines across the United States in a twelve-game campaign.

The jury states that they won’t consider straight reimplementations of previous games, but they did nominate three different Pandemic variants over the year. Ticket to Ride Legacy: Legends of the West could definitely find a place on the longlist.

#2: Sky Team

2 players, 15 minutes, 12+ years, medium light (2.0), 66% Kennerspiel

Sky Team

Pilot and co-pilot work together to land planes.

The last 2-player game to be nominated for Kennerspiel des Jahres was Targi in 2012. Sky Team is highly praised, but has next to no chance of winning.

#3: Obsession

1–4 players, 30–90 minutes, 14+ years, medium (3.1), 100% Kennerspiel


Renovate an estate, manage servants, and pursue romance in Victorian England.

Obsession was first released in 2018 and has gathered quite the following over the years, sitting at #62 on BGG.

#4: Forest Shuffle

2–5 players, 40–60 minutes, 10+ years, medium light (2.2), 94% Kennerspiel

Forest Shuffle

Gather the most valuable trees and attract species to them.

Forest Shuffle is high up on most pundits’ lists. I’d say the theme is super bland, but at least in German its title is a pretty good pun.

#5: Caper: Europe

2 players, 25–35 minutes, 10+ years, medium light (2.1), 77% Kennerspiel

Caper: Europe

Three heists. Two rivals. One criminal mastermind will rise to the top.

#6: Heat: Pedal to the Metal

1–6 players, 30–60 minutes, 10+ years, medium light (2.2), 66% Kennerspiel

Heat: Pedal to the Metal

Manage your race car’s speed to keep from overheating.

Heat has been in the BGG hotness pretty much non-stop since its release and has climbed to #42. The jury however has not been as hot on it (pun intended) as the community.

#7: The Guild of Merchant Explorers

1–4 players, 45 minutes, 14+ years, medium light (2.0), 95% Kennerspiel

The Guild of Merchant Explorers

Explore strange lands, establish trade routes, and search for treasure.

The Guild of Merchant Explorers was actually also #7 on last year’s predictions, but apparently the jury only considers it for this year. Sometimes that’s the hardest part of the predictions. 🤷

#8: Daybreak

1–4 players, 60–120 minutes, 10+ years, medium (3.0), 99% Kennerspiel


Cooperatively decarbonize the planet and create resilient societies.

What a topical game between all those anthropomorphic animals! Daybreak combines a bold theme with interesting gameplay – and again has a much better title in German.

#9: Hegemony: Lead Your Class to Victory

2–4 players, 90–180 minutes, 14+ years, medium heavy (4.2), 100% Kennerspiel

Hegemony: Lead Your Class to Victory

Simulate a whole contemporary nation in this asymmetric, politico-economic euro-game.

At least for me, Hegemony shot out of nowhere into the BGG top 100. Quite heavy overall, but a place on the longlist is always possible.

#10: Darwin’s Journey

1–4 players, 60–120 minutes, 14+ years, medium heavy (3.9), 100% Kennerspiel

Darwin's Journey

Retrace Darwin’s journey to the Galapagos in a worker-placement adventure.

My two cents

It’s time for my picks for the nominations. As indicated in the introduction, I think the algorithm has done a pretty good at predicting the longlist, which means there’s lots of strong contenders. Let’s go with these predictions for the nominations:

My predictions for nominees for Spiel des Jahres 2024

The grognards will go crazy if there’s three party games on the shortlist, but those are just the most approachable kind of games.

My predictions for nominees for Kennerspiel des Jahres 2024

To be honest, I’d see Sky Team rather on the red list, but I’ll stick with the categorisation of the algorithm here.

Honourable mentions

Finally, I always like to sneak in a few more games that I think have a good shot at the longlist, even though the algorithm didn’t place them in the top 10.


This year is set to be one that lives from its breadth rather than its depth. I’d say the race is pretty open in both awards, much more so than in previous years. While this makes my job as a predictor harder, as a board game fan I’m looking forward to the surprises that the jury will have in store for us.

With every passing year, I also get more and more excited about the picks for Kinderspiel des Jahres – so far all their recommendations were hits with my kids, and I can’t wait to see what’s the latest hotness in children’s games.

Stay tuned for the announcement on June 11th! 🤩

  1. As every year, it’s not straightforward to determine what games are eligible for the awards. Generally speaking, it’d be those games release between April 2023 and March 2024 into German retail. Hence, filtering by BGG release year will exclude games that were released earlier elsewhere, but only recently in Germany, and likewise let some games pass that have not seen a German release in that time window. I did my best to catch what I could, but there’s always some that get away. ↩︎

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