RANDOM MUSINGS on the fin-de-millénaire games scene . . .
1 July 2008 . . . Keltis has just been announced as the winner of the 2008 Spiel des Jahres (German game of the year) award. This is the first win for Reiner Knizia, who has already had so much success that for the designer the result has never meant less.
On the other hand, this is the first win for publisher Kosmos in thirteen long years. Not since The Settlers of Catan have the jury's bountiful blessings been bestowed in their direction. While Catan has proven one for the ages and the settlers are surging strong even to this day, it must be nice for the bottom line to take another quaff of the magical potion for the first time in a while.
It might be cause for some mixed feelings for Klaus Teuber though. As a Kosmos co-publisher, there must be joy at the success, but on the other hand Klaus Teuber is supposed to be the flagship designer, not Reiner Knizia. Now a game which sneaked into the product line more or less because it tied in to the previous two-player Lost Cities product has come in and stolen the prize.
Reportedly Knizia has said that a person can be a designer, a publisher or a reviewer, but nobody can be more than one of these. If so, he may feel it borne out more than ever.
On the other hand, over at Hans-im-Glück publisher Bernd Brunnhofer appears to be proving him wrong, being a success both with the company and with two pretty popular designs, St. Petersburg. and Stone Age, the latter being shortlisted for this award and probably standing as a good chance for the popularly-voted Deutscher Spieler Preis.
Meanwhile, now taking bets on which appears first, the Keltis Special Cards Variant or the Keltis 5-6 Player Expansion ...
You can see pictures from the 2008 Spiel des Jahres press conference here.
by Rick Heli