Spiel des Jahres announces 2023 board game nominations

Artwork from Mysterium Kids, Dorfromantik, and Challengers board games divided into thirds
(Image credit: Lillebud, Pegasus Spiel, Z-Man Games)

The industry's biggest board game awards, Spiel des Jahres, has announced its nominations for 2023 - and frontrunners range from Dorfromantik to Mysterium Kids.

Revealed ahead of the full awards ceremony on July 16 in Berlin, we now have a list of contenders that could be joining the hallowed halls of the best board games this year. You can find the full lineup below, but headlines include the co-op adaptation of the video game Dorfromantik, capture the flag mashup Challengers, and the quiz game Fun Facts where you answer questions about yourself. 

During last year's Spiel des Jahres awards, the wildlife game Cascadia (where you have to create the best ecosystem) was crowned board game of the year. Meanwhile, Living Forest won the hobby board games for adults award. Finally, Magic Mountain walked away with the prize for the best kids' game. Mark your calendars now to see what the 2023 ceremony brings.

Overall board game of the year

  • Dorfromantik ('Village Romance'): A laid-back co-op placement game for 1 to 6 players. By Michael Palm and Lukas Zach.
  • Fast Facts: A lighthearted quiz game where you find out more about yourself and each other, for 4 to 8 players. By Kasper Lapp.
  • Next Stop London: Rebuild the London Underground using colored pencils and cards, but don't get caught in a dead end. For 1 to 4 players. By Matthew Dunstan.

Recommendations list: Acropolis, Hitster, Kuzooka, Mantis, QE, Sea Salt & Paper, That's Not a Hat

Kennerspiel des Jahres (hobby board game of the year)

  • Challengers: This capture-the-flag game brings together everything from wizards to dinosaurs. It's for 1 to 8 players. By Johannes Krenner and Markus Slawitscheck.
  • Iki: A beautiful trading game through historical Tokyo for 2 to 4 players. By Koota Yamada.
  • Planet Unknown: Make a better world with this Tetris-like puzzler for 1 to 6 players. By Ryan Lambert and Adam Rehberg.

Recommendations list: Council of Shadows, Mindbug

Kinderspiel des Jahres (children's board game of the year)

  • Carla Caramel: Cooperate to run an ice cream stand in this game for 1 to 6 players. By Sara Zarian.
  • Gigamon: A colorful matching game about finding cool creatures for 2 to 4 players. By Johann Roussel and Karim Aouidad.
  • Mysterium Kids: A kid-friendly version of Mysterium where a 'ghost' imitates sounds to help you find their treasure. For 2 to 6 players. By Antonin Boccara and Yves Hirschfeld.

Recommendations list: Douzanimo, My First Adventure (Volumes 1 to 7), Slide and Slide

It's all go in the world of tabletop; three board games based on video games just smashed their targets by up to 16x. As for some suggestions, be sure to check out these board games for 2 players and must-have cooperative board games.

Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to lists of the very best Lego. I've also been writing about games in one form or another since 2012, and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.