Geekie Award Time Again!

Screenshot 2015-06-29 08.09.33Last year our game, Belfort, won the tabletop game of the year award – and we were ecstatic! Really proud of that win! Part of the prize for winning was being interviewed on Krypton Radio for their show “Event Horizon” and that episode is now live! Check it out here.

And now we’ve found out that another one of our games has been nominated this year for a Geekie award!! We’re excited to see our new party game, But Wait There’s More as a candidate alongside many other strong contenders (view them all here!)! May the best game win. Who knows, maybe we’ll even show up this year!! 🙂

-Jay Cormier


Help us win a Golden Geek Awards for Best 2 Player Game and Best Abstract Game!

The Golden Geek Nominations are in and we have nabbed two nominations! Woo hoo!

AkroAkrotiri has been nominated as the best 2-Player Game.

ThisTown-logoThis Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us has been nominated as the best Abstract Game.

If you think these games are worthy then please head on over to vote. To be eligible to vote you must be a supporter of BGG (you have a supporter badge from any year – which means you’ve given them money during their annual fundraising effort) – or you pay 20 Geek Gold (Geek Gold can be acquired from other people or from doing things on the site – like uploading content or fixing errors).

Vote now by clicking here! Deadline  is February 22, 2015. Thanks for your support everyone!!!

-Jay Cormier

Is Akrotiri the best 2-Player Game of the year?

AkroIt’s nomination time for the Annual Golden Geek Awards over at! If you have an account, then feel free to head on over and start nominating games that you think are worthy of being nominated!!

We had our game Akrotiri come out this past year and would be tickled fuchsia (that’s even pinker right?) if people thought it deserved a nomination for best 2-Player game, Best Artwork & Presentation (shout out to Chris Quilliams for the amazing work he did on this game) or heck, even best game. Whatever you think it’s worth! 🙂 Thanks for any support!

Go nominate your favourite games of this past year!


What it’s Like to be on the Jury for the Spiel des Jahres

spiel-des-jahres-logoI had the pleasure of having dinner with Tom Felber tonight. Tom is on the jury for the Spiel des Jahres – the coveted, annual board game award from Germany – and he explained what it’s like to be a member of the jury – and it’s quite interesting! Sen got to meet him when he was in Toronto at Snakes and Lattes and Sen wrote a very interesting post on what it takes to win a Spiel des Jahres award. In this article I’m going to explain what it’s like to be on the jury for the Spiel des Jahres!

1. Criteria to join

First of all, to be on the jury you need to be a journalist who writes reviews professionally for board games. Writing for a blog or a podcast doesn’t count either. It has to be for an established publication. Tom writes reviews for the equivalent of the NY Times for Switzerland (he said it out loud, but not in English!). The reviewer has to be 100% independent from the board game industry. They can’t even have any family members that make money from board games in any way. Finally, you need to publish in the German language in order to on the jury! Makes sense since the award originated in Germany and the rest of the jury all speak German.

He mentioned that while some people drop out of being a member of the jury over time, they will accept new members onto the jury as long as they meet the criteria and are then voted in by the other jury members.

2. Play a lot of games

Over the course of the year, a jury member has to be aware of pretty much every game that is released in Germany. To win the award the game needs to be released in Germany and have a German rule book. Still, this is over 500 games every year that they have to be aware of – AND play! Tom attends conventions like Essen Spiel and Nuremberg – but for him they aren’t the fun-time extravaganza that us gamers would have. Instead he spend 30 minutes at each booth that has a new game and has the new games explained to him. He does this over and over – for 4 days! I didn’t know this – but apparently there is a secret room at Essen full of just the new games that are being released! This is only open to the press and it makes it a lot easier for them to see all the games!

Tom has a location that is just for game playing – and storage! He has open invites to the public to come to this location and play games. He has 25-30 of these game nights per month! Whaaa! That sounds like heaven to me! 🙂 

3. Narrow it down


Tom Felber (right) at Pizza Ludica – a board game restaurant in Vancouver!

The members of the jury all have access to a private forum where they chat with each other and recommend games they’ve played throughout the year. In May though, each member must create a list of their top 15 games that they like. Then all the members of the Jury get together for a 4-5 day conference. They will play these 50-60 games together and then figure out a way to reduce that to a list of the top 15 games. They vote for each game and if they get more Yes than No – then it’s in.

However – they are also keen to include a wide variety of games in their recommended list. So they always try to include a party game, a 2-player game, an abstract game, a cheap game, an expensive game etc… So if they get to their top 15 but realize that they don’t have a party game yet – then they go back through their games and find a party game to add – and one of the other games to remove. Lots of ‘arguments’ can occur at this conference as some believe strongly in some games, while others might feel the opposite! They keep going until 100% of all members agree on the final list. 

Then each member writes down their top 3 games for Spiel des Jahres and for Kennerspiel des Jahres (SdJ is the award for the best game and KSdJ is the award for the best, more advanced game!). Whichever games get the majority of votes will be the games that are nominated that year!

4. Play more games and the winner is chosen!

Now that the nominations have been announced, the jury members play only the nominated games for the next month and a half! Usually upwards of 50 times each! That’s insane! 

Then it’s time for the day of the award. A couple hours before the actual televised (in Germany) ceremony, the members of the Jury get together and they vote on which game will win. So up until an hour or so before the award is given out – no one literally knows who will win the award! Wow! 

5. Financing Spiel des Jahres

So looking over this again you can see that Tom and other jury members play over 500 games a year and spend almost every day of the year playing games (which sounds awesome, but remember how many bad games there are out there too that they have to play!). And they do all this …. for FREE! That’s right – they earn no money from Spiel des Jahres for this. They are complete volunteers and are involved because they believe in the purpose of the Spiel des Jahres award – to increase awareness and acceptability of board gaming everywhere! That completely floored me. 

But the Spiel des Jahres still has expenses – mostly in attending events and having some presence or awareness at events, or festivals. They get this by charging the publishers 2-3% of retail to place the Spiel des Jahres logo on their box. This is worth it for a publisher because a Spiel winner can expect a minimum of 200,000 sales in the first year after winning!

So there you have it – that’s what it’s like to be on the jury for the Spiel des Jahres. Very interesting stuff! Thanks Tom for the enlightening evening!

-Jay Cormier

Major Fun Award for Train of Thought

Train of Thought box artTrain of Thought has been awarded the Major Fun award from! You can read the full review of the game here.

Here is the criteria they have for awarding the Major Fun award:

  • clear and comprehensive rules that can be read in 5-15 minutes
  • played in under an hour
  • fun enough to play over and over again
  • suitable for a wide audience
  • easy to store
  • made to last
  • uniquely fun
  • tend to make people laugh
  • deep enough to withstand a lot of changes

It’s nice to see Train of Thought still being appreciated by new gamers!!

-Jay Cormier

Train of Thought Up For Prestigious Award!

Just got word that Train of Thought is up for the Best Party Game of last year according to a group of 40 prominent podcasters and bloggers that has selected the best games and expansions released in the year 2011.

Watch the games being announced here:

and stay tuned as the winners will be announced during the Dice Tower Convention on July 6th, 2012.

Fingers crossed!

~ Sen-Foong Lim