The German news wires have confirmed what many believed to be a no-brainer for this year's Spiel des Jahres—or as we American types would say, Game of the Year Award. The Spiel is one of gaming's most touted and prestigious awards, with a selection process that is akin to that of a pro sports hall of fame, or an Academy Awards selection. A group of writers (from Germany) nominate a few select games from the scads of games released in a single year, and then pick one of the nominated games to receive the Spiel des Jahres. The game that wins the award is the one that is most likely to "promote games as a cultural asset to encourage gaming amongst family and friends." It's also a virtual guarantee that that the game will sell a jabillion copies.
And the Spiel goes to.... Kingdom Builder! Designed by Donald X. Vaccarino, published by Queen Games.
This gives game designer Donald X. Vaccarino his second SdJ award (his first came from his incredibly popular Dominion). It just so happens that I've been playing the snot out of this game in the past few weeks, and will be reviewing it tomorrow! So check back here in the next 24 hours and see what all the hub-bub is about!