Kinderspiel des Jahres 2011 – The Nominees

Now, I may not be the most qualified person to talk about kids games. I haven’t played any since I was a kid, and back then our favourite game was “do not step on the sabre-toothed tiger”. But now knowing what I’m talking about has never stopped me before and is certainly not a reason not to show everyone some games that come with the highest praise to raise their gamer sprouts.


The Monster Trap is exactly where you want monsters to end up in this game if you’re around the age of six. Grandma is coming for a visit, and the monsters all over the house might scare her to death, so they all have to disappear in the basement now.  To get them there, you push the more cute than scary monster figures through the corridors using the plastic arms that span the game board. It’s really cute. Watch the trailer.

Da ist der Wurm drin

If your gamer sprouts are a bit younger still, Da ist der Wurm drin might be more up their alley. Or wormhole, as the case may be. Each player has a worm tunnelling through the two-levelled game board. The worms’ speed is mainly controlled by the die, but betting on the first worm to come up at the wormholes can give you an additional boost, bringing Da ist der Wurm drin beyond a pure game of luck.

Die kleinen Zauberlehrlinge

According to the package, Die kleinen Zauberlehrlinge is for kids aged five and up. I’m not in full agreement with that rating, but that’s not really the point here. The titular apprentice wizard are tasked with cooking up a potion, dumping all the ingredients in the cauldron first. The game uses magnets to realise hidden traps the apprentices will stumble on and lose their ingredients. Remembering where the traps are and manoeuvring around them is the key to success here.

Looking into the crystal ball

Making any sort of prediction on the Kinderspiel des Jahers is difficult. The depth of the game is mostly dictated by the age of the target audience, making these games less comparable than on the other awards. So I’m not going to make a guess here and recommend instead you get the game that is appropriate for your gamer sprout’s abilities and interests.

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